Girls soccer: Hartmann glad to be back at Burlington Central
For high school soccer players, returning to the field after a yearlong layoff is significant in its own right.
"It's the best feeling in the whole world to be back on the field," Burlington Central senior midfielder Isabella Hartmann said. "Finally."
The pandemic canceled 2020 season, though, is only half of Hartmann's story.
Hartmann suffered from multiple stress fractures in both legs in November of 2019, causing both of her femurs to break. The injuries cost Hartmann her sophomore season.
"I broke both my femurs," Hartmann said after she scored a goal in the Rockets' 3-0 victory over Kaneland on Saturday. "I finally got cleared this year in January. It was just a bunch of stress fractures up and down both of them. I had mono at the same time, so I was just a wreck. So, I'm back, two years later."
Hartmann tallied a score on Saturday, as did Haley Lindquist and Ava Elders. Kyla Butler had four saves in net for the Rockets.
It's been a long road back for Hartmann.
Hartmann said she was playing in a soccer game two years ago, when she realized she was in a lot of pain.
"I was like: 'I don't know what's wrong with my legs; my legs are really aching,'" Hartmann said. "I got diagnosed with mono ...[doctors] couldn't figure it out for the longest time why they wouldn't stop aching after my mono was gone. I finally got X-rays and they all had stress fractures."
Hartmann didn't have corrective surgery, as the stress fractures had to heal on their own.
"I just had to wait it out. They were taking forever to heal," Hartmann said.
"For her to come back this year strong, it's just, we're really proud of her for that," Rockets coach Jessica Arneson said. "I'm really excited that she's not just coming back, but also super successful."
So are the Rockets (8-4), who have won three consecutive games.
"This is one of the best groups I've had. I'm so excited about them," Arneson said. "Especially our senior leadership, we have five seniors [and] almost all of them play the field [with] lots of minutes."
"Our team is so close. We have such a good bond," Hartmann said. "It's my favorite thing to come here every single day. Practice, I look forward to everyday. Games [are] the best part of my weekend; just so enjoyable and my teammates make it worth it."
Kaneland (7-4) found limited offensive scoring chances all afternoon, contributing to the loss.
"We worked hard, but we didn't always work hard at the right times and in the right places," Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. "That's just what we talked about there at the end of the game. Give Central all the credit in the world. They wanted it, they out-hustled us and they did everything they could. They definitely deserved to win the game."
"We won the games we [should've] and we've got to win some of those games ... because we're facing quality opponents," Parillo continued. "I hope that happens. Disappointing because it wasn't 100% effort the whole time. We showed flashes of stuff; I thought we played better in the second half, even though we gave up two goals, I thought we played more as a team in the second half. Back to the drawing board. The fact the girls are playing makes me happy."