Late in the Tiger women’s soccer team’s final 2006 preseason scrimmage, goalkeeper Jordan Bamberger ’09 was involved in a collision that re-shaped her collegiate career. She had sustained a serious injury to her left knee, described as a varus stress by Assistant Certified Athletic Trainer Michaelyn Sebold.
“She had approximately seven to nine different structures damaged,” Sebold said. “It was definitely the most traumatic knee injury we’ve seen here in a female.”
Wittenberg and Cincinnati Reds Team Physician Tim Kremchek ’73 analyzed the MRI tests the next day and delivered the grim diagnosis. A posterolateral corner reconstruction with a lateral meniscus repair was performed by Peter Cha, attending surgeon at Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Cincinnati.
Fast forward two years, and there was Bamberger with her teammates hoisting the 2008 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship trophy. While the Tigers won 33 games and the first two NCAC Tournament titles in school history, Bamberger took a medical red-shirt in 2006 and then saw just 45 minutes of game action in 2007. In 2008, however, Bamberger led the Tigers to records of 11-4-6 overall and 5-2-1 in the NCAC and the NCAA Division III Tournament for a third straight year.
Sebold says Bamberger has “come full circle” after a rehabilitation process that tested both the student-athlete’s will and the mettle of Wittenberg’s sports medicine staff.
“Through the rehab, I wondered how much I could take,” Bamberger said. “This season was worth everything I had to go through. I feel like I came back from something that others may not have had to go through.”
Sebold was so impressed by Bamberger’s return to competitive soccer that she suggested a feature story to the editors of Training & Conditioning Magazine. Her story appeared in the December issue of the publication.
“This could have ended her career,” Sebold said. “I don’t know many athletes who would have done what she did every day and come back for more just to know she was going to be the back-up. I wanted Jordan to see her hard work would pay off.”