Lowe and behold
by Matthew Ondesko, Managing Editor
Photos courtesy of The Ohio State University
Injuries are part of the game, but it still sucks.
No one wants to have to go through injuries that could derail a season, let a long a career. That’s the down side of playing sports, sometimes. Injuries can happen even if an athlete isn’t really doing anything on the field.
Some athletes can get away from the injury bug. They try and do everything the right way - and still get hurt. It just happens.
The Ohio State University women’s soccer Maddie Lowe knows all too well about injuries and how they can derail a promising career. The Rochester native was a star coming out go high school. During her high school career, Lowe was named to the Section V all Decade team.
She also played two seasons with the Western New York Flash Academy, the premier travel team in Western New York. Her play for the Flash helped her land at Ohio State University.
When she has been on the field, Lowe has been a constant contributor to the Buckeyes. The problem is health has been a factor during her college career. After very successful freshman season where Lowe saw appeared in 20 marches for the Buckeyes, even earning two assist - and playing a season-high 73 minutes against Iowa, Lowe dealt with her first major blow when she tore her knee up and had to miss her entire sophomore season.
“It was my first big injury ever, and I didn’t really know what I was doing,” stated Lowe.
Not being able to play was hard enough - going through the rehang was even harder. The rehab can play tricks on the mind at times. It makes you want to stop and give up. Rehab it not as easy thing.
Lowe was determined to come back better, stronger, and faster after having to sit out a season. She was ready to compete once again for playing time - and show everyone that she was still the same player before her injury.
Lowe came back strong after the layoff and scored her first career goal against Northwestern. Over the past two season, Lowe has appeared in 29 games for the Buckeyes. Her final year was supposed to be her best.
But, again, the injury bug struck. Lowe tore her knee up once again and her season was done. It has been a tough pill to swallow for the Rochester native as she was looking forward to having her best season to date.
“It was pretty defeating obviously when it happened,” state Lowe. “It happened during the first week of preseason, and I kind of knew right away. The difference between the first time and the second time was my mindset going into this one. I know what to expect this time, and I know the work I need to put in.”
In one sense it’s awful that it had to happen again. In the case with Lowe, however, she knows what to expect. She wants to get back on that field. She is determined to not have her college career end sitting on the sidelines.
It’s that type of determination that has gotten her through the first steps of the rehab process. Lowe was in good spirits when she sat down with Sports Union to talk about her latest setback.
“I know what I need to do to get healthy and get back on the field,” stated Lowe. “I know where my body needs to be compared to when I was a sophomore.”My heads good, I’m ready to get back into the grind - and get back to the road to recovery.”
Having the injury happen in the same knee just two years later is a very defeating thing to happen. She joked that she likes to keep her right leg strong so that’s why it happened again in the same knee.
All kidding aside, it’s a tough pill to swallow. Lowe did everything that she needed to do to get back on the pitch after her sophomore season, and to have it happen again in the same knee does get frustrating.
“It sucks, It was strong after my ACL,” stated Lowe. “But, the goal is to get it as strong as my right one.”
Most players who come off a serious injury like the one Lowe had might change their game when they get back to the pitch. That wasn’t the mindset when it came to Lowe.
She wasn’t going to change how she played the game. She was still going to be the same aggressive person that Ohio State recruited. She still wanted to play the same way - and get into the tackles like she always has.
“I felt completely at 100 percent,” stated Lowe. There was no question that I wasn’t going to to do anything to get to it. It felt really strong, and I didn’t have any pain. Honestly, my ACL couldn’t have gone any better. They always tell you that you don’t want to play scared or change the way that you play.”
If injuries and Covid haven’t been enough distractions for Lowe, last season she made the move from midfield to center back. She went from a position she had played her entire life to a brand new positions and she didn’t look out of place at all.
Lowe took the change of positions with the enthusiasm you would expect from her. She loved getting dirty in the midfield, but playing center back was a new challenged. She has embraced those challenges and had excelled in her new position.
“I switched positions to center back, and I think I really fund my position,” stated Lowe. “I was really able to hone into my abilities and skills when it came to that position. I enjoy playing center back and having that ability, instead of playing in the midfield. The biggest thing about playing center back is that you are playing 90 minutes and you aren’t coming off the field. I love being able to lead the team from the back, and seeing everything that is going on. It’s almost like you are playing a chess game when you are playing center back.”
While Lowe isn’t out there playing right now, she is still involved win the game, and with the Buckeyes. Lowe is like a second coach on the sidelines. She is able to read the game so well and can help her teammates make adjustments when they come off the field.
it’s just another layer to Maddie Lowe that makes her journey though Ohio State that much more impressive.
“It is a really good perspective looking from the sidelines,” stated Lowe. “Giving advice to your teammates and trying to coach them is fun, also, being a leader on the team, giving them advice on things that they may not normally see.”