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Recovered from injury, Patterson Mill’s ‘Izzy’ Toni relishing chance to be back on soccer field

Patterson Mill's Isabelle Toni gets through the Aberdeen defense and sets her sights on the goal during the game at Aberdeen Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.
Patterson Mill's Isabelle Toni gets through the Aberdeen defense and sets her sights on the goal during the game at Aberdeen Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

Patterson Mill senior Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Toni is a captain on the Huskies girls soccer team.

Toni is fortunate to be on the field playing after a history of anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

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Toni tore an ACL during the final regular season game of her sophomore season in 2019. She then tore the same ACL, and a meniscus, prior to her junior year and she had to endure a second surgery and recovery.

Toni, who has four goals and two assists so far this fall for a Patterson Mill team that is 4-0, answered a few questions earlier this week about her recovery, her interests off the field and future plans.

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Patterson Mill senior Isabelle Toni overcame two ACL tears to be on the field in 2021.
Patterson Mill senior Isabelle Toni overcame two ACL tears to be on the field in 2021.

Q: When you went down with the injury as a sophomore, what went through your mind?

A: In my mind, I was freaking out. I was apparently screaming, make it stop. I got carried off the field and ... in my head I was like, I should have not made that play, I could have let my teammate have that one. After I went down, I didn’t know what was going on, I was hoping it was just a minor sprain on the ACL or something minor that I could play for playoffs, but I tried to walk off the field and just went back down. It was very, very devastating.

How hard was the treatment and the therapy to get yourself back to playing shape that first time?

For me, it was really, really hard. Soccer is my passion, my life and not being able to step on a field really brought me down a lot. Yes, I had to do physical therapy and all of that, but just sitting on the sidelines, watching soccer games was a really hard time for me. During rehab, trying to get back into it, I slowly started to get my strength back and sooner or later, I finally got back on the field. But it was completely devastating and hard for me because I felt like I lost a part of me.

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What was the motivation to get back on the field?

So, right before my junior year I got cleared in July. I started playing with my club and the first game back, I retore my ACL and tore my meniscus as well. So, I went through two surgeries. After that, I had to go through a longer process and I finally got cleared again right before tryouts of my senior year. I waited about three months to start playing again, just to be careful, to be safe. Honestly, going through the process in my mind of getting back, I’ve just focused on a main goal of playing like I used to, playing like who I was before and even better. I always have a goal of trying to play college soccer or trying to go beyond who I used to be as a soccer player and that’s where I am today.

Patterson Mill's Isabelle Toni sends the ball up the field with Aberdeen's Mariah Macko looking on during a game at Aberdeen this season.
Patterson Mill's Isabelle Toni sends the ball up the field with Aberdeen's Mariah Macko looking on during a game at Aberdeen this season. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

What are your other interests away from soccer?

I usually like to cook, paint, do art. I usually spend my time either with family or friends. Even if I’m not playing soccer, I’m watching it on TV. I just try to do anything to keep me busy.

Do you have any superstitions when it comes to playing soccer?

Yes, so, for me I used to wear Tiempo’s, which is a cleat brand and I injured myself both times with the same brand of cleats. So now, I’m wearing my Nike cleats and I cannot wear any other cleats or brands other than that ever since my injury. That’s a huge thing for me.

What plans to do you have for the future?

I am planning on playing soccer in college, I have not decided yet, but my top school is Penn State. I am planning on majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Business.

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