Facebook Twitter Google+ Sydney Brackett planted her right leg to shoot with her left in practice, as she’d done countless times before. This time, a teammate slid and tackled her. Her right knee buckled, resulting in an MCL injury.It was in practice leading up to Syracuse’s Sept. 15 game with Fordham, and Brackett missed almost a month. She returned on Oct. 10 to play 33 minutes off the bench against Wake Forest.After coming off the bench again three days later against Miami, Brackett drew her first start since September on Saturday against Clemson and played 60 minutes. Her return gives the injury-riddled Syracuse (3-9-2, 1-5-1 Atlantic Coast) offense a much-needed boost as she looks to finish off her senior season.“We’re gonna play her as much as possible until we see she can’t help the team in her full capacity,” head coach Nicky Adams said, noting Brackett’s minutes will be varied accordingly going forward.Throughout high school and the early parts of her college career, Bracket had dealt with nothing worse than an ankle sprain, she said. This MCL injury was the most serious injury she’s ever had.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBrackett had trouble getting comfortable running, cutting and kicking again, all which affected her mentally. She tried several different therapies with varying degrees of success.“The biggest part of the recovery process was wrapping your brain around the fact that it’s not going to be able to move the same as it did two weeks prior to being injured,” Brackett said.Brackett made an instant impact her freshman season, tying the team lead in assists (three). Her sophomore season, she led Syracuse in points (11) and goals (five). In each of her three seasons, Brackett led the team in shots or shots on goal. This year, despite missing five games and being limited in three more, she leads the Orange with 12 shots on goal.Shortly after her injury, she pinpointed a game against Florida State on Sept. 29 for a potential return. But that week in practice, she was still in too much pain and her knee was unstable.Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorBrackett was, however, able to warm up for the Orange’s next game — Oct. 4 on the road against Notre Dame. Despite Brackett wanting to play, Adams told the senior before FSU that she wasn’t going to play her. She still wasn’t ready, and Brackett agreed.While injured, Brackett watched and helped during special drills for attackers. Adams said she had to once remind Brackett to also take time to focus on herself.“It’s always beneficial to hear voices of people who can see things on the field that you can’t necessarily see when you’re on the field,” junior defender Shannon Aviza said.Brackett said she’s confident in what she can do for the Orange the rest of the season since she’s returned. She now can run a straight shot down the field without issue and is not worried about her pace going forward.In her absence, the Orange scored just one goal off a penalty kick in five games. More of her teammates got injured and the clock continued to tick down on her senior season.“I think there are a lot of reasons and motivators,” Brackett said of her return. “But I think I would have the same initiative in any situation because all you want to do is play.”On a program that’s been defensive-minded for several seasons, Brackett has been a constant motor trying to keep its offense afloat. While Brackett said she’s proud of what she’s accomplished, she said she wishes she did more.“It’s a two-sided coin,” Brackett said. “But I would say it’s a bittersweet ending. I’m so, so grateful for my experience here in every way, but I’m always going to want the most out of myself.”— Asst. digital editor Arabdho Majumder and staff writer Tim Nolan contributed reporting to this story. Comments Published on October 23, 2019 at 11:25 pm Contact Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Valtteri drove an incredible race today so he truly deserved it and we’ve just got some work to do. It’s a great race start to the year, more than we could have hoped for the team.”I do have some ideas [about the lack of pace], but I’ll wait to sit with my engineers to go over it.”It’s frustrating when you have a good weekend up until that point but that’s how it goes and I’ll work hard to improve next time.” Valtteri Bottas felt he produced his “best race ever” as he began the 2019 Formula One season with a win at the Australian Grand Prix.Mercedes driver Bottas got away brilliantly and overtook pole-sitting teammate Lewis Hamilton into turn one, with victory always looking likely from that point. It represented the Finn’s first win in 22 races, having last triumphed at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”The start was really good. It was definitely my best race ever,” said Bottas, who took a maximum 26 points by posting the fastest lap.”I just felt so good, everything was under control and the car was so good today. It was truly enjoyable.”As I had a really strong pace I wanted to go for [the fastest-lap bonus point]. It’s always a bit risky on worn tyres, but it was worth it.”I’m so happy and can’t wait for the next race.”Bottas added on the podium: “In the beginning it was all about managing the race and trying to build a gap, which I did after about seven laps.”I know I can do it, I’ve done it before. It was all about being at my best level. The second stint, when you’re really on it, it feels kind of easy!”A dominant fourth career victory, and the fastest lap of the race @ValtteriBottas claimed a maximum points down under!#AusGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/GOLN8UfwHo— Formula 1 (@F1) March 17, 2019Hamilton appeared to struggle on the medium compound and had to fend off Max Verstappen to take second, though he said the Red Bull driver had presented him with “no problem.”The reigning champion was pleased Mercedes sealed a one-two but had admitted he had an inkling about why he had failed to keep up with Bottas.”It’s a good weekend for the team, so I have to be happy for everyone — a fantastic job from everyone,” Hamilton said.