The North Carolina men’s soccer team, seconds after winning its first game of the season in overtime Friday night, formed a boisterous mob on Fetzer Field.
Andy Craven could only watch.
Craven, the team’s leading goal scorer in 2012, saw his teammates flood off the bench to join the powder-blue crush. Minutes later, with his left leg stretched out on a medical cart, Craven dismounted and hobbled toward the locker room on crutches.
“It’s pretty painful that I can’t get out there and play, but it’s not in any selfish way,” Craven said by phone Tuesday, nearly a week removed from season-ending foot surgery. “That doesn’t deter me at all from doing the best for the team and being there.”
Craven, who will return in 2014 for his fifth and final year of NCAA eligibility, faces a three-month recovery after doctors reattached a tendon in his left foot Aug. 25. He hurt his foot this spring and recently suffered a fracture, which broke through scar tissue on the outside of his foot.