Girls soccer player handed assault charge for in-game punch

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A high school girls soccer player in Western New York is facing criminal charges of assault after she punched an opposing player in the face during the second half of a recent game.

O'Neill girls soccer player Maggie Borowicz
O'Neill girls soccer player Maggie Borowicz

According to Times Herald-Record, Highland Falls (N.Y.) O'Neill High star striker Maggie Borowicz, pictured wearing number 23 in maroon above, was arrested by state police after allegedly punching Sullivan (N.Y.) West High's Kaitlyn Taylor during the teams' game on Monday. Sullivan West girls soccer coach Mike Ellmauer told the Herald-Record that Taylor suffered a broken cheekbone from Borowicz's punch, an injury which was confirmed when the defender immediately left the game following the incident and had X-rays taken at a nearby medical center.

"It was a surprise to us when it happened," Ellmauer told the Times Herald-Record. "This has taken the wind out Kaitlyn's sails for a while. Her parents have to take her to a facial specialist, but no date for surgery has been set. Her mouth is all cut up and she might even have a concussion. I think [O'Neill] was upset about what happened, too, because we have never seen anything like this."

While Borowicz was the player who landed a punch, both the striker and Taylor received red cards for the altercation because Taylor ran at and tried to attack Borowicz when she got up off the ground after being punched.

The two players had reportedly been involved in a handful of heated exchanges earlier in the game, with Borowicz receiving an earlier yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct, according to Ellmauer. The striker had also received a red card in another game earlier in the 2011 season.

Still, such a violent action, even in the heat of a tightly contested game, came as a major surprise. Borowicz is known most for her prolific scoring touch, as she showed in a handful of games earlier in the season, not least of all by scoring a hat trick against Liberty (N.Y.) High less than a week earlier, as chronicled by

Understandably, neither O'Neill coach Linda Wetzel, athletic director Debbie Crowe nor Borowicz's mother, Cindy Borowicz, would officially comment on the younger Borowicz's incident. While a future court date will be required -- Borowicz will have to appear in court on Nov. 7 -- all involved seem more than ready to put the altercation behind them.

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