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GORHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - University of Southern Maine lacrosse player Shelby Turcotte missed out on her first chance to finish her collegiate career due to cancer, but wouldn't let the disease deny her again this year.

After month's of chemotherapy to rid her system of non-hodgkin's lymphoma, Turcotte couldn't wait to get back on the field again the same week of her last chemo session.

"I remember jumping back into women's league the week that I was done with my treatment. I probably came back a little too early," she joked about her lack of endurance.

That last day of chemotherapy was also a relief to her teammates, who watched her health deteriorate over several months.

"It was harder to see her on the sidelines," said her teammate and best friend Kim Vogel, referring to Shelby's inability to play with the team on gamedays.

"We were just ecstatic, celebrating," said Huskies head coach Lauren Reid.

"It was awesome just knowing I'm done," added Turcotte.

With the biggest hurdle of her 22-year old life out of the way, she was then able to focus on doing what she needed to in order to be ready for her final season.

"She really is the poster child for our program and what the culture here is all about," said Reid.

Her commitment to the team where she remained as involved involved as she could throughout her struggles was readily remembered by her teammates, who voted their inspirational leader as a captain.

"It's been a lot of work," Turcotte said.

"You just really check in and realize this kid's been through the ringer and come out even stronger," said Reid. "She's really shown what she's made of and I think she's even surprised herself."

As much as Turcotte enjoys being "back to normal," there is a part of her she says has changed for the better.

"I'm just enjoying what I have when I have it," she said.

The Huskies season and Turcotte's career ended on Friday as the Lewiston alum scored two goals in a 13-9 loss at Keene State in the Little East Conference semi-finals.

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