By: Taylor Kleeschulte ’18, Staff writer
It’s not the typical path, nor the planned one. But for one LVC women’s soccer player, just getting back on the field is an accomplishment.
Casi Swope, a sophomore midfielder, learned to kick a soccer ball at age 3. She found success early. However, Swope also found herself injured – a lot.
When Swope was a freshman in high school she tore the ACL in her left knee; her recovery lasted nine months. Not even a year later, Swope appeared in four high school games during the fall of her sophomore year before tearing her right ACL.
Recovery for this injury took nearly 12 months, and as a result, Swope missed out on her junior year of soccer. Due to all of the medical risks, she decided to sit out her senior year as well.
During Swope’s recovery, she forced herself to stay positive about the situation because her wish was to play again. There were times when Swope found herself wondering why she had to go through rehab twice, but quickly realized her situation could always be worse.
“Scars show character,” Swope said. “Everything happens for a reason.”
On Sept. 1, Swope took the field for her first collegiate soccer game and first competitive game in nearly three years. Once Swope started college, she realized soccer was a sport she needed to play. Only this time, she will play with two new ACLs.
“It’s my passion,” Swope said. “Once you find something you love, it’s so hard to stop.”
Swope feels her endurance lacks at times, but that doesn’t stop her from having high expectations.
“Three years of not playing definitely showed,” Swope said. “But it just takes time.”
Swope overcame many obstacles and had to push through self doubt but her motivation carried her the entire way.
“My motivation was just to play again,” Swope said. “I’m the type of person that if I get knocked down two times, I am going to stand up the third, and I have just stood up.”
Swope is positive about where she stands in her journey and believes overcoming an obstacle only makes one stronger.
“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about,” Swope said. “ I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Swope’s parents, Mindy and Matt, stood by her side throughout the entire process and are just as excited to see their daughter running around again.
“We are proud of the dedication Casi displayed while recovering and getting herself back on the pitch doing what she loves,” her parents said. “We are thrilled to watch her play again.”
They have that chance this season.