How Lysianne Proulx recovered from a season-ending injury to become Syracuse’s No. 1 goalie

first_imgLysianne Proulx still wasn’t feeling better two months after fracturing her hip. She felt spasms while sitting down, sometimes with sharp pain. Proulx couldn’t sleep on her sides and had trouble falling asleep because she was constantly thinking about her injury.Two doctors first told Proulx it was a minor fracture. They said time would heal it. But as the months flew by, the pain remained. It wasn’t getting better, and Proulx’s father, Jean-Pierre, said she lost her smile.“When your day-to-day passion, you’re not able to do it anymore, it becomes mental,” Jean-Pierre said. “It becomes to play in your head, more often Lysianne was calling me in Montreal, and more often, we saw a Lysianne that was not my daughter.”Proulx went to a hip specialist in February, who also found nothing on MRIs and X-rays. But that specialist performed surgery anyway, fixing the muscle tears and avulsion on her medial crest.Following a summer of working out with a goalkeeper coach and manual therapist Vincent Tuffier, Proulx has started every game for Syracuse (2-6-2, 0-2-1 Atlantic Coast) this season and asserted herself as one of the top goalies in the ACC. She’s made the most saves (55) of any goalie in the conference while remaining third in save percentage (.833).AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I’m kind of happy that I got the injury because I just feel like I learned so much more, that life is not just all about soccer,” Proulx said. “I feel like I’m just a totally different person than I was before.”Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorIn her first two years at Syracuse pre-injury, Proulx said she went a full month at times without calling her parents.They texted her, “Is it ok, everything’s fine?”“Yes, no problem,” she replied. Proulx had been independent from the time she switched schools in third grade to Collège Français to allow her to play more soccer. At the private school in French-speaking Quebec, she took classes in the mornings and played soccer in the afternoons.Once she was injured and her recovery was stunted, Proulx started calling home more often, usually two or three times a week. She vented her frustration at people telling her that it would only take time. Proulx waited on the sidelines, hoping to recover, but she never felt better. She was convinced it was something more than a fracture.“Not being able to do what I loved the most, or the reason that I came here, I just completely got lost,” Proulx said. “And it really brought me down.”She bonded last year with fellow injured teammates — Kailee Coonan, Molly Nethercott and Ally Wakeman, among others — but she needed something more to fill the gap losing soccer had given her, Proulx said.“I’ve never been away from soccer, and for that long…” Proulx said. “So I just didn’t really know how to approach it or what to do.”Proulx borrowed her mother’s Canon camera in the spring. She’d dabbled with photography two years ago on a trip to New York. Proulx started taking photos again in Chicago when she went for a goalie camp at the start of the spring semester. Then, over spring break, she went to Disneyland with her family and her dad estimates she took 6,000 photos.“This is where I saw my daughter like she was before,” Jean-Pierre said.Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorIn mid-May, Proulx was introduced to Tuffier. In their first meeting, the two sat down to examine Proulx’s medical history to figure out what caused the injury and how they could effectively rehab her hip movement. He ran biomechanical tests, such as having Proulx crawl on all four limbs.Tuffier made it clear from the start she couldn’t compare her current self to her pre-injury self. Mentally, she had new fears. Physically, scar tissue and her muscles were not the same.“It was easy to see that she was ready to follow my lead and I told her, if it was not the case, we won’t work together,” Tuffier said. “But it was nice. It was a great encounter during my summer with Lysianne.”Proulx’s injury occurred on an attempted kick, not a collision or an interaction with another player. The injury didn’t come from luck, making it even tougher to play like her old self, Tuffier said. It’s a simple motion that she’d need to make many times in the future.Lysianne Proulx went down with the hip injury on Oct. 4, 2018, and was ruled out for the season five days later. Max Freund | Staff PhotographerTuffier didn’t try to change Proulx’s technique. In his limited two months with Proulx, he focused on injury prevention, improving her hips to be mobile enough for those movements. His training ideology centers around short, 20-minute workouts preceded by a warm up to keep Proulx loose, similar to new Syracuse head coach Nicky Adams’ practice strategies.Tuffier narrowed a large part of the injury down to travel and the amount of work the Syracuse goalie faced on a 15-loss team. Proulx didn’t have a proper routine to shake out the stiffness from sitting down on flights and bus rides for long periods of time. He gave her stretches to keep her hips free after travel. He also recommended she do dynamic stretching in the middle of the game when play is at the other end.Proulx knew Syracuse would test her at the start of the season on push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, bench press, a ten-meter sprint, high jump and long jump. But she’s pushed through.Proulx still can’t sleep on her sides. Tuffier said she will never be the same goalkeeper she was before. But Proulx’s become SU’s clear-cut No. 1 goalie for the first time in her life.“Just being able to finally kind of let loose,” Proulx said. “It feels very good.” Comments Published on October 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more