My Signature: Sophie Groff

I’ve broken my foot. I’ve torn my hip flexor. I’ve pulled my hamstring, and I’ve broken my nose twice.

But when I first hurt my knee, I thought it was bad because it was by far the worst pain I ever felt.

I had an MRI the next morning, and on our drive back home, I got a call from (Athletics Trainer) Steph (Stephanie Rosehart) about it definitely being torn.

I’m a very calm and realistic person. I didn’t freak out about it. I cried when Dr. (Jeff) Guy first checked me out, and I cried in the car after I found out, but that was it. After that, I didn’t show any emotion. Thinking negatively about it was something I never did.

My mindset was that I have 10 months to do what I have to do.

I had surgery on November 11. With ACLs, the stronger you are before surgery, the better it is for you in your rehab. So I was actually doing some rehab before I had surgery.

I was with Steph every day for about two hours doing rehab. She was awesome. She kept saying, ‘it’s a process. If you can’t do something today, you’ll be able to do it tomorrow. Our final goal is to get your ready in August.’ Obviously Steph and Alex (Buchman, strength and conditioning coach) know what they’re doing. They’ve seen a few of these. I was very fortunate to have both of them.

After a few months, I started running. By May I could do some juggling. Then I could start hitting some long balls and things like that.

As far as knowing I’m OK or back to where I was before I got hurt, I don’t know if I’m there yet. The more I practice, the quicker I get. There are still a few things I have to work on and struggle with, but I know it will come. There are no physical or mental limitations.

I have three months left of soccer. I’m a senior. I’m all in.

All you have to do is get through that first tackle, and your mindset is fine. I’ve done that.

Going into the exhibition game, I was amped. I was really pumped. I was so ready to play. I’ve been waiting 10 months to get back on that field and put the jersey back on. It was so much fun. I was so happy.

When I scored the goal, my mindset was to just get a good first touch and get it on frame. I was in the right place at the right time. It felt good.

When I left the field, it was very normal. I called my parents back home in Texas. I’m not a very nervous person, but I was a little nervous before the game. When it was over, all the nerves were gone. It felt good to be back.

Then I realized it we had a four hour bus ride back home. Time to take a nap.