Skowhegan junior Leah Kruse is one of the state’s best field hockey goalies. After a rough summer, she appears headed for recovery.

Kruse had her appendix removed Sunday and missed Tuesday’s 5-4, double-overtime loss to Messalonskee. Kruse said she was told by her doctors that she actually had appendicitis for several weeks.

“This summer, I’ve been pretty sick,” Kruse said. “My stomach had been hurting. I’d been eating less. I would feel really bad for a couple days, and then have a good day. That (good day) would have been the time my doctor told me it was rupturing.”

In most cases, according to various online articles, the symptoms for appendicitis last for 48 hours or less.

“(My doctor) told me that my body is extremely strong, that he thinks it’s crazy that I played in pain for that long,” Kruse said. “He told me that my body was so strong that it was re-healing itself.”

Kruse was introduced before Tuesday’s game against Messalonskee and sat on the sidelines during the game. She is expected to be out of field hockey action for two weeks. She said her appetite is returning and her stomach doesn’t hurt as much as it did before.

“I can only support my team at this point,” she said. “They support me a lot. They’re helping me get through this. It’s difficult, but you move on and you get up the next day, and just keep healing and be ready to be back on the field.”

• • •

The Lawrence field hockey community got a scare Saturday night when junior forward/midfielder Hunter Chesley was injured in a car accident. Chesley’s mother, Lori, is the junior varsity coach at Lawrence.

“She swerved to miss an animal,” Lawrence coach Shawna Robinson said. “She slammed on the brakes. She hit a mailbox, and blacked out at that point. They had to cut her out of the vehicle.”

Robinson said Chesley was taken to Inland Hospital in Waterville, then flown to Bangor, where she remains in the hospital. According to Robinson, Chesley has a broken left ankle, and her right leg was broken below the knee with a torn ACL and MCL.

“She’s in a lot of pain, so they still have her mildly sedated,” Robinson said. “They’re hoping in a couple days she’ll be home.”

Chesley tweeted “Thank you everyone for the love and support” on Tuesday afternoon.

“The girls have gone up and seen her,” Robinson said. “She wants to play field hockey. That’s the first thing she asked about, was field hockey. We’re just thankful she’s going to be around. She’s got a long road ahead of her.”

• • •

If you’ve been watching high school field hockey in central Maine for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that in the last couple years, more and more players are using “aerials” — free hits that travel high the in the air, sort of like a pop fly in baseball (a ball at waist or head level is considered dangerous and is a violation, but aerials are not considered dangerous because no one is in danger of being hit when the ball is 20 feet in the air).

Many of the players using aerial balls as part of their game learned that skill through the Maine Majestix Club team.

“I’m on Majestix, the national team,” Gardiner midfielder Abby Dyer said. “I learned it there first, and I brought it to the school team. We’ve actually become more of a 3-D team. We use a lot more 3-D skills. It’s helped us a lot. It spaces out the field a lot more.”

Amy Bernatchez, the director of Maine Majestix and former Colby College coach, said the aerial was popular in the 1970s and 80s — when it was called a “scoop” — and has made a comeback in recent years.

“I would have a hard time teaching it to my Colby kids,” Bernatchez said. “We realized, ‘It’s because we’re trying to teach it to them when they’re 19. Why not teach it to kids when they’re 9 or 10?’ If you’re really good at an aerial, you could throw it 50 yards, 60 yards. That totally changes the point of attack.”

Bernatchez gave as an example the Messalonskee middle school team, which is made up mostly of Majestix players. She said the players are performing advanced skills such as aerials and reverse-stick chips.

“They’re little, and they don’t know that they shouldn’t be able to do this,” Bernatchez said.

Bernatchez said she’s thrilled that the Majestix players are teaching things like the aerial to their teammates, because it improves the quality of play in the area.

“That’s one of the things we tell them at Majestix: This isn’t just to make you better. It’s to make your team better,” she said. “If you don’t share it with your teammates and give back, then it’s all for nothing.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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