perspectives - december 2018
soccer player invited to join international soccer team after ACL tear
athlete: CICILY PORTER
connect with her on ig: @CICILYPORTER
Cicily Porter is from a small town in Indiana, and has been playing soccer for as long as she can remember. Soccer has always been a huge part of her life - she was a score leader, a team player, and captain of her soccer team.
During her freshman year, Cicily and her teammate set a record, scoring a combined total of an impressive 50 goals in one season.
Competitive by nature, this year, she aimed to beat that record and her hopes were high. She scored 3 goals, and 6 assists, until… she tore her ACL. The three dreadful letters that no athlete ever wants to hear - especially not one who lived and breathed soccer since the age of 5.
She had only played 4 games that season, although she was a starting player in all four of those games. Rarely is she ever on the sidelines… however after the injury, she was forced to sit on the bench every game, watching her fellow teammates, wishing more than anything that she could be back on the field.
"After the games, I would cry because I wanted to play so badly. I don’t normally cry much, but that season, I cried three times”, she admitted.
Initially when she tore her ACL, she was in denial. She told herself that her injury was just a sprain; shrugging it off, and returning to the field within two weeks. She ran two laps, performed a few stretches, and then went back into the scrimmage. “It felt so good to be back. There was a cross coming, and I jumped to head it and ended up scoring… but when I landed, I heard that painful pop and fell to the ground”, she recalled.
It was not long after, that she found herself in the emergency room, replaying the events that had happened just a few hours ago. At that point, she had no idea what she was in for - she just wanted to get back to playing soccer again.
Several hours later, the MRI results were out. The diagnosis: a torn ACL and meniscus.
When asked about her feelings, she told us, “I was so upset. I couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t eat. I’ve never felt like this before”.
Despite the injury, she continued to attend every game and every practice to support her teammates. “There were a few of my senior teammates who were mad at me for getting hurt. That didn’t help”, she mentioned.
Her team ended up losing the first game. She felt terrible and helpless, not being able to do more to help her team.
She found the first week after surgery to be the toughest, mentally. She kept thinking about all of the negative possibilities - all the “what-ifs”. That was until she met her surgeon, Dr. Bernard Bach, who told her that he would treat her like his daughter - that gave her hope and reassurance that she was in good hands. She reminded herself that so many other athletes had been through this same struggle and injury that she was dealing with, and that she would get through it.
One week after surgery, she received an encouraging e-mail from an assistant coach of one of her dream colleges, University of Utah. That same week, she also learned that she had made the International soccer team for FC Revolution, and was invited to the North and South player games!
Today marks one month after surgery, and she already feels that she has never been stronger - mentally, that is. Committed and disciplined, she spends 2-3 hours each day in physical therapy, and is making good progress.
“This injury is a set back setting me up for a comeback”, she continues to remind herself.
"I thought tearing my ACL was the worst thing that could happen to me. But really, it has taught me so much. I would not be the person I am today without this injury. I learned that my love for soccer will never change. I still want to play at the next level. It keeps me motivated, and it gives me more to work for. I have conquered a mountain through my soccer journey. My coach once told me ‘the bumps in the road create the player you decide to be’. At the moment, I’m becoming the player I always dreamed of being”.