Grazzini’s comeback from injury sparked BSM girls’ soccer to period of success

Goalkeeper Claire Grazzini helped the BSM girls’ soccer team to a successful end to the regular season.


Maddie Kurtovich

Senior captain and goalkeeper Claire Grazzini had an excellent season.

An injury can be devastating to an athlete, but as the saying goes “minor setback… major comeback”. After undergoing surgery this past summer on a previously injured ankle, senior captain Claire Grazzini was determined to get back on the field.

Grazzini’s injury woes began over a year ago. “My injury came from too many sprains, and a lot of overuse on an already weak and sprained ankle. Then on top of that at the beginning of September 2016, I sprained the opposite side of my ankle, which caused most of my pain throughout the year,” Grazzini said.

Grazzini kept playing throughout last season for BSM, and even through her winter and spring league games. “I played injured from September to May, until I was able to get my surgery, because my surgeon told me it was as bad as it was gonna get and I couldn’t hurt it anymore. Recovery was supposed to take 3-4 months, so from May 15th to late June and early July, but since I was immobilized for so long, recovery took even longer. I was cleared to play in practice, but not in games until late September,” Grazzini said.

The BSM girls’ varsity soccer team, or self-proclaimed “Red Kittens”, are the returning Class 1A State Champions. With high hopes going into the season to go back to the State Tournament, the team started off to a shaky 2-5-1 record. Everything changed when Grazzini returned to the box. Since she came back from surgery, the girls’ soccer team won 8 straight games, 7 straight of them being shutout performances with Grazzini in net. She’s highly respected by her teammates and peers at the school. “She’s the player we need, not the player we deserve,” senior co-captain Maddie Stoks said.

Grazzini being back in net was an energy booster to the team; on every play that came into the defensive zone, she would yell formations and calls to her defenders. “She was our foundation… our team was built on her,” junior defenseman Stella Fortier said.  

Being on the sideline for so long can be frustrating for any athlete, but especially for a two time state champion, it wasn’t something Grazzini looked forward to on a game to game basis. “It was really frustrating being on the bench and screaming from the sidelines, because that’s what I normally would be doing back in net. Having to miss almost half the season sucked, but when I finally got cleared our team was finally coming together as a unit and learning to play with one another and we were able to finish the regular season strong,” Grazzini said.

It was unfortunate that we lost so early in Sections, but as a whole I feel like my career as a Red Knight was successful winning two State Championships in four years.

— Claire Grazzini

Grazzini’s athletic excellence has been reflected in her recent commitment to North Dakota State. Starting since her sophomore year, Grazzini has been known as the “stone wall” the girls’ soccer team needed to propel them to win two consecutive State titles.

Unfortunately, the Girls lost to De La Salle 2-1 in the section semifinal game on Tuesday night. “It was unfortunate that we lost so early in Sections, but as a whole I feel like my career as a Red Knight was successful winning two State Championships in four years,” Grazzini said.