Severna Park senior midfielder Gabby Moreno always strives to turn a negative into a positive.
Last summer, she had the chance to do just that when she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee and wasn't able to play soccer for the first time in 10 years.
During her recovery, Moreno stayed close to the sport she loves, still attending her club games and learning from the sidelines. Fully healthy, she has returned to the field for the Falcons with a new appreciation and understanding.
An All-Metro selection as a sophomore before her lost junior season, Moreno's poised play and leadership will go a long way for Severna Park, which views this as a promising season.
Maintaing a 4.3 grade-point average, Moreno is already set to play soccer at Rutgers and is considering majoring in sports medicine. Along with playing soccer, Moreno is a National Honor Society student and a member of the Key Club.
What is it like now being a senior in high school?
It's a little scary, but I think it's really cool, too. I'm getting out two periods earlier, so I got a job and, outside of school, I'm doing more adult things and taking on more responsibilities. It's fun.
How did you feel first getting back on the field after the injury?
First time getting back on the field I was so nervous that I didn't want to get hurt again. But my coaches eased me back into it, and it was fine. There was a point where I had to get the first tackle, make the first hard cut, and then I got past it all and now I don't even think about it anymore.
Having played soccer for much of your life, what was it like not playing when you were recovering?
When it happened, it was really, really depressing at first and I was really up upset about it. But I had tons of support from my family and friends. It didn't seem like nine months, because I was always around my team and the game, and it really gave me a new appreciation of it.
What did you learn about soccer during that time just watching?
When I went with my club team to tournaments, my coaches would put me in like a coaching position so I could learn the game in another way. So it kind of helped me see the game in a different way. Now as a player, I feel like I see more of the field and can see the runs the players are making. It helped me a lot and was kind of a blessing in disguise.
What do you enjoy most about playing center midfield?
I like the fact that I can make those through passes, and I also love attacking the ball. I like to put moves on people, and it's the best position to do all that. I can dribble by somebody and make a pass, or I can get up the field and score goals.
What's the best advice you've received?
Definitely the basics: Never give up and believe in yourself. I think my dad has really instilled in me to always believe in myself, and that it's never over — there's always a way to keep pushing through something. So even when I'm feeling down, I try to find the positive that can be found. I just think if you believe in yourself you can achieve anything.
What do you enjoy most about soccer?
I've grown up playing soccer my entire life and have been able to go to different countries and a lot of different states, and I think the connetions you make with so many new people is really the best. I couldn't ask for better friends than I have. Going up to Rutgers, part of why I chose going there is because it's such a family environment and everybody was so nice and awesome. I just like the whole family aspect of soccer.
What was the highlight of the summer?
I think my favorite experience was going to Rutgers camp again. I met the girls that were being recruited in my class that were committed. From the very first night, we were up until midnight talking and we couldn't stop getting to know each other — that was really fun.