"It sounds awful, but if I had broken my two legs and arms or couldn't move, that would probably be easier mentally," he said. "Not being able to see the injury and how severe it is, that's the toughest part about it.

"Physically, I feel like I could go out and play (today) if they let me."

Since he can't play, though, Moore has set his mind on doing the next best thing.

This fall, as his teammates chase a potential record-tying fourth consecutive state championship, Moore's been there on the sideline from Day 1. He's working with the goalies at practice, providing support during games and doing whatever else he can to help this year's team reach its potential.

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"He's been invaluable," Flynn said. "Pat's a leader, he always has been, and the kids look up to him even if he isn't on the field. He's reached a point where he realizes there's still a lot he can do to contribute."

His most significant contributions have undoubtedly been his work in bringing along a goalie group that had a combined zero days of varsity experience before this year.

"In a way, I feel like I owe it to the team because they were expecting me to be back there," said Moore. "Sometimes it's hard seeing everybody playing and realizing this part of my life is over, but I take pride in watching and helping (the goalies) improve every day."

'An inspiration for us all'

Senior Ryan Miller, who has known Moore since elementary school, has assumed the starting duties in net this fall after not playing the previous three years. He says Moore's experienced perspective has been invaluable.

"There's no way I'm where I am now without him helping me, pushing me every day," said Miller, who is part of a Marriotts Ridge defense that through eight games this season has allowed only one goal.

"The first few days I wasn't diving and he was yelling at me, making me work harder. He's tough on me, but it's because he cares. I know how much this means to him."

For Martinelli, a team captain and the only active member of this year's roster that was on varsity for the state championship in 2009, Moore's presence is motivation.

"He's an inspiration for all of us," Martinelli said. "Seeing him over there cheering us on, lifting us up in the huddles … we're lucky to have him here. He's still a big part of this team."

Moore's competitive spirit will probably never go away. Martinelli points out that there are still times this season during practice that they've had to remind him to get out of the goal during drills.

The challenge now is finding ways to channel that energy into other areas, which is something that may take time to figure out. No matter what the future holds for him, though, Moore knows the most important thing is that he continues moving forward.

"The tattoo is kind of my reminder that this is just one incident in my life and, while unfortunate, it doesn't have to define who I am," Moore said. "There were so many worse outcomes to what happened that day. I could have been paralyzed. I could have died.

"The fact that I'm still here tells me there's a purpose for me beyond soccer. I'm only 17 years old, I've got my whole life in front of me."