In another stroke of bad luck for Sky Blue FC, it was announced on Thursday that defender Lindsi Cutshall would be sitting out the 2016 season per doctor’s advice. The central defender has suffered a number of injuries over the past few seasons, prompting her decision.
Although no specific reason was given for Cutshall's absence, it is speculated that her absence stems from lingering symptoms from concussions suffered in previous years.
"On the advice of numerous specialists, I have decided to take an extended break from the game I love," Cutshall said in a statement released by the team. "I will miss the game, my teammates and my fans tremendously. I give the greatest thanks to the Sky Blue FC staff and ownership for their support in all that I do as a player."
Cutshall was an integral part of the New Jersey-based club team’s defense, alternating between center back and outside back as the team needed. She started 18 times in 18 appearances for the team in 2015. Her absence from the starting lineup came on the heels of a concussion suffered in a July 19 match-up against the Western New York Flash.
In her three seasons with Sky Blue, Cutshall has totaled 40 appearances, 29 starts and three goals off of just five shot attempts.
The Park City, Utah-native was picked fourth overall by Sky Blue in the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League college draft after a stellar 2012 season at Brigham Young University during which she was a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and an NSCAA All-America First Team player.
"It is disappointing to lose a player of Lindsi’s caliber for the season," Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach, said. "She will definitely be missed by the team, both on and off the field. She became a very important piece of what we are trying to build, and we wish her the best in her extended period away from the game."
Despite the blow that Cutshall’s absence will create on Sky Blue’s back line, Holly remains optimistic about the options to fill her spot in the lineup.
"We will need to have some players step up in Lindsi’s absence," Holly said. "However, we do have a lot of defensive depth and experience on our roster, and we are confident that we will be able to make a smooth transition with our new partnership along the back line.
Cutshall makes the third member of the 2015 Sky Blue roster to miss the upcoming season, although both she and the team staff look forward to her return to the team in future seasons.
"I look forward to getting back on the field to compete in the game I so love as soon as I can. Good luck to my teammates and Sky Blue FC," Cutshall said.