Everything was going well for Ashley Henningfield.
She’d been named Hobart girls soccer’s offensive MVP as a freshman, turning in 11 goals. She was fresh off of another good club season.
Then, during the Griffith game, Hobart’s third of the season last year, Henningfield heard a pop as she and a Griffith player tried to play a ball at the same time.
“I’d never had anything like that happen before, so I didn’t think it was anything major,” she said.
Henningfield wanted to go back into the game, but the Griffith athletic training staff and Brickies coaches knew better. She spent the rest of the year on the sidelines with a torn ACL.
“It killed her last year to be out,” Hobart coach Sarah Gourley said. “Mentally, it’s hard to get over. Those situations happen so frequently in games. It’s a tough thing to get over.”
Gourley was an assistant coach last season.
The injury led to Henningfield missing a season of club soccer and a year of her parents, Amy and Glenn, hauling her to and from doctor appointments and rehab.
“Tearing my ACL, it wasn’t just not easy for me,” Henningfield said. “I’m really thankful for my family. They really helped me and pushed me to deal with the struggling.”
She worked for the health of others, too. Henningfield raised more than $500 for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in June.
“Hopefully I’ve got some good karma coming my way,” she said.
Gourley said Henningfield has a good soccer career coming her way, despite missing a year of development.
“Next year, she could be one of the best strikers in the area,” Gourley said. “She’s fast, aggressive, has a lot of potential.”
Now a junior, Henningfield said her health is 100 percent. She’d already tallied four goals and two assists through four games. She admits to feeling hesitant, at times.
“Physically, she’s capable of being 100 percent,” Gourley said. “Mentally, she’ll hold back some. We’ve had some scares at practice. But more and more, she’s getting over her injury.”
“Sometimes I still hold back,” Henningfield said. “Overall, looking at it from a year ago, I couldn’t be happier. I’ll forget it ever happened.”