Vol. LXIV, No. 35
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
(Photo Courtesy of Amherst College Sports Information)caption:
HEALING POWER: James Mooney controls the ball in action last fall in his sophomore season with the Amherst College mens soccer team. Princeton native and former Lawrenceville School standout Mooney suffered a setback in 2009 as his season ended prematurely due to a broken collarbone. Mooney, an aspiring physician who worked with a thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston this summer, has recovered from the surgery and is back at full speed. Amherst starts its preseason camp on September 1 and will open regular season play with a game at Bowdoin on September 11.
James Mooney spent a lot of time in the hospital this summer but it was by choice.
The Princeton resident and rising junior at Amherst College worked with a thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, assisting with cancer research.
Unfortunately for Mooney, his sophomore season with the Amherst mens soccer team ended with a trip to the hospital as he suffered a broken collarbone in a game against Trinity in late October.
I went on a breakaway and there was a guy next to me, said Mooney, a former Lawrenceville School standout recalling his injury. He hit me from the side and crunched me. I knew I had broken it right away and I came right out.
The broken collarbone ended a promising season for midfielder Mooney, who had picked up his scoring as he netted six goals and two assists in 14 appearances last fall after tallying four goals and an assist in 19 games as a freshman when he helped the Lord Jeffs advance to the NCAA Division III semifinals.
Knowing how difficult it was going to be, I was more fit going into season, said the 511, 163-pound Mooney. In the first few games, I was working my way back into the team and figuring out my role. Everybody was trying to find their place. I was playing midfield but I was focused more on attacking.
Mooneys focus on attacking paid biggest dividends against Springfield in late September when he notched the first hat trick of his college career.
We played a 4-3-3 formation in that game and I was on the outside wing, recalled Mooney.
I felt I had more space to run at people; I had a lot of space on the outside. From the start of that game, I just felt good. I actually missed my first couple of chances that day. Once I got my first goal, things really felt good.
Missing Amhersts playoff run after his injury made Mooney feel miserable. That was the worst part of it, having to be on the sidelines when the team was in the tournament, added Mooney.
We won in the first round and then lost to York in the second round. They were a tough team with a lot of D-1 prospects.
For Mooney, an aspiring physician, dealing with surgery to repair his collarbone and the resulting rehab regimen required some toughness.
I was injured on October 30 and I had the surgery in Princeton on November 20 before Thanksgiving, explained Mooney.
They put in a plate and a bunch of screws. I did a lot of rehab around home; I started with motion exercises. Back at school we have a great trainer; she helped me with strengthening exercises.
Mooney got stronger and stronger as 2010 progressed. I was playing indoors with the team by February, said Mooney, noting that his injury didnt impact his soccer like a leg problem.
In the spring, I was playing three times a week with captains practices and pick-up stuff. I was also doing lifting with the trainers.
In his spare time this summer, Mooney was able to build on the progress he made over the spring. I was able to play MPS (Massachusetts Premier Soccer) and I played pick-up, said Mooney.
I got into as many games as possible. We have a summer program from Amherst with lifting and running.
With Amhersts preseason camp opening on September 1, Mooney is ready to go full speed.
I am 100 percent, I think I am in better shape than I was last year, asserted Mooney.
I want to play a bigger role. Coach [Justin] Serpone says when you are a junior it is time to step up and set a good example for the younger players.
Mooney is hoping he can help lead the Lord Jeffs to some good things this fall, starting with the season opener at Bowdoin on September 11.
Given the situation we were in, it was pretty good to go to the second round of the tournament, said Mooney, noting that another starter was sidelined due to injury for the postseason.
We are really excited about this year. We have 10 rising sophomores. We have a lot of good attacking players. We are shooting for a NESCAC title and going far in the tournament.
And if Mooney can keep away from the hospital this fall, he should provide plenty of good moments on attack for the Lord Jeffs.
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