My name is Kaylee Pohlmeyer, and I am No. 19 for the Wildcats. This fall will be my senior season at Northwestern, something I have been looking forward to for a long time! But it's going to be much different than I expected, for I am playing a role on the team that still hasn't sunk in quite yet. Name a position, and I have most likely played it: defense as a freshman, midfield as a sophomore, and a mix of midfield and forward as a junior. But as it turns out, I have found myself in a new position for my senior season, and that is on the sidelines.
During a summer game, I made a cut in the circle where I ended up on the turf, tearing my ACL and meniscus. For those of you who don't know, tearing your ACL requires surgery and about six months of rehab before you can be cleared to play again.
So after the initial injury, I flew home a few days later, saying goodbye to my summer internship, training/playing at Lakeside and the beautiful weather of Chicago. Luckily for me, I had the support of my family, coaches, trainers and teammates, which has made the grueling process of recovery so much easier. My team sent me a dozen red roses and amazing chocolate covered strawberries that put a smile on my face and some food in my stomach after the surgery. While my teammates were working hard on their fitness and skills all summer, Kristin Wirtz and I were working hard on learning how to bend our knees again, as she also tore her ACL at the end of spring. Wirtz is an extremely positive person, so it will be nice to have someone to share the struggles of recovering from a season-ending injury -- and also to have company on the bench!
On Aug. 10, the night before our first practice came along, instead of worrying about my time on the mile, I had to mentally prepare for the first of many practices that I cannot participate in. This season is definitely going to be tough for me, but I am excited as ever to watch this new group of girls develop and grow together into an unstoppable unit, and report back to you on their progress. With freshman hailing from down the road in Lake Forest, Ill., and from as far as London and Belgium, they already have added so much to the team. Stay tuned for updates on our preseason, consisting of pool recovery workouts, yoga after practice, and a team dinner cooked by (head coach) Tracey Fuchs herself. Oh yeah, and also a little bit of field hockey.