October 29, 2010

Poll: LM's 2010 Comeback of Year

by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

2010 Awards: Coach (M) | Coach (W) | Upset | Performance (M) | Performance (W) | Player (M) | Player (W) | Game | Comeback

Thank you for voting. This poll has closed. Check out the fans' and LM's picks in the December issue.

Comeback stories can develop in varying circumstances, on or off the field, or often times a mix of both. But whatever the story, a comeback always has that one overriding theme: overcoming adversity. LM's four finalists for Comeback of the Year certainly did that.

Lacrosse Magazine will run its year-end superlatives in the December issue, but do you have a preference? Vote in our fan poll (at right) or leave a comment (below) to join the conversation.

Chris Sanderson, Canada

Doctors told Chris Sanderson he had nine to 12 months to live in December 2008, when he had a malignant brain tumor removed from his frontal lobe. But the former Virginia goalkeeper didn't like the sound of that idea. He endured a battery of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy that he said caused him to feel terrible for about 10 days each month. He took IV drugs that caused his gums to bleed. Finally in May 2010, tests showed no advance of Sanderson's cancer. What did he do to celebrate? Continue toward his goal of playing in the FIL World Championships in July. Physically Sanderson wasn't the same; the cancer weakened his right side in particular and since he took blood thinners, cardio training was a no-no. But the 36-year-old not only played, he made the All-World Team for the third time and was named the tournament's top goalkeeper. Oh, and he blogged about it all, keeping a sense of humor along the way. Read it here: http://chrissanderson2010.blogspot.com/

Shawn Nadelen, USA, Philadelphia (NLL), Chesapeake (MLL)

The veteran defenseman tore his ACL during a Wings game in January. But a swift surgery and intensive rehab put Nadelen in position to return in time for the FIL World Championships in July. He returned less than six months after a knee surgery that keeps many athletes out for a year. And in Manchester, England, he started on defense and guarded nemesis John Grant Jr. Nadelen lost 20 pounds after the surgery, and regained the weight in muscle. "It's a testament to his tenacity," Grant said. "I've been down that road a few times. It's incredibly hard work to come back in so short a time." He helped Team USA win gold, and Nadelen added an MLL championship with the Bayhawks in August. He sprinted across the field to the scorer's table to collect the Steinfeld Cup. The leg looked fine.

Matt Poskay, Boston (MLL)

Another fighter on and off the field, Poskay was diagnosed with testicular cancer during the time of Cannons' training camp in the spring of 2009. He underwent surgery, then regular radiation treatments during the week, but still played for the Cannons on the weekends that season. However, he was understandably weaker than normal. He finished with 15 goals in seven games. In 2010, a year removed from treatment, Poskay switched from midfield to attack and was named MLL MVP. The former Virginia All-American led the league with 45 goals and 52 points in 12 games. "It was just being on the field more," Poskay said, downplaying his MVP award. "My four or five shots turned into eight or nine and they doubled the goals. When you're a high percentage shooter inside that's what happens."

Kim Cudmore, Salisbury

As a sophomore, Cudmore suffered a season-ending lower leg stress fracture midway through 2009 that caused her to miss the Sea Gulls' final nine games and watch from the sideline as Salisbury lost in overtime to Franklin and Marshall in the women's Division III national championship game. Cudmore returned in 2010 to produce a 94-point season (38 goals, 56 assists), which earned her first-team All-American and Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors, and helped lead the Gulls to their first D-III championship. They were national runners-up three of the previous five years. "I would definitely sit out another year to get this title," she said after the title-game win, a 7-6 victory over Hamilton. "It's awesome."

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