The fear is always that an ACL injury could be career-ending.
Liz Brady has overcome major ACL surgeries to both her knees. Her sophomore year at Haverhill High it was the left knee and 18 months ago, just prior to her sophomore lacrosse season at RPI, it was her right knee.
With the help of Dr. Martha Murray of Boston Children’s Hospital, who did both surgeries, Brady was back with a bang.
This spring, Brady set the RPI single-season record for assists (the school began keeping the statistic in 2003) with 36 to go with nine goals in 14 games. The former assist mark was 31.
“It was a great comeback. It meant a lot in a lot of different ways,” said Brady, a Bradford resident who is majoring in biomedical engineering.
Misfortune struck for the second time on Jan. 20, 2018.DEVASTATING INJURY
“I was so excited for the season to start and I went down,” she said.
In high school, she was determined to get back for field hockey (6 months later) and she accomplished that goal.
“That was my mentality: I have to get back,” said the 5-foot-4 midfielder. “I was cleared after five months. It was like a miracle. That never happens.”
There were no miracles this time, but with Dr. Murray’s skill and Brady’s will it was nonetheless an impressive comeback.
“This time, I wasn’t as naive,” said Liz, the daughter of Lisa and Doug Brady. “I was super involved with the team: travel, spring break, our games in Colorado. They were all super supportive.”PHARMACEUTICAL INTERN
She said she was about 90 percent this spring and should be 100 percent for her senior year. She’s keeping her options open to come back for a fifth year and fourth year of eligibility.
“I’ll probably decide in the fall,” said Brady, who this summer has interned at Alexion Pharmaceutical in Boston’s Seaport district.
The academics can be grueling as the Troy, New York, school is one of the top science schools in the country.
“It’s definitely a tough school,” said Brady, the Moynihan Lumber Merrimack Valley Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year her senior year at Haverhill. “It’s 5-6 hours of class a day and four hours of studying. But I’ve loved my three years. It’s nice to have lacrosse as a break.”
She also finds time to work in the school’s sports information department.
Former Haverhill High and RPI football player Johnny Ramsdell was a biomedical engineering major her first two years at the school.
“We hung out a bit,” said Brady. “That was a great connection to have.”