OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)–She’s the definition of unstoppable.

Wheeling Park’s Lauren Gongola spent the last two seasons on the sidelines due to a knee injury.

She tore her ACL not once but twice.

Not even that could keep her from playing the sport she loves.

Champions just never quit, and she never quit. She faced adversity and she transformed as an athlete.

Carrie Hanna, Wheeling Park Girls Soccer Head Coach

Two injuries and three surgeries later, this Wheeling Park athlete is finally back on the pitch. 

Lauren started playing soccer when she was only five years old and now leads the Patriots in her Senior season as captain.  

However, the last two years have been anything but a walk in the park.

Freshman year I did start on JV and had some time on varsity but then I went into my travel season and actually tore my ACL…I was like I don’t know what just happened, but I could not walk. I was just sitting… really nervous… then re-tore my ACL two weeks back into my junior year.

Lauren Gongola, Senior

Lauren says she didn’t want to spend ANOTHER season on the sidelines and says she almost threw in the towel. 

Head Coach Carrie Hanna says Lauren’s always been a team player and impressed her right from the start.  

Her freshman year you could see just a lot of potential in Lauren. She’s just a competitor. She has a beautiful left foot, which soccer coaches always love that…she now sees herself as a center back which is a very important leadership position. She was a naturally named captain.

Carrie Hanna, Wheeling Park Girls Soccer Head Coach

Lauren is an outstanding student as well.

She has a 4.5 GPS. Is in the National Honors Society and in Key Club. 

She plans to study nursing once she graduates but not until she gets in one last season.  

Lauren and the rest of the Park girls are crushing it with a winning record to date.  

Lauren says her best advice is never give up.