Mesa goalie Wells grateful to be playing college lacrosse
At one time, Lauren Wells was a promising NCAA Division I lacrosse prospect as a goalkeeper.
Now, the Colorado Mesa University sophomore is simply thankful she can play college lacrosse.
“I kind of took for granted my abilities before,” Wells said. “Now it makes me re-look at things. When I am having a good day, it makes me more grateful.”
She will start for the Mavericks (0-3) at 4 p.m. Saturday against Adams State (0-0) at Walker Field. The game, originally scheduled for tonight, was postponed because of inclement weather.
Wells had her sights set on playing for the University of Denver after high school, but that all changed one Friday night in September 2008 when she was in a car accident going home after a high school football game.
Then a junior at Chaparral High School in Parker, Wells was the front passenger in her friend’s car when it made a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming vehicle.
Wells sustained a broken tailbone, broken pelvis, four broken ribs, a broken elbow, a collapsed lung, a bruised lung, a bruised kidney and bladder, a lacerated liver and spleen.
She didn’t return to school until January of 2009 and wasn’t cleared to play lacrosse until that March. Wells had to wear a special rib pad to protect her recovering internal injuries.
“I probably shouldn’t have played my junior year,” Wells said. “It didn’t go well.
“That changed everything. I felt like high school was the end of my lacrosse career.”
The four-year starter at Chaparral enrolled at Colorado Mesa University, figuring it was time to move on and focus on her education.
Then she found out Mesa started a varsity women’s lacrosse team.
“I can’t imagine not playing,” Wells said. “I was fortunate they started a team and I was able to play.”
She still has lingering effects that prevent her from sprinting or running for long periods. She has nerve damage in her right foot, a brain injury and back problems.
“I don’t know if I can play any other position,” Wells said. “I’m thankful I do play goalie. I would not be playing lacrosse if I was playing a field position, because I can’t run anymore.”
The CMU sophomore has played every minute of every game for the Mavericks since the program’s first game last spring (2011).
“She’s a remarkable kid and a remarkable goalie,” CMU coach Abby Simpson said. “She has the drive and motivation to be the best she can possibly be. She’s a fun kid and has a great personality. The team feeds off her.”
Wells was 4-9 last season with a 12.55 goals against average and a .491 save percentage.
Wells and the Mavericks (0-3) are off to a slow start this season with losses to teams with established programs in Regis and Lindenwood (Mo.).
“The last couple games have been rough for her,” Simpson said. “She hasn’t saved as much as she wants to, but her clears have been great. She did fantastic for us last year. I’m hoping we’ll see the Lauren Wells we had last year.”