The TCS athletic department collectively gasped on the afternoon of February 5th, 2011. One of TCS’ most decorated and accomplished 3-sport female athletes, Nikki Elsaesser, had torn her acl on a seemingly simple play during a basketball game. TCS’ leading soccer goal scorer, starting point guard, and fastest 100m sprinter was lost to injury and no one foresaw a return. A few weeks later, surgery was performed to repair the acl and an intensive, grueling rehab process began. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months as the knee began to strengthen and talks of Nikki’s return to the soccer field began to brew. Cautious optimism became a reality on the 13th of October, and Nikki put her #8 TCS soccer jersey on for the first time in 14 months. Nikki’s return was profilic as she scored 6 goals in her first 2 games back and accumulated 14 goals in the final 9 games of the season.

Nikki finished her career as part of TCS’ only GMC division championship team in girls soccer (’10), played in 4 state tournaments, accumulated 2 state tournament wins, and as the career leader in goals scored for girls soccer at TCS (92). Nikki has committed to attend Messiah College and join their women’s soccer program which has won 2 of the last 3 NCAA Division III national championships. For an article on the Messiah women’s soccer program that Nikki will be joining next year, click here.

Nikki, along with her teammates will be honored at the TCS FAll Athletic Banquet on Thursday night, November 10th. Whether or not Nikki returns to the basketball court or track for TCS will be dictated by her healty. As for her soccer career, Nikki will be remembered not just for her talents, but also for her intense competitive spirit and love for her teammates. Nikki proved how a great TCS Tiger she was by how strong she returned and finished the 2011 soccer season.