“This is a good sign, ” said Sarah Woo ‘17 sarcastically to her Roosevelt lacrosse team as they approached the choppy grass field before the game. Ironically enough later in the game Woo, known too many as SWOO, was cutting with the ball and ended up writhing in pain on the ground. She had heard a pop and everyone around her knew that something was wrong. Her mother, Karen Woo, knew immediately it was “something big. She just went down; just collapsed,” Karen Woo recalled.
After being carried off the field, Woo found out that she had torn her ACL and it was going to require an extensive surgery. As was expected, Woo was incredibly nervous and recalled the post-surgery with apprehensiveness. “When I woke up it was just confusing,” Sarah said. “I was in pain 19 out of 24 hours. I had to wake up twice in the middle of the night for pain meds. Otherwise I would wake up and be in pain. I never really slept through the night for a month.”
Woo knew that a long road to recovery lay ahead. She went through countless hours of physical therapy and doctors’ appointments and managed to stay positive through the entire process.
One of Woo’s most defining characteristics during the recovery process was resilience. “From the get go [the injury] was pretty devastating for her and it changed a lot of things,” said her mother Karen. Despite her major setback, Woo’s resilience led to a recruitment offer from Pitzer, an elite school with a division three lacrosse team.
Although Woo was nervous at first about how her injury would affect the recruitment process, Coach Bowen reassured her that “ACL’s are really prevalent in the lacrosse community and so a lot of coaches are really understanding. Also, I had been on the other side as a coach when people had torn their ACL’s and that that didn’t necessarily stop the recruiting process.”
Though the injury was cause for lots of uncertainties, as Woo’s mother mentioned, neither Woo nor her mother ever doubted that if Sarah wanted to play college lacrosse, she would be able to. “I never questioned that if she wanted to, she could. I think it was just a matter of figuring out what the path of getting there would be,” said Woo’s mother.
After a long and strenuous recovery process, Woo says that she hopes, “to be back playing lacrosse this senior season,” for her fourth and last year as a captain on the Roosevelt varsity lacrosse team.