More often than not, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls’ soccer team saves its best showing for last.
The Hilltoppers host a first round game of the Class 4A playoffs Saturday.
At the forefront of their hopes for making a run in the playoffs is their star forward, Catie McDonald.
McDonald is the featured scorer for Los Alamos and the one the other teams will have to find a way to slow down in the 4A tournament. But for the Hilltopper sophomore, the past year has been a challenging one.
Last October, on a routine run toward the goal during what should’ve been an unremarkable game against Bernalillo, McDonald went headlong into the steel post at Sullivan Field.
McDonald was taken by ambulance to the hospital and was diagnosed with head trauma, whiplash and a serious shoulder injury.
Instead of being the tag-team partner of one of the most prolific scorers in program history, Amy Neal, on the way to what may have been a run at the state title, McDonald was suddenly relegated to the bench and Los Alamos was bounced in the state semifinals.
While someone suffering a similar injury would be given a pass for downshifting their game, McDonald said that’s not the way she wants to play.