Finally. Se-Hanna and her family can breathe. She has signed on the dotted line and her dream to become a Huskie has become a reality.

To be honest, anyone that knows Se-Hanna Mars would never have doubted that she wouldn’t achieve her goal.

Just ask any defender who has played against, you simply can’t stop a player like Se-Hanna.

But this particular success hasn’t just been about physical strength. Her journey back from a potentially career threatening injury has been as much about mental strength and dedication to the cause.

The journey’s isn’t over. Se-Hann’s rehabilitation from her ACL injury won’t be complete until she returns to the field next March – but for now, she is back jogging, jumping and hopping and back with former NCE Soccer team mate Taylor Jenkins.

“It was such a relief to finally sign after everything I’d been through but I never doubted it would happen,” Se-Hanna explained.

“Since my verbal commitment, the coaches have been nothing but supportive about my recovery liking all the videos I post on Twitter.

“Something that had a significant impact on me mentally was a conversation I had with Coach Margaret about my injury.

“She shared that she had confidence in my will to get better and come back to the game and each time I’m at a UCONN game they’re constantly asking how my recovery is and how I’m doing in terms of school and sometimes checking in on me through messaging as well.

“I appreciated the support they continued to show me even after my signing day which only validated my decision to commit and sign was the right one.”

For those who aren’t aware of Se-Hann’s story let’s rewind. Se-Hanna was flying high scoring goals for fun with both club and country.

She was part of NCE Soccer’s  Gothia World Cup winning team in 2019. Her performances in front of goal earning her the MVP award and a call up for her country Guyana.

Fast forward to March 2023 and Se-Hanna was scoring for fun at CONCACAF Women’s Under 20 Qualification campaign, finishing the tournament as leading goalscorer, with three of her eight goals featuring in ‘Inside Caribbean Football’s top 20 goals.

Sadly though, she left the tournament on crutches after an innocuous challenge in the 10th minute of Guyana’s crunch table topping clash with the Dominican Republic resulted in a dread ACL injury.

She added: “Being injured on the field, fear sat in for a brief moment of the unknown. After I heard the news that it was my ACL, I was devastated and if I’m being honest I cried a couple of times.

“Anyone close to me knows I’m not a person who cries often but just the fear of possibly having everything I worked hard for taken away because of my inquiry was crippling.

“Nobody wants to have a torn ACL, because it not only physically drains you but mentally as well.

“I already told myself I would do everything I needed to get back to playing. It definitely helped that my family was SUPER supportive, and continues to pray over my health.

“Additionally, I had an amazing medical team and need I say some of the best PT sessions I’ve ever had. Going to games and sitting on the sidelines was awful. I enjoyed cheering on my team, but it’s not the same compared to being on the field and making a difference.”


So Se-Hanna decided to do something about it and began her prehabilitation work almost immediately to prepare herself for the surgery she successfully endured in June this year.

Since then, she has pursued a focused rehabilitation program designed to get her back on the field as soon as possible.

She added: “Before the op, I was doing all the necessary things to prepare me for the surgery so my recovery would be a little easier. Three to four times a week I was in PT getting my range of motion back, bending my knee, strengthening my hamstrings and my quads.

“I was a bit nervous going into surgery because it was my first ever surgery and I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully the surgery went well. I can remember feeling very cold and shaking profusely, and the pain was already activated.

“My mom would joke now, that I made her scared when I started to roll my eyes wondrously and say things that made no sense, but she later found out it was from the anaesthesia.

“Thankfully my dad had done loads of research on at-home care, so once I got home after surgery, I was very comfortable.

“From that, it was back to work at PT the next day to get a rundown of how things are going to be for the next 6-9 months.

“In the first month or two, I focused on getting my range of motion back and bending my knee which progressed really well based on the work I did pre-surgery.

“The exercises were pretty repetitive and monotonous. After the third month, I started getting more into bending as my range got better and by the time I got back to school I started hitting the weights.

“Now that I’m going into my sixth month, I’m starting to get a bit more excited about the next phase; jumping, hopping, moving side to side, and jogging.”

Se-Hanna’s ultimate goal was to secure her place at the University of Connecticut. She had verbally committed along with former Gothia Cup winning teammate Taylor Jenkins but the injury threatened to rob her of that dream.

Now she has officially signed and the Huskies dream is on just in time for next season and the NCE Soccer family can’t wait to see her back on the field.

She added: “It saddens me that I missed my high school soccer season because I had such great hope of having an amazing season. However, I want to take this time to properly heal mentally and physically, something I didn’t take enough time to do.

“It is my hope that I can return to play before the end of the club season and most definitely be ready for my time at UCONN.

“March is the target to return back to the field, which will give me some prep time for UConn pre-season training. Come March, I’ll be back better than ever!”

NCE Soccer will keep you updated with Se-Hanna’s progress and if you’d like to follow in her footsteps and develop your game it is not too late to join NCE Soccer Programming – with tryouts for the Winter Program still open in some regions.

Tryouts for boys and girls will be held in New York tomorrow and next week, Connecticut next Wednesday and in New Jersey in January. Click on the links below to apply for a place.

And, new for 2023/24, the NCE Foundation has been launched to help providing funding for families who may require financial assistance to attend tryouts and programs.

The NCE Foundation has pledged to provide up to 10% of places at each venue – though those youngsters will have to earn selection via tryouts.

The Tryout Schedule is as follows:

New York Tryout

Outfield Tryout Schedule

  • Ophir Field, Purchase, NY – Fri Dec 1st – FULL
  • Coleman Country Day, Merrick, NY- Sun Dec 3rd – FULL
  • Superdome Sports, Waldwick, NJ – Sun Dec 3rd – FULL
  • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY – Fri Dec 8th – SIGN ME UP
  • Hudson Valley, Milton, NY – Tues Dec 12th – SIGN ME UP
  • Socceroof, Brooklyn, NY – Thurs Dec 14th – SIGN ME UP

Goalkeeping Tryouts

  • Ophir Field, Purchase, NY – Fri Dec 1st – FULL
  • Coleman Country Day, Merrick, NY – Sun Dec 3rd – FULL
  • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY – Fri Dec 8th – SIGN ME UP

Futsal Tryouts

  • Queens College, NY – Mon Dec 4th – FULL

New England Tryouts

Outfield Tryout Schedule

  • InSports, Trumbull, CT – Sun, Dec 3rd – FULL
  • Wide World of Indoor Sports, Montville, CT – Tues Dec 12th – SIGN ME UP
  • Sports World, East Windsor, CT – Weds Dec 13th – SIGN ME UP

Goalkeeper Tryouts

  • Wide World of Indoor Sports, Montville, CT – Tues Dec 12th – SIGN ME UP
  • Sports World, East Windsor, CT – Weds Dec 13th – SIGN ME UP

North Atlantic Tryouts

Outfield Tryouts

  • Total Turf, Pitman, NJ – Sun Dec 3rd – FULL
  • XL Sports World, Cherry Hill, NJ – Fri Dec 8th – FULL
  • The Fields Sports Complex, East Brunswick, NJ – Mon Jan 8th – SIGN ME UP

Goalkeeper Tryouts

  • Total Turf, Pitman, New Jersey – Sun Dec 3rd – FULL

Southern California Tryouts

Outfield Tryouts

  • Dignity Health Park, Carson, CA – Fri Dec 1st – FULL
  • Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA – Sun Dec 3rd – FULL

Goalkeeper Tryouts

  • Dignity Health Park, Carson, CA – Fri Dec 1st – FULL
  • Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA – Sun Dec 3rd – FULL