By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/1/10
Seniors Kathryn Bolen and Blaine Steinberg are happy they decided not to sit around and mope while they rehabilitated from serious knee injuries this fall.
Bolen (Germantown Academy) and Steinberg (Penn Charter) served as co-coaches for the combined GA-PC entry in Coach Duck’s Fall Ball League held the past seven Sundays at Radnor and Harriton.
Both school captains are recovering from the same injury – a torn anterior cruciate ligament – and say their rehabilitation is going well. But they are just as enthused about the experience of coaching a fall ball team comprised of Inter-Ac League rivals, teammates and friends.
Bolen, a low defender, injured her knee during the first game of GA’s Spring Break trip last year to Arizona. She missed the whole year as well as the summer season with Ultimate Goal Lacrosse.
The combined GA-PC team, which also includes two girls from Inter-Ac member Springside School, actually was formed for the 2009 Fall Ball season. But there were no coaches and this year Bolen felt that it would beneficial to everyone if she and Steinberg took the role.
“Last year it worked out well, but we had no coach and we just subbed for ourselves,” said Bolen. “I knew Blaine tore her ACL and since we’re both captains, we figured since we are both interested in coaching lacrosse one day it would be fun to help both teams work on skills.”
Bolen said she is now running and close to playing lacrosse again. She is just as proud of the fact that her team – PC & GA Unite – went over .500 in the fall.
“I felt like I really wanted to be a leader and be someone the players could go to when they had a question,” she said. “I think we helped our teammates succeed. We were able to see things on the field and then direct them in ways that might help them improve themselves.
“It was good for Blaine and me to establish ourselves as captains. I thought it was great to work with the freshmen at GA and see everyone work together. Usually, the upperclassmen don’t get to know the freshmen until the spring season starts.”
Steinberg, a midfielder who has committed to Dartmouth, scored 81 goals and was an Academic All-American and a First Team All-League pick for a team that placed third in the league. She injured her knee in late June and had surgery in late July, but has made excellent strides in her recovery.
Steinberg, also a soccer standout who expects to be ready for the start of the lacrosse season, felt coaching has helped her deal with her time off the playing field.
“This really kept me in lacrosse mode,” she said. “It’s been really tough watching our soccer team play and this made things easier with lacrosse.
“I can figure out the game a little more from the sideline and actually feel like I can say something and people can listen. I really enjoyed it lot in surprising way. The girls are very responsive if say something.”
Steinberg said she recently took the “hop test” to replicate the ability to run and should be ready to begin playing in January.
“Physically, it (the rehab) has gone as smoothly as you can possibly imagine with an ACL injury.”
Steinberg said her role as a leader, combined with her rehab, have helped her appreciate her own abilities even more.
“I definitely appreciate everything more,” she said. “I literally didn’t touch touch a stick for 3 months, which is horrible. If anything, it’s given me more mental toughness. I think it’s definitely made me a more understanding and compassionate person.
“Things you do mean so much to the recipient.”