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Quite the comeback

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

CdM's Sigband, a junior center midfielder has made a strong return after a torn ACL last year.

December 17, 2011|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach / Daily…)

More than a year has passed, but Karsten Sigband still remembers the match well.

The date was Dec. 4, 2010. Sigband was playing for her club girls' soccer team, Breakaway, in a U.S. Youth Soccer national league match in Wilson, N.C.

Snow was falling during the game. Then Sigband fell too.

"I turned and I heard a huge pop," Sigband said. "[It was] really loud. I had a pretty good idea when I went down that it was my ACL ... It was pretty devastating. It's basically the worst thing that can happen to a soccer player."

Her sophomore year playing at Corona del Mar High vanished when Sigband tore that anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. She couldn't even have surgery until February, because she had to wait for the swelling to go down.

"That period of time was really frustrating," she said. "I was kind of sitting around. I wasn't doing anything to get better."

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Sigband returned to game action with the Breakaway in late October. Early in her junior year at CdM, the center midfielder appears to be making up for lost time.

She has returned stronger than ever. Sigband had two goals and an assist in the Butch Lee Memorial Tournament in San Diego last weekend, earning all-tournament team honors as she helped CdM reach the title game.

Then, on Tuesday, Sigband scored an insurance goal in the Battle of the Bay, a 2-0 victory over rival Newport Harbor. She got kicked in the ankle while scoring the goal, causing her to miss Thursday's big road win over Edison.

But one characteristic that would define Sigband is her toughness. CdM Coach Bryan Middleton has seen it on the field when she goes for tackles. Even coming back from a torn ACL, that hasn't been an issue.

"Mentally you have to get over the fear that you can get hurt again," Middleton said. "You have to trust yourself, that you're strong enough to play the game at 100%. In the Newport Harbor game, Karsten got into probably two or three tackles that were 100%. She has no fear. If you've known her from playing in the past, she can also be a physically dominating player, too. She does not back out of tackles."

Middleton trusts Sigband to control the game in the middle. She creates quite a tandem there for CdM with the girl she calls her best friend, CdM junior Annie Alvarado.

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