Lizzie Colson had 300 goals during her high school lacrosse career at Manchester Valley en route to helping the Mavericks win two state championships and earning Times Player of the Year honors three times.
Colson took her game to University of Maryland, made a transition to defense, and has been part of two of the Terps’ 15 national championships (2017 and 2019).
She suffered a knee injury in 2020 and missed Maryland’s six games before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the season early. Colson is back this spring as a redshirt senior, and entered the weekend leading the nation in caused turnovers per game (3 per game, 18 this season).
The Times recent caught up with Colson to talk about her lacrosse career, what’s next as she plans to leave college, and how she got started in the podcast world.
Q: What has the last year been like for you as a women’s lacrosse player at Maryland?
A: The last year for me in terms of lacrosse has looked ... unconventional, to say the least. I have lost a season once due to an ACL, then lost a season again due to a global pandemic. After months and months of rehab and quarantine, we were given the opportunity to play again. This year has been about helping guide/ shape a young Maryland team. This last year has been extremely trying but also one of the biggest seasons of growth. Individually, I have learned SO MUCH about myself through my recovery. As a team, we have grown and continue to grow both on and off the field. We are learning how to navigate life through the masks, and the social distance rules. We are learning how to win and lose together. As a captain, I am helping the younger girls understand what it means to be a part of the Maryland Women’s Lacrosse program even though much of our off field activity is limited to small groups.
Q: Can you tell us about your road back from injury to get healthy again?
A: My recovery, like any injury recovery, did not come without its ups and downs. Thankfully, I was blessed with the best support staff including friends, family, trainers, psychologists, etc., who all helped get me back to my highest level of play. The rehab process consists of countless hours in physical therapy, setting goals, crushing goals and many, many tears along the way. I was on crutches for eight weeks during the summer and let me just say, “crutching” through the sand in a locked out brace is less than ideal. When I got back to school, I was still in the earliest stages of my recovery, focusing mostly on quad control and getting my knee bent to 90 degrees. It took me six months until I was able to run again and that was one of the hardest parts. I missed physical activity so much and even though PT was extremely hard both physically and mentally, it was not the type of activity I was used to. This lack of activity and separation from my team missing practice for PT and doctor’s appointments, led to a downward spiral and I was hurting. Reluctantly, I began to meet with Dr. Michelle Garvin, our sports psychologist at Maryland. We met a few times a week for multiple weeks until I began to feel better. Agreeing to meet with Dr. Garvin was a turning point in my recovery and growth. I learned an enormous amount about myself and who I wanted to be as a player, leader, friend and teammate. When COVID hit in March, I was at a point in my recovery where I could pretty much do physical therapy on my own. I was running and in the early stages of cutting so I was starting to feel like an athlete again. Quarantine was a blessing in disguise for me because I had nothing to do but train and get stronger at home. By the time I got back to school and playing I was stronger, fitter and faster than I was prior to my injury.
Q: Can you describe the feeling of being back on the field after more than 600 days away?
A: That feeling of playing again was scary, liberating, exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. I was nervous for a second because I began to put pressure on myself to perform after such a long time on the sideline. Quickly, I let go of that pressure, hesitation and fear and decided I was just going to have fun and enjoy every second. Knowing this was my last year suiting up in a Maryland uniform and seeing how quickly last season was taken from us, that mindset shift was not difficult to make. Since my return, I have made it a priority to enjoy the little things, celebrate all my teammates successes and like always, keep lacrosse fun.
Q: How motivated is this year’s team after struggling in 2020 before the pandemic forced a shutdown?
A: Maryland recruits the best of the best. Every year, the girls are extremely motivated to compete and play at the highest level of lacrosse. Despite having pretty much a whole new line up and no fall ball to learn our new teammates tendencies, this team has continued to show growth and improvement throughout the shortened season last year into this crazy COVID season. I am so proud of every single one of my teammates and the hard work they put in every single day to make sure Maryland continues to compete at the highest level.
Q: How did you get involved in starting your own podcast, The Line Up?
A: I was in quarantine and bored (like anyone can understand) and I read a DM from a young lacrosse player asking about my injury recovery process, then another about my workout routine. A combination of those DMs and a little too much downtime, helped me realize that I have a platform and I should be using it to help others. I shared my story, and I encouraged other people to share theirs. Anyone who knows me knows that I love talking; my coaches would probably argue a little too much sometimes. I love getting to know people and helping people in any way that I can. The Line Up gave me a way to connect with people all over the world (nine countries to be exact) and hopefully inspire someone or help someone with whatever they are going through to know they are not alone.
Q: Do you have plans yet for your post-college lacrosse career?
A: I am currently applying for graduate schools for clinical mental health and clinical psychology. I would LOVE to coach at the college level after graduation because I want to give back to the sport and the community that has given me so much. When thinking about what I wanted to do after school in terms of career, I knew I was not fit for 9-to-5 desk job because I have too much energy and I wanted something that would look a little different every day, I knew I had to work with people, helping people more specifically, and I wanted to stay involved in sports. The end goal is to become a sports psychologist. I want to be a helper and an outlet for anyone going through hardships. I want athletes to know it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, but actually a sign of strength.