Bay FC’s Melissa Lowder on Her Road to Recovery  

Nobody hopes to get injured when playing soccer, especially when they’re a few days away from starting a new season with a new team.  

San Diego, Calif. native Melissa Lowder joined Bay FC’s inaugural season on January 25, 2024.  

A veteran National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) goalkeeper, Lowder hoped she would never suffer a major injury. “I think prior to being injured, I’ve never had a major injury,” Lowder said. “So when I thought about a major injury, it was very intimidating.” 

On March 11, Bay FC announced Lowder would be missing the remainder of the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her knee.  

“It seemed like this massive mountain to climb, but once I heard the news, I actually felt pretty confident that I was going to be okay,” Lowder said.   

The goalkeeper shared how she processed the news about her injury and how she’s navigating to recover physically and mentally.  

“Some people take it really hard right away, some people have to process it,” said Lowder. “That was me. I was okay right away and then after a few weeks it hit me harder so I think just knowing that people were there consistently, checking in. That was the biggest help for me.” 

As a player-driven club, Bay FC has focused on the player’s well-being on and off the field. One resource the players can use is having a mental health professional onsite. Mental Performance Specialist Agustina De Giovanni is available for the players when needed.  

“Agustina is always around and knowing that she’s here with the team. I think that encourages people to come seek help instead of having someone kind of off campus or out-of-market that you have to go seek out,” said Lowder. “Someone who’s like part of the immediate staff, that makes a huge difference.”  

Lowder continues to attend training, matches, and stays as active as possible around her Bay FC family. She knows the surgery is still recent and shared how she feels really good at this moment.  

“I feel really, really good. It’s just perspective. It’s all perspective. I know I’m only two months out so it’s like okay maybe month six or seven I’m going to be like screw this, I’m done,” said Lowder. “It’s like you can’t think about month six or seven you just [..] like what can I do today and it’s changing every week. I get to do more and more every week.”