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Pitt soccer player Seneca to begin recovery from ACL tear

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Carly Seneca's freshman soccer season at the University of Pittsburgh ended before it really got started, and the 2013 Gateway graduate now is beginning the long process of getting back on the field.

Seneca had surgery Monday morning to repair a torn ACL injury suffered in the first half of the Panthers' season-opening 1-0 victory over Duquesne on Aug. 25 at Duquesne's Rooney Field.

“Carly has been just a very hard worker,” Pitt head coach Greg Miller said.

“She came in really fit and earned her spot by making an impact in every training session. She still had some technical and tactical things to learn, but our hope over the course of the season and into the offseason was that she would continue to grow and get better as a soccer player.

“As an athlete, she has all the tools. I have no doubt she will be able to bounce back and learn things a little later than anticipated.”

Seneca was one of four freshmen to start the season opener for Pitt, which improved to 4-1-1 overall and 3-0 at home after a 1-0 win over Toledo on Sunday

Miller said the injury, which occurred four minutes before halftime, didn't involve contact.

“The ball got played into her,” he said.

“She turned to make a run and twisted her body in an awkward way. Her foot stayed in one place, and her knee went another way. We see a lot of those type injuries in female athletes.”

An MRI three days later after the swelling went down confirmed the ACL tear.

Coach Miller said the recovery process from an ACL tear and surgery is at least seven months.

He said he was waiting for the results of the surgery and the extent of the damage discovered by the doctors during the procedure before beginning to speculate on an exact timetable for her complete recovery and return to full action.

“We tried to remain hopeful through the process until we got the news. We held out hope,” Miller said.

Miller said Seneca is taking the injury in stride as best as possible.

“The initial blow was hard for her and her family, but after surgery, she will be starting the process,” he said.

“What drives her is getting back and competing again just like any athlete wants to do after an injury.”

Miller said he's pretty confident Seneca will be granted a medical redshirt and be able to compete four seasons for Pitt.

“We will submit something to the NCAA, but we won't begin that process until her fourth year,” he said.

“All of the evidence and precedence points to her getting the year back considering the timing and the extent of the injury.”

Seneca graduated from Gateway as one of the top players in the nearly three decades of the Gators varsity girls soccer program.

She was a three-time all-state selection, a four-time All-WPIAL pick and a two-time regional All-American.

Seneca led Gateway to a pair of section titles (2010 and 2012) and finished her Gators career with 66 goals and 44 assists.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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