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Beth Tomlin scores victory for courage

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Junior Lady Bruins player overcomes injury to play this season

By Robert Howey

Sometimes in defeat, there are small victories. They’re the so-called silver lining in a cloud.

When the Lancaster High junior varsity girls soccer team fell to Blythewood 6-1 on Monday, one of those small victories occurred.

The Junior Lady Bruins’ lone goal was scored by sophomore midfielder Beth Tomlin on a 10-yard shot off a ricochet.

In soccer, midfielders mostly set up scores rather than tally. Tomlin’s situation was more unique.

Eight months ago, Tomlin’s chances at playing soccer this spring were dealt a major, painful blow.

On the last day of summer break on Aug. 20, Tomlin was involved in an auto accident. The result was a broken back, broken pelvis and a broken right hip socket. Tomlin was pinned between the front and back seat and it took 45 minutes to free her.

That was just the start of a long road to recovery. She was confined to a hospital bed for two months and spent six more weeks in a wheel chair before giving way to crutches. In order to help with the healing process, Tomlin now has two rods and four pins in her spine.

All the while, Tomlin had to keep up her schoolwork, not to mention the rehabilitation with her injuries.

“It’s amazing she’s playing,” said her father, Tommy Tomlin. “Beth’s my new hero. After all she’s been through, it takes a lot of guts.”

Through it all, he maintained Beth kept a good attitude.

“When people said I wouldn’t be out there playing soccer this season, I was thinking I would,” Beth said. “Soccer is a real passion for me. I’ve been playing it for 12 years and it’s my favorite thing.”

When the Lancaster High  girls soccer teams opened conditioning drills in December, Beth was there.

“We didn’t know what to expect and were a little scared,” Tommy Tomlin said. “The doctors told us she would know after being out there if she was ready, or not. If she had only a little pain, she would be OK.”

A determined Beth Tomlin has stuck and her score Monday, even in defeat, is a tally for courage.

“It was a good feeling to score because a lot of people didn’t think I’d be out there,” she said.

Her only disappointment this season was not making the varsity. As her dad noted, just being out there, no matter what team, is special.

In Beth’s case, no small victory.