Student-Athlete Spotlight - Colleen Deignan
By Brent Waugh
Colleen Deignan emerged as a team leader for the 2007
The defender from Coral Springs, Fla. started every game as a freshman for
It was 2005, and the Eagles were playing an early season match at the
“I knew instantly that this wasn’t just shin splints or being tired from the game,” Deignan said. “Something was seriously wrong.”
She had no choice but to come out of the game. Doctors eventually diagnosed Deignan with exercise induced compartment syndrome, an activity-related neuromuscular condition that causes excruciating pain in the legs.
Deignan’s case was particularly severe doctors said surgery and rest were her only chances for recovery. That meant sitting out the rest of the season.
“I was crushed,” Deignan said.
Deignan had the surgery almost immediately. She planned to return for her junior season, but the procedure left scar tissue and an infection that extended her recovery time and caused intense pain.
She had a tough decision to make attempt another surgery to further repair the damage, or never play soccer again.
Deignan says she questioned whether she should have the second surgery. She worried it would not be effective on her legs and she even considered ending her career.
“It was really hard to sit everyday of practice and every game watching, wishing I was out there on the field with my team. But, there came a time where I couldn’t feel sorry for myself anymore,” Deignan said.
So she decided to go through another surgery.
After months of recovery, she was finally cleared to play in August. Deignan came back determined to show the time off had not slowed her down. “She felt like she had something to prove,” Georgia Southern midfielder Shea Hickey said.
Deignan did more than prove she could play; she quickly became the Eagles’ leader in the backfield.
“Colleen shut down the two leading scorers in our conference, Anna Betton from Furman and Kyri Nagel from Davidson limiting them to two and one shots respectively and no goals,” head coach Ashley Hart said. “She is our leader on the field.”
“She definitely came back and was 100 percent a leader on the team,” midfielder Katie Gosnell said. “She’s always been that way. She’s always been a very dominant person on the field.”
And Deignan managed to accomplish something during her senior season that she had never done before.
In September, with the Eagles in a scoreless tie against
Head coach Ashley Hart says moments like these have made Deignan’s last season as an Eagle worth the wait. “She’s come in this year and gotten her confidence back and earned the respect of her teammates,” Hart said.
Deignan says playing her senior year was worth it despite the injuries she had to overcome.
As a sophomore, Colleen Deignan could hardly walk off the field during a game at
- Category: Women's Soccer
- Published on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 00:24