KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Headaches, feeling nauseous and memory loss. Lady Vols senior midfielder Claudia Dipasupil would wake up not knowing how’d she feel.
“Somedays, I’d be OK, and other days, I would literally just want to sit in a room and cry,” said Dipasupil.
Dipasupil’s soccer career has been derailed by concussions. The fifth-year senior has experienced seven concussions over her soccer career.
“When my last one happened, we kind of just took it day-by-day,” said Dipasupil. “(We) didn’t want to rush anything because our season was coming to an end.”
Little did Dipasupil know, but that would be the last time she touched the field competitively.
“I saw a lot of doctors,” said Dipasupil. “I saw a neurologist in Nashville, and she had advised me not to go back for my best interest and if it was her kid, that she probably wouldn’t let them play again.”
The sport Dipasupil played since she was five had been abruptly taken away from her right before the season started.
“I could’ve graduated last December,” said Dipasupil. “I decided to take my fifth year. I have one class this semester, so it was all for soccer coming back, and I didn’t have that anymore.”
Dipasupil pivoted from playing to passing on her knowledge from the sidelines.
“I’ve taken a step back,” said Dipasupil. “Before every home game, I get the girls a little something. The first one was everyone’s favorite candy and then I did a lip balm for everyone, so that has helped me a lot because I know that it’s impacting them a lot.”
The experience has given Dipasupil the opportunity to substitute her spot in the midfield for a new position.
“You are so much more than just an athlete,” said Dipasupil. “You make such an impact without even realizing, so putting yourself first, there is nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, it’s going to be OK because you are more than just the sport you play.”
While the concussion symptoms still linger, Dipasupil wakes up knowing that she’s more than just a player on the pitch.