Merel Van Dongen Suffers Season-Ending Injury

Oct. 1, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama sophomore midfielder Merel Van Dongen will miss the remainder of the 2013 season with a leg injury.

Van Dongen suffered the injury during a training session with the Netherlands Women's National Team. She was called up to the national squad last week in preparation for a 2015 World Cup qualifying match with Albania, which took place on Sept. 25.

"It was certainly a week of mixed emotions for us," Alabama head coach Todd Bramble said. "One minute we are celebrating Merel being in camp with the full national team for the beginning of their World Cup qualifying campaign.  Shortly thereafter, we learn she injured her leg while training with the team."

Van Dongen, who was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year and an all-conference second team performer in 2012, has started six games and leads the Crimson Tide with four goals on the year, including a pair of game-winners.

She has not played for the Crimson Tide since the Sept. 15 contest vs. UAB.

Despite the setback, Bramble is confident the young players are ready to step up and help fill the void.

"While this is a big blow for her personally and for us as a team, the fighting spirit and competitiveness she brought to the field lives on within us," Bramble said. "On top of that, we have a talented squad of players who are more than willing to rise to the challenge of filling her shoes."