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Austin senior set to play college soccer after tearing her ACL this fall

An Austin senior is making a long move to continue her soccer career after high school.

A move of about 1,300 miles to be exact.

Laine Hicks will join the Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan College, a Divison III school, next season after seeing her high school season end prematurely with an ACL injury this past fall.

“It was an opportunity and I jumped at it,” she said. “I love soccer and I was going to take any chance I could get to play somewhere.”

Hicks saw her season end three weeks after it started this year and it left her hungry to get back on the field.

“It was horrible and I really wanted to play and be a part of it. It sucked to watch and not be able to help,” she said. “A lot of people told me I wouldn’t be able to play college ball. I told them I’d prove them wrong and I did. I guess it’s kind of a slap in their face that I’m going to play.”

Austin head girls soccer coach Josh Dumas said that Hicks was a fast and under-control player for the Packers. He saw her getting better on the field before she went down with the injury.

“The injury was ill-timed because she had been improving and I wish she’d been able to stay on the field,” Dumas said. “It would’ve been nice to see where she would’ve ended up.”

Hicks has played just about every position on the field and she will look to play either defense, midfielder or forward if she’s fully recovered from her injury by next season. The Bishops are graduating a few seniors and some freshmen played for them this year, so Hicks hopes she has a chance to play right away.

NCWC has two soccer seasons — one in the spring and one in the fall — and it plays in the USA South Athletic Conference. It is associated with the United Methodist Church.

If things go right, Hicks is hoping to play at a bigger school after two years at NCWC.