WAVERLY — Recuperating from a torn knee ligament is incredibly difficult to come back from.
However, Waverly’s Anna Jordan handled the process with incredible fortitude — and as a result, came back a better player than when she left it.
As a result of her efforts in successfully being the last line of defense for Waverly, the strong Southern Ohio Conference goalkeeper has found her way onto a collegiate roster at Shawnee State — where the incoming freshman hopes to aid the improvement of the position over the next four seasons under the direction of Natasha Ademakinwa and her staff.
“It means a lot to me to be able to sign with Shawnee,” Jordan said. “I always knew that I wanted to play soccer for as long as possible but I never knew that I could make it this far. Now knowing that I can really means a lot.”
An outstanding women’s soccer talent, Jordan — who started playing travel soccer at the age of 10 — played forward up through her middle school days and believed that she was poised to impact the frontline from that perspective.
However, Southeastern High School had other plans and moved Jordan to the goalkeeping slot prior to her freshman season.
While at Southeastern, Jordan helped lead her squad to a 14-2-2 record as a freshman as the Lady Panthers collected a Division III district semifinal appearance, then made 67 saves for Southeastern the following season.
In her junior year, Jordan transferred southward to nearby Waverly High School, and helped lead the Lady Tigers to their most successful season in school history — as the unit finished 14-4-1 and made a Division II district semifinal appearance.
Jordan, however, was unfortunately not able to finish the season as she suffered a torn ACL that limited her to 10 games.
Despite the setback, Jordan still posted 82 saves, allowed just eight goals, obtained four shutouts, and posted a 1.391 goals-against-average during the 2018 season.
Those numbers, however, were simply a precursor of what was to come.
During her senior year, Jordan proved to be stellar — and actually came back from the injury a more productive player than the season prior.
Not only did Waverly accumulate a near-identical record of 14-4-0 from the previous year, Jordan appeared in and started every game, posting a goals-against-average of 1.11, collecting eight shutouts, and accumulating over 115 saves as the general of the Lady Tiger defense.
Those statistics helped lead Waverly’s unit to its first-ever SOC II championship in program history, and allowed Jordan to obtain first-team all-SOC and Division II Honorable Mention all-Southeast District honors.
For Jordan, the opportunity to continue that success at a place close to home, like Shawnee State will give her, was too much to turn down.
“I mainly chose Shawnee State because it was close to home and that was really important to me,” Jordan said. “I did receive offers from other places close to home, but Coach Ademakinwa was really talked up by my high school coach (Chris Murphy), and I liked that I would receive the same kind of coaching at SSU.”
With her decision out of the way, Jordan is looking forward to soaking up the knowledge that Ademakinwa, former all-MSC (Mid-South Conference) goalkeeper Michaela Garner, and Abdul Khalid have to offer.
“I hope to accomplish as much as I can and learn as much as I can while I’m there,” Jordan said. “Knowing that this will be my last four years playing soccer, I want to try my best and take it all in while I still can.”
For more information on SSU Bears Athletics, visit www.ssubears.com or visit the Twitter and Facebook pages at https://twitter.com/SSUBears and https://www.facebook.com/SSUBears. For more information on how to join the SSU Bear Club, visit https://givetossu.com/bear-club.