Jaquith contributes at midfield after missing sophomore year with torn ACL

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ It was the first game of the Syracuse women’s lacrosse fall ball season, and Gabby Jaquith was coming off a stellar freshman campaign. She was poised to be one of the offense’s top weapons, and it was her time to prove it.But then her knee turned awkwardly while running on the field and she felt a sharp pain. In an instant, a season to help contend for a national championship became a season of rehabilitation.“Having to sit through all of last season watching everyone play was definitely hard for me, mentally and physically,” Jaquith said. “But I feel as if it kind of made me stronger.” After being forced to sit out her entire sophomore year with a torn ACL, Jaquith hasn’t missed a beat in her junior year for Syracuse (15-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast). She’s ranked seventh in points — with 13 goals and nine assists — on the third-best scoring team in the nation. The midfielder is ranked first out of the starters with a .619 shooting percentage, and has scored in three of the past four games. The adjustment process was a difficult one, filled with mistakes and uncertainty. But now she’s a valuable piece on the country’s top-ranked team, and has started 14 of SU’s 16 games. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think the upside is she’s watched a lot of lacrosse and her lacrosse IQ has gone up,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “She’s the type of player that’s always made big plays in big games. I think she’s getting there.” To get back to full strength, Jaquith has done work on the side this season, which included passing, shooting and playing wall ball just to make sure that her knee is 100 percent. When she was rehabbing, though, her work meant squats and lunges. Then, there was lifting, running and agility exercises. Jaquith had been robbed of her ability to play, but was doing everything possible to make a quick return. “It’s tough coming back from an ACL injury and having it repaired surgically, going through all the rehab and all the time it takes to try and get back to where you were physically,” Gait said. “I think she continues to do that.” When she first got back into practicing, things didn’t go nearly as smoothly as they had in the past. She was nervous, and had trouble adjusting back into what had been natural for her just a year before. So she would seek out the advice of Alyssa Murray, SU’s points leader in 2013. Murray had gone through an ACL tear in her senior year of high school, and Jaquith was a sponge when it came to her advice. “She comes up to me and is always talking herself through the plays to make sure she’s got it straight,” Murray said. “She knows what works for her. She does whatever it takes to make sure she’s mentally prepared.” Senior Bridget Daley, who just returned from an injury on Saturday that sidelined her for nearly the entire 2014 season, said that Jaquith was someone that always stuck by her to make sure she was OK. She said that the two shared a bond having had to miss significant time and had other topics of conversation, besides their injuries. “She would just be normal,” Daley said. “Because with a lot of people, (the injury) is all they want to talk about. “That’s probably the most appreciated thing.” As the ACC tournament quickly approaches on Thursday, Jaquith will have the opportunity to make up for what many would call lost time. But for Jaquith, it was an experience that made her stronger. “I still think there’s room for me to grow, definitely,” Jaquith said. “But right now I think things are going really well and I’m really excited for the postseason.” Comments Published on April 23, 2014 at 1:30 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3last_img