Flowers refuses to let injury define soccer career

Iona College women’s soccer midfielder Erika Flowers finished practice on a breezy August morning with teammates around her and coaches yelling her last name. This was something she thought she may never have been able to do again.

“As an athlete anyone can say that getting hurt and having your sport taken away is obviously the worst thing,” Flowers, a graduate student, said. “[It’s] definitely one of the most detrimental things I’ve ever gone through.”

Flowers had come off her junior year season where she played and started in 17 games, while tallying two goals, one assist and five total points. All before she broke her leg.

“Breaking my leg was a very long recovery,” Flowers said. “But at the end of the day I had my teammates and my coach that really have picked me up.”

Flowers said initially the doctors told her she didn’t need surgery, but they changed their minds months later.

“Four months later, they were like ‘plot twist, you’re getting surgery’,” Flowers said. “Having a plate and some screws in your leg definitely, you know, limits your odds of coming back.”

Flowers missed her entire senior season. However, with her teammates’ support and the determination to get back on the field, Flowers decided to play for the Gaels as a graduate student.

“I really just want to prove to people that, you know, through any difficulty you can triumph over it,” Flowers said. “One minor setback is a major comeback.”

She still feels the effects of the surgery from day-to-day, but not being able to play soccer again was never in her mind during the process.

Flowers has played in 49 career games, 45 starts with 28 total points and 11 goals and six assists. She earned All-Conference Second Team honors her sophomore year when she led the team with 18 total points, eight goals and two assists.

Flowers is not settling in her final season and said she still has room to improve.

“I’m happy with everything, but I wouldn’t say I’m complacent, though,” Flowers said. “We still have another season so I definitely want to add to that.”

Her goals for her final season is to bring home a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship and set an example for the underclassman to help build the program for the future.