Senior soccer player deals with second knee blow out
Lauren Thomas | Staff Writer
After six months of recovery and rehab from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the 2017 season opener marked the first game senior Jade Myers felt like herself. Myers finally stepped onto the field during the girls soccer season opener against St. Ursula Academy . Three minutes into the match, Myers went after a pass from a teammate, and before she made contact, an awkward pivot left her knees planted, and she collapsed, grasping her barely recovered knee.
“It was just an awkward step, and no one was even around me,” Myers said. “I felt the pop again. I took another step, and it just gave out. I knew it was (the) ACL, but I had tried to convince myself it wasn’t.”
Following the pop, Myers was in denial about what the injury was. She did not want to believe that she would have to start the recovery process all over again, but in the back of her head she knew it was her ACL.
“I blocked it out because I didn’t want to believe it was happening again,” Myers said. “It had been a year and three months. I made this long recovery, and finally, I’m playing again; I’m fine, I’m good. Then it’s one step forward two steps back. I’m there for four minutes of a game, then, it’s over.”
In the past three years, the Mason girl’s soccer team has had several varsity caliber players tear their ACLs. According to PubMed.gov, girls are eight times more likely to suffer from ACL injuries than boys. Myers is known for her physicality on the field, but ironically her injury was a non-contact sustained tear, something head coach Andy Schur called, “dumb luck.”
“She was killing it,” Schur said. “The first two minutes of the match before she tore it, she got into three really physical, strong challenges where there was no backdown. Once that game started Saturday night, she was all in. Some of it is just dumb luck.”
While the team must compensate for the loss of a key scorer, Coach Schur said it is impossible to recreate the same charisma that Jade brings to the field every time she puts on the green and white.
“In soccer, goal scorers aren’t necessarily taught, they’re born and her ability to be one is something we’ve been lacking the last couple of years,” Schur said. “She brings a strength and a presence to the team. She’s not afraid to throw her body into very tough and demanding positions. She’s an excellent player, and there’s a reason she’s going to go play in college despite two knee surgeries, and she would have certainly helped us this year.”
As a sophomore, Myers played minutes in both Varsity and JV games, creating a name for herself in the program. Last year as she recovered, Myers acted as team manager, running drills and stretches with the players at practices and sitting on the bench at games. She would follow Coach Schur’s half-time talks with her own words of wisdom, asserting her leadership and compassion for the other players. Fellow senior and teammate, McKenna Egan, says Myers’ resilience and spirit has been present for her three years on the team.
“As a team manager, she always brought something different to half-time talk,” Egan said. “Coach Schur would always go over what we did well and what we did bad, and then, she would bring something else that we never even thought of because she understands us, what we’re going through.”
Myers isn’t the first player to experience multiple knee injuries amidst a career in the green and white. Gabby Whitt, a 2012 Mason graduate, tore her ACL her first three years of high school and played well enough her senior year alone to earn herself a college scholarship to Tusculum College in Tennessee where she went on to compete all four years.
After the fall high school season flooded with recovery and rehabilitation, Myers was a force to reckon with during her club soccer spring season. To be expected, her ability on the field raised the eyes of college coaches. In August, she made her verbal commitment to Anderson University in South Carolina and is looking ahead to a collegiate career in the sport she loves.
“The first three or four days I was done,” Myers said. “I wanted to quit soccer and not play in college. I was like, ‘I can’t do this recovery again, it’s such a long painful process I can’t do it again.’ After I was off the pain medicine, I was like ‘No, I love this sport, I want to play in college, I’m fine now.’ I still want to continue to recover and play in college.”