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Plum girls soccer working past tough injuries

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Michael Love | Plum Advance Leader
Junior Christine Tamburri is out for the entire 2013 season while recovering from an ACL injury. Sophomores Nicolette Casarcia and Alyssa Proviano hope to return to the field soon.
Michael Love | Plum Advance Leader
Junior Christine Tamburri is out for the entire 2013 season while recovering from an ACL injury. Sophomores Nicolette Casarcia and Alyssa Proviano hope to return to the field soon.

Plum varsity girls soccer head coach Mike Proviano said injuries are a part of the game.

The Mustangs varsity girls squad has had to deal with their fair share the past several seasons. Senior midfielder Amanda Zimmerman, for example, is having a strong season, and she dealt with a past ACL injury. Coach Proviano said she is staying on the field despite battling a hamstring injury.

Plum is enjoying another strong run in 2013, as veterans and new players have stepped up and taken charge all over the field.

At the same time, a trio of players who have been big contributors the past couple of seasons — junior Christine Tamburri and sophmores Nicolette Casarcia and Alyssa Proviano — have had to deal with injuries that have kept them out of the lineup.

“It's tough to have those three out of the lineup,” coach Proviano said.

“We'd been even deeper if we had them playing, but every team deals with stuff like that.”

Plum fell to 10-3 overall and 6-3 in Section 3-AAA play Monday night with a tough 2-1 loss to rival Fox Chapel. The setback snapped a three-game section win streak which included a 1-0 overtime win against Gateway on Sept. 23.

The Mustangs have a key stretch in section starting Thursday at 7 p.m. against Woodland Hills at Plum's Mustangs Stadium.

Another home section game, against Penn Hills, will be Monday at 7:30 p.m., and Plum travels to Gateway two days later for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

Tamburri suffered a torn ACL knee injury at an indoor futsal tournament in February.

She held off on surgery until July.

“It was either I could play a little bit in high school or take the whole season off and come back 100 percent for my senior year,” Tamburri said.

“I didn't want to take that chance of coming back one week too early to play just one or two games. I am looking forward to a full winter recovery, and I will play a Cup season in the spring.”

Tamburri said it's been a tough feeling not being able to play.

“It's hard sitting on the sidelines not being able to be out there,” Tamburri said.

“At the same time, everyone is supporting me and hoping I make a full recovery. That's a good feeling. Now, it's about getting my strength back, and I should be able to start running in a couple of weeks.”

Tamburri also battled through injury last season, as a concussion kept her out of the lineup for most of the 2012 campaign. She was hampered by an ankle injury as a freshman.

For Casarcia, a bruised knee-area bone nagged her for a couple of years.

“There wasn't really anything that could be done for the bruised bone, and the bruised bone wore away cartilage,” she said.

After all surgical options were discussed, Casarcia had an orthoscopic procedure performed in June to clean up the cartilage issue.

After the procedure, which helped with cartilage growth in the affected knee, the wait was on for the cartilage and muscles around the injury to strengthen.

“With the bruised bone, I would take breaks, so I was used to not being able to play, but it's still tough,” Casarcia said.

“I had to deal with the pain of bone on bone.”

Casarcia has been running, but, she said, she won't know how her conditioning will be until she gets into a game.

She said she hopes to be released soon and be playing again as Plum continues its fight for a second straight WPIAL playoff appearance.

Both Tamburri and Casarcia were slated to join Plum teammates Ali Gipson and Addie Jacobs on a July training and tournament trip to Sweden and Denmark, but the injuries prevented them from traveling with the rest of the U.S. team.

Tamburri and Casarcia both hope to make the trip next summer.

“Things like (the Europe trip) are big motivations to get healthy,” Tamburri said. “I want to go over there and represent the U.S. with my best friends and make life memories.”

Alyssa Proviano also is fighting to get back on the field.

She battled through an ankle injury suffered in a preseason scrimmage against Latrobe on Aug. 17.

“Alyssa wasn't 100 percent, but she came back against Oakland Catholic,” coach Proviano said.

Plum upended Oakland Catholic in the Section 3-AAA opener, 3-0. The next day, in the Mustangs' 2-1 nonsection triumph over Franklin Regional, she suffered a concussion.

“Alyssa just couldn't catch a break,” coach Proviano said.

She hasn't been cleared to return since the second injury, and, coach Proviano said, she had a doctor's appointment earlier this week to check on her status.

“She's starting to feel a little bit better, and we'd like to get her back before the end of the regular season,” coach Proviano said.

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

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