Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Steve Solloway firstname.lastname@example.org
GORHAM - Katie Cobb was terrified, to use her word, that her college soccer career was over. That her surgically repaired shoulder wouldn't respond in time to be the University of Southern Maine's senior goalkeeper.
Katie Cobb won’t be sidelined by last year’s shoulder injury. She backstopped the USM women to a shutout over Plymouth State Saturday and will face UMass-Dartmouth this weekend.
She worried if limited range of motion and rusty footwork would turn her into a liability when all along she believed she was an asset. Such is part of the mindset of a goalkeeper, particularly when his or her teammates are struggling.
The USM women are 2-10 after losing to Colby College, 3-0, in Wednesday's rain. Their Little East Conference record is 1-3. USM has scored five goals in the 12 games, which includes a 3-2 overtime win over Thomas College. Freshman Marissa Temple (Grafton, Mass.) started the season in goal and has showed uncommon poise in this tough season.
Cobb, from Lewiston, could have walked away. She hadn't played at all her junior season because of a dislocated shoulder and torn labrum. Rehabbing can take from five to six months. At first she couldn't lift her arm.
It was never an option to say enough is enough. She's an English major who wants to teach and coach. She understands the lessons of this season and last.
Cobb got her first start of the season on Sept. 29, a 3-0 loss to UMass-Boston. Her second start was last Saturday against winless Plymouth State. Sophomore Amy Jose (Oakland) scored to give USM the 1-0 lead. No one could add another goal.
As the clock ticked away, Cobb felt the tension increase. "It was very nerve-wracking. I couldn't let them score and tie the game. I came out on a shot and bobbled the ball but Cara (Radino, Franklin, N.J.) was behind me to kick it out."
The score stood. USM won, beating a conference rival. The team had two full days to enjoy it before meeting for Tuesday's practice to prepare for Colby. USM last beat Colby in 2008.
Saturday's victory was reinforcing for goalkeeper and team. "The coaches believe in us," said Cobb, a co-captain with Radino. "I know we have a lot of talent on this team. I love (the pressure of playing keeper). I like to feel everything's on me.
"The goalkeeper has to be the one on the field, talking to teammates. You've got to keep them positive, in the game. The hardest thing was watching last season. I couldn't contribute."
Temple played the entire game Wednesday. Cobb's turn comes Saturday at UMass-Dartmouth.
USM HOSTS the men's and women's Maine State Intercollegiate Championship cross country meets on Saturday. Bates, Bowdoin and Colby are expected to contend for the titles that are more about in-state pride and preparation for the bigger conference and NCAA meets.
Molly Carl (York), a USM senior, is the defending champ in the women's race. Coby Horowitz, (Stow, Mass.), a Bowdoin junior, won the men's race last fall. The Bates men and Colby women won last year's team titles with squads comprised primarily of underclassmen.
Carl will be pressed by Berol Dewdney and Eva Lauer of Colby, and Madelene Rizzo (Ardmore, Pa.) and Olivia MacKenzie (Buxton) of Bowdoin. St. Joseph's Amber Dostie (Standish) and Michaela Moran (Atkinson, N.H.) of the University of New England are other contenders in a deep field.
Bowdoin's Horowitz and junior Sam Seekins (South China) are among the contenders for the men's individual title.
(Continued on page 2)