After losing her left leg in a horrific moped accident, college student Noelle Lambert returned to her beloved lacrosse field and scored a goal in her first game back.
It was hard to tell who was more excited, Lambert or her University of Massachusetts-Lowell teammates, who swarmed the junior from Londonderry, N.H., and wrapped their arms around her.
"That was a special moment," Lambert told WHDH-TV. "I broke down in tears. So really special."
And if the goal wasn't sweet enough, her River Hawks team beat Hartford 16-1 at their weekend match in Lowell.
Lambert had been working for more than a year and a half to get back in the game. Fitted with a prosthetic leg, she spent grueling hours perfecting running. She spent months re-learning how to play her favorite sport, egged on by her coaches.
She had just completed her freshman year and was on summer break in July 2016, when the 19-year-old and a friend rented a moped on her first trip to Martha's Vineyard. She had never driven a motorized scooter before, and lost control of the vehicle, which veered into the path of an oncoming dump truck.
"I remember hitting it, and then being on the ground. I looked down at my leg and it was gone," she told Teen Vogue in October. "Obviously, lacrosse was one of the first things I thought of. That I was never going to be able to play again."
When she first tried to return to lacrosse, "I could walk maybe a quarter mile and I'd be out of breath and dying," she said. Her trainers told her, "It's just going to click. You just have to do it."
So she kept going, pushing herself to prove that she would one day play lacrosse again.
In a 48-hour span, Stony Brook's Courtney Murphy became the NCAA's all-time goals leader, UMBC shocked No. 1 Albany and amputee Noelle Lambert scored a goal in her first game back for UMass-Lowell.@AmericaEast FTW pic.twitter.com/o6u6wdMDyG— Matt DaSilva (@mdasilva15) April 8, 2018
That day came on Saturday, when her coach put her in the game.
And then she scored. She, along with her coaches and teammates, and so did fans on the sidelines.
"That was the best goal ever," she told the Lowell Sun.
This week, she was back at practice.
"I don't look at this as a handicap, not anymore," she told the paper. "I don't think about it twice anymore. I'm in better shape now than when I had two legs."