After recovering from two ACL tears and playing 14 games total in four years, starting goalie and captain Taylor Adams is leading the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team to an early 5-1 record in her graduate year.
Adams entered her freshman year fresh off of a left knee ACL tear and spent the entirety of her first year rehabbing.
Adams’ head coach, Tania Armellino understood how tough it can be for a freshman to be sidelined an entire year but admired how resilient she was, especially after her second tear in the same knee during a preseason game her sophomore year, leaving her out for another season.
“I think it’s beyond most of our understanding what it’s like to get two injuries like that,” Armellino said. “Anyone could understandably have walked away and say ‘this is too much,’ but with Taylor, she kept pushing, working and rebuilding.”
PSUC athletes have walked away from sports they loved in the past after such intensive injuries like an ACL tear said assistant athletic trainer Kenta Miyazaki, who worked with Adams after each tear.
“She was very positive,” Miyazaki said. “Especially when it happened a second time, she got a little depressed, just because she thought ‘Oh, I have to do the same thing all over again.’ She was mentally strong. For us athletic trainers, that’s kind of amazing.”
Adams and Miyazaki met every day for one to one and a half hours for rehab. Her rehab consisted of icing, riding an exercise bike, hamstring workouts, balancing drills, stretching routines and even reworking her side-to-side mechanics.
Adams’ resilience and bright outlook stayed with her even during her trying time.
“Taylor always has a positive attitude. She’s kind, funny and easy-going. I don’t think she ever got out of that mode ever,” Armellino said. “Even sitting on the sidelines injured, she had great body language and positive energy. When things were gloomy, she stayed a teamplayer.”
Seven players, including last year’s starting goalie, Nichole Gibson, graduated, leaving a sizeable hole to fill over the offseason.
With an extra year of eligibility due to sitting out her freshman year, Adams decided to play another season as a graduate student. PSUC’s coaching staff couldn’t have been more excited.
“To say it made my day is an understatement,” Armellino said.
Among the qualities Armellino values in Adams is her leadership.
“Before she was even named captain by her teammates, she helped the team with strength and conditioning during the winter by creating work out plans for the team,” she said. “It’s been wonderful seeing her growth in leading her teammates.”
Adams decided to come back for another year because of the team and its coaching staff.
“My coach has a lot of confidence in me,” she said, “so I wanted to pay that confidence back to her.”
Despite the large turnover from last season, Adams believes this year’s team has gelled quickly and is ready to compete for a SUNYAC championship.
“Everyone’s got the heart,” she said. “We have great game plans, we just have to stick to the same path, and we can go all the way.”
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