Quaker Valley lacrosse player Smith battles through injury to reach scoring milestones

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Friday, May 25, 2018 | 11:05 PM


Quaker Valley senior Abby Smith reached two milestones as a member of the Quakers girls lacrosse team, but it was not easy.

Smith, a 5-foot-5 attacker, overcame back-to-back injuries to score the 100th goal and 300th point of her career.

Smith underwent surgery in the offseason to repair a torn labrum, the soft tissue that surrounds the hip socket. She returned only to injure her knee in the second game of the season.

She missed six games before achieving her marks in the final regular-season game May 10, a Section 2-AA win against Blackhawk. The Quakers (15-5) made it to the WPIAL final May 24, where they dropped an 11-9 decision to Hampton.

“There is nothing worse for an athlete (than) sitting on the sidelines and watching your teammates play without you,” Smith said. “Mentally, getting through the hip injury was very tough, but, in a lot of ways, the knee injury was harder because I felt like I was finally getting back to the team and sport that I love, only to have it taken away again.

“All I could do was focus on getting back on the field with my teammates. I was determined to do this no matter what.”

Allegheny coach Ashley Hughes expects Smith to gain from the experience. Smith committed to the Gators for the 2019 season.

“What that showed me is was Abby's ability to mentor and lead others from the sidelines,” Hughes said.

Quaker Valley coach Nellie Kraus said Smith worked diligently to rehab. She said Smith is an offensive leader, has a calming presence and is fearless around the net.

“It's awesome that she was able to meet some of her individual goals,” Kraus said.

Smith said without the help of Quaker Valley athletic trainer Derek Clark, she probably would not have gotten to play this season. Smith is the third Quaker to record 300 points.

Smith did better than expected.

“When I started playing high school lacrosse, my goal was 200 goals,” she said. “I could never have dreamed of 100 goals and 300 points.”

Smith aims for something greater. She plans to study environmental science at Allegheny and “help save the Earth.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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