DOVER – Lily Thomson found herself in uncharted territory last Sunday.
On the Dover-Sherborn turf, Thomson played in a football game for the Raiders. The November competition marked the furthest the senior DS had made a football season since his first year.
After catching the attention of DS women’s football coach Evren Gunduz in eighth grade, Thomson started every game for the Raiders in his first season in blue and white. After his first year of playing football in high school, Thomson couldn’t get rid of the throbbing pains in his right foot.
After seeing a doctor in the winter and received an x-ray, she discovered that she had a broken foot.
“It was a real bummer,” said Thomson, now 17. “My mom and I kind of blocked that.”
Thomson wore a boot that winter and recovered in time to play lacrosse in the spring. Still, a week after the start of the season, she started to feel pain. She had broken her foot again.
She was forced to sit throughout lacrosse season, readjust over the summer, get in and out of a boot, and then missed her second football campaign.
“It was just something I couldn’t really escape. I tried all of these different methods, different physiotherapy exercises and nothing seemed to work, ”said Thomson. “I still have pain in my feet now; there are days when i have to take it slow.
Thomson was able to return to the football field as a junior. After a good start to the year, however, his season came to a screeching halt.
“She comes out of the junior year, perseveres despite her foot injury, is back on the pitch so pumped up, then has a concussion,” said Gunduz.
Thomson was forced to miss the second half of the season with a concussion as she ran towards a defender and the opponent kicked the ball right in her face as she fell and hit him with the ball. back of the head to the ground.
The Raiders reached the state semifinals that year with Thomson on the sidelines.
“It was really disappointing having to watch all of this,” said Thomson.
“We definitely missed her, it would have been huge to have her,” Gunduz said. “She’s an impact player for us.”
This fall, Thomson was left injury-free. Last Sunday, in a Senior Night game against rival Millis, Thomson, a central midfielder, stopped offensive attacks and netted corners for the Raiders. She also danced around a few defenders at times on the stretch.
“To take all these injuries and get out of her final year, she was just a stud leader. Someone we all admire and someone who hasn’t lost a step, ”said Gunduz. “She’s out there competing like it’s the last day she’s going to play soccer.”
“When she was injured she would hit the ball against the wall on her own,” said her father, Joel. “To see her come back now, I’m just really proud of her. Everything she does now, I’m happy for her.
Joel played football at Brandeis University and after finishing his career and starting a family; he coached Lily and most of Dover-Sherborn’s junior and senior women’s football until grade eight.
Now these girls are playing their last soccer games together. And more importantly, Lily Thomson struggled to recover from injury to end her senior season in unfamiliar territory: on the pitch.
“It’s great, I got my confidence back,” said Thomson. “I’m having so much fun.”