The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 24, 2013

Sobczak's road to recovery ends in goal

GAC goalie gets first start since horrific 2012 crash


Wearing a Gustavus hockey jersey adorned with her daughter’s No. 35, Robin Sobczak called Marah’s start on Saturday “a huge milestone.”

“A year ago, we were trying to get her walking,” she said. “This is something I never thought could happen.”

But Marah and her sister, who is a junior a Stillwater High School, recovered faster than doctors expected. By last Thanksgiving, Marah was starting to walk again. In February, she returned to class at Gustavus where she had a 3.858 GPA as physics major in her first three years at the college.

This fall, she approached Carroll about being part of the team again, perhaps as a team manager or as a practice goalie.

Carroll told her she should try out.

“There were no expectations,” he said. “She just wanted to be part of it.”

Before the first preseason captains practice, Marah called home in tears. Robin Sobczak feared that she suffered a major setback with one of her injuries. Turned out, Marah had just forgotten her skates.

“That was the biggest hurdle,” Marah said with a laugh. “But I felt like I could do it. I wanted to be part of the team, and obviously they said yes. I’m extremely lucky.”

Under her goalie gear, Sobczak is full of metal. She has a titanium rod in her left femur and another in her right tibia. She has a plate on her wrist and more on her face.

Sobczak, who appeared in 16 games in her first two seasons with the Gusties, called home Saturday morning to tell her family that she’d be starting. When her name was announced before the game, Robin said, “It was the best Christmas present I could ever have.”

The lone goal Sobczak gave up on Saturday was a power-play goal early in the third period that made it 1-1. But Leah Johnson, Halie Gudmonson and Melissa Doyle opened up the game with goals after that.

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