McALLEN — Miranda Muñoz had played soccer since she was 4, so when she felt the sickening “pop,” she knew what it was.
“I tore my ACL and right then I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to play again,” the McAllen High senior said. “It was devastating.”
She was a junior then. As a senior on Friday she made her comeback more than complete, signing her letter of intent to attend and play soccer for UTRGV.
“I didn’t think I had this opportunity when it all happened. It was one of the darkest days of my life during a rival game against (McAllen) Memorial.I wanted to help my team. I thought I would be done,” Muñoz said. “But God had a plan for me, and with support of friends, family, my surgeon therapists and trainer, all that brought me here today. I’m so excited for the future.”
McHi soccer coach Patrick Arney said that they had counted her out as far as returning. The injury she suffered generally takes a year for recovery.
“She was back in like six months. Just amazing,” Arney said. “We really thought she wasn’t coming back, but with her determination and her getting after it, she was back and ready in six months and out with the team. Her surgeon and her trainer deserve so much credit. It’s an amazing story.”
Upon her return, Arney moved Muñoz to a midfield position and he said the results were fantastic. There was no doubt when she returned that she was completely back.
“She has always been a somewhat physical player and, of course, you worry about injuries. But she just went after it and this year she was passing the ball around and doing a great job. Coming back, you could tell she appreciated it more and enjoyed the game a little more.”
“I had a good senior year,” Muñoz said. “Once I stopped having a pity party for myself, things got better and my trainer (McHi’s Joe Ramos) worked with me all summer. Rehab challenged me physically and mentally.
“That injury changed my perspective as a student, a player and a person. If it wasn’t for that injury, I wouldn’t be half the player or person I am today.”