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Allen bounces back from freak injury

by Archives October 16, 2007

Opposition coaches call Stingers defender Catherine Allen one of the team’s most consistent performers this season. That’s saying a lot for a player who was forced to travel the long road of recovery after a devastating injury.
In August 2005, Allen was about a week away from starting university and being a member of the women’s soccer team at Concordia.
Playing a Quebec Cup game with her club team, she went for a slide tackle on an oncoming attacker. Her tackle was effective – the player didn’t touch the ball. But she kicked Allen in the kneecap, shattering it.
The injury forced her to miss her first training camp as a Stinger, and leaving the Beaconsfield, Que. native uncertain of her future in soccer.
“I was pissed off,” Allen said. “I didn’t even know if I could play soccer again.”
When Allen went to get the details on her injury, she was told it would be nine months to a year before she would be able to play soccer again.
“I was just happy I could play soccer again,” she said. “It took a long time to recover, and it was really hard to go through physio[therapy] because of the time and because it was painful,” Allen said.
She points to coach Jorge Sanchez and Concordia Head Athletic Therapist Sean Christensen for helping her on the road to recovery.
“I was never not going to play,” Allen said. “But Jorge went to Sean and had him work with me and that really helped me and motivated me to get better because [Jorge] wanted me to be a part of the team,” she said.
The 21-year-old Finance major started taking soccer seriously at the CEGEP level when she played for John Abbott College.
“I always loved playing soccer,” she said. “And I was always a good player and when all my friends decided to go to elite, I went too and in CEGEP it was the first time I trained a lot and played two games a week. That really motivated me to play at the university level.”
She points to her coach as a major reason she chose Concordia over rival McGill in her final stages of selecting a university.
“Getting into [the John Molson school of business] helped make the decision easier, but Jorge was looking forward to having me on the team and made me feel that I would have a significant role on the team,” she said.
This season, that role includes being an assistant captain despite being in only her second season of play, not counting the season she missed with her knee injury.
This season, the Stingers only have five players, including Allen, with more than two years experience, making the load on the veterans heavier than usual.
“On the field the other captains and I have to lead on the field and in practice to push each other,” she said. “We have to work our butts off all practice and make the other players follow our lead.”
The Stingers face an uphill battle for the playoffs this season, made a little harder due to the fact that Allen had to sit out on Sunday’s 1-0 win over Université du Québec

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