Less than 15 minutes into 2019’s season opener, Maryland winger William James Herve crashed to the Ludwig Field turf while leading a counterattack. He clutched the back of his left leg in agony, clasping what was later diagnosed as a torn hamstring. It was the third in a series of injuries that hampered the tricky Frenchman’s career.
Though he stepped onto the field twice more as a Terp, that knock was the beginning of the end for Herve, who is leaving the program and retiring from soccer, he announced on Instagram Sunday night.
View this post on Instagram
Herve cited the toll his injuries took on his physical and mental well-being as a factor in his decision to end his soccer career. He also said he plans to move back to his native France to recover.
“We’re really empathetic, but at the same time we respect and support his decision,” winger Paul Bin said. “We’ve been through it with him.”
Herve made a large impact in his lone full season in College Park. Playing largely on the wing, he provided four goals and three assists, starting 17 of a possible 20 games. He earned a Big Ten All-Freshman nod for his performances.
His clever footwork and ability to take on opposing defenders made him a dangerous threat for the Terps. Herve was also crucial in Maryland’s College Cup run in 2018, scoring a dramatic scissor kick to dispatch Duke in the Sweet Sixteen.
Following his freshman year, though, the injuries started to pile up. During the College Cup semifinal, Herve felt a twinge in his left knee — but played through the pain. An MRI revealed that the pain was a slight tear in his meniscus, which required surgery. No sooner had he returned from that before an ankle injury in spring 2019 set him back further. He returned to College Park a rejuvenated figure a few months later, but the hamstring tear pushed back his recovery.
After rehabbing his hamstring throughout Maryland’s injury-ravaged 2019 season, the knee pain returned. Another surgery, this time to repair the meniscus again and damage to knee cartilage, put Herve back on the treatment table. But the COVID-19 pandemic affected his ability to travel between France and the U.S., and also limited opportunities for rehab.
Still, Herve walks away from College Park with a national championship ring, as well as a series of accolades — encapsulating the major role he played in helping the Terps get there.