Karley Hoskins got to know Nixa’s goalkeepers during her sophomore season that was wiped out due to an ACL tear a year ago. Now fully healthy, the Lady Eagle midfielder/winger is getting to know opposing ‘keepers.
Hoskins’ comeback story continues to get better, as she scored for the third straight game in Nixa’s 10-0 triumph at Branson on Tuesday. It was the second straight 10-0 win for the Lady Eagles (8-5 overall and 4-0 in the COC).
Hoskins is enjoying her vantage point in front of the Lady Eagles’ goal this year much more than she did behind the opposing goal last season.
“I would go to practices while I was out last year and sit behind the goal and talk to the goalies,” she said. “Coming back and playing with the girls this year, they’ve all welcome me back. It’s a lot more fun than sitting on the sidelines.”
The road back for Hoskins following her ACL tear and surgery included as many mental hurdles as physical challenges. She gained her release to resume playing last June in time to play during club season. Naturally, it took a while to regain trust her knee, what with all the stops and cuts players repeat over and over again during a match.
Her love for soccer ultimately spurred her on.
“I was nervous coming back. But I’ve played this sport my whole life and love it. I knew I had to play,” Hoskins said. “I practiced but going into an actual game I was still nervous. I got more comfortable over time.”
“After she was able to play through club season, that got her more confident,” Nixa coach Evan Palmer said. “Now she’s coming on strong.”
Hoskins’ final step in her comeback was ridding herself of a brace at the start of this season.
“Through club season, I wore the brace,” she said. “I started practicing without it and got comfortable with it being just my knee. One game, I decided not to wear the brace and took it easy. It felt good. I tried it again and eventually I was good without it throughout any game.”
A concussion slowed Hoskins a bit, before she enjoyed her breakthrough stretch over Nixa’s last three games.
“When she came back, we weren’t sure where to put her,” Palmer said. “We know we can put her in the midfield and at top. Mainly, we’ve played her up on the wing and she is doing a great job.”
Nixa is rolling, despite dealing with a variety of injuries all season. Lizzy Davis’ night ended early Tuesday due to an injured wrist.
“We’re so deep and talented that if we have an injury, we can have someone else fill in,” Palmer said.
The Lady Eagles’ depth also shows in their scoring column. In addition to Hoskins' goal, Erica Hartley and Lexie Rasmussen scored twice at Branson and Shaw, Katie Kamies, Emily Sutherland, Kelsi Moore and Hannah Lannutti scored once. Hartley also had two assists.
“Who are you going cover with us? We have so many girls who can finish,” Palmer said. “We’re not going to have a 20-goal scorer probably. But we’re going to have a bunch of girls with between 8-12 goals.”