After tearing her ACL in the first game of last season, redshirt-junior forward Jackie Krostek began her road to recovery and attempting to find a way back onto the field for the Owls.
“I was just gutted for [Krostek],” coach Matt Gwilliam said. “She was such a hard worker for us and such a pivotal piece to our program last year. To lose her in the first game really hurt us.”
Gwilliam said Krostek entered last season with a very strong preseason. In the first match of the season at home last year against visiting Iona on Aug. 20, 2011, Krostek suffered a tear in her ACL in the 64th minute, ending her sophomore season just as it began.
“It has been an extremely long process for me,” Krostek said. “It was a lot of extensive rehabilitation for seven to eight months.”
For the Owls, it was tough to see one of their top players fall in the first match of the season, but it was something that had to be dealt with, Gwilliam said.
“It was a big loss losing her because she was on the outside and has so much speed and talent,” senior midfielder Jourdan Brill said.
When Krostek went down, it led the team to struggle on the outside part of the field, Brill said.
“She is obviously one of our stronger players,” senior midfielder Kate Yurkovic said. “She has done an amazing job and has worked so hard after the injury.”
“My trainers and doctors have done a great job with me and have helped me to make a great comeback,” Krostek said. “I am really surprised with how my knee has healed.”
Since she went down nearly 13 months ago, Krostek said she is fully recovered from the ACL tear that doomed her last season.
“I don’t feel just 100 percent,” Krostek said. “I am at 120 percent right now and I feel great.”
Whether it is at practice or in matches, Gwilliam said that Krostek has no limitations on the field due to her injury.
“[Krostek] is looking great so far this season,” Gwilliam said. “Our training staff has monitored her and has done a truly great job.”
“She leaves everything she has on the field and that’s what makes her such a great player,” freshman goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff said.
In her come-back season, Krostek has appearing in eight games and starting in five of them. To this point, Krostek has three shots on the season, two of which were on goal.
Jackie does her job everyday,” Kerkhoff said. “She knows her job and executes it everyday.”
“[Jackie] has spent so much time working on getting back on the field and has done everything she can,” Yurkovic said.
With the addition of Krostek into the lineup, she has provided the Owls with a presence in the backfield in addition to her speed, Gwilliam said.
“Jackie’s positive attitude and the way she plays defense makes her unstoppable,” Brill said.
Krostek’s speed and her talent has been the biggest addition to the team this season, and what the team missed last year without her presence, Yurkovic said.
“There was a period of time that I was worried I would never get my speed back,” Krostek said. “The biggest thing I needed to do was get my speed back and I am happy that I got it back.”
With a strong recovery, Krostek was able to come back to the team a little earlier than expected and was able to play in a Temple Spring season match.
Although she suffered a brief setback with her ACL during the summer, Krostek said that it was not serious.
“I was a little nervous in the preseason,” Krostek said. “I feel good now and I am ready to go.”
“She seemed a little worried about the tackling aspect of the game,” Gwilliam said. “Those kind of injuries are both mentally and physically challenging to a player, but she has responded well.”
For Krostek, she says that she is just happy to be back on the field and part of the team again.
“I really love playing with this team and I love playing with these girls,” Krostek said.
John Murrow can be reached at email@example.com or by twitter @johnmurrow12