What’s at Stake; the Story of Brittni Souder and the Danger of Girls Soccer

Outside the Lines host Clinton Yates interviews PINK Concussions Board Member and former collegiate soccer player, Brittni Souder. They discuss soccer and the need for concussion awareness.

By Julian Szieff

While concussion in sports discussions often focus on football, in high school by far the biggest culprit is girl’s soccer. While the explanation for this gender gap in concussion risk is debated (some claim a later neck muscle development in girls), the difference of 12.1% more concussions in girls than boys is shocking (34.5% to 22.4%). While there are many personal stories of the danger of concussions, a recent story from The Washington Post, about a college player, speaks to the incredible danger of ignoring symptoms and history of concussion.

Brittni Souder was a high school and college soccer player who earned a college soccer scholarship at Hood College in Maryland. The pressure of this scholarship and her love of the game made it difficult to quit despite suffering her 4th and 5th concussion in college. After taking a term off for concussion symptoms including severe migraines, facial numbness, and extreme pain for which she had two neck surgeries, she returned to college for a senior season.

Sadly, her soccer career ended when she was involved in a collision from which she couldn’t recover. The impact forever altered her life; she now struggles to remember even the directions to her house, she has no appetite and has frequent migraines. Incredibly despite these conditions, she has returned to soccer to coach and to promote concussion awareness as a Board Member for PINK Concussions. For her, the most important thing is making sure that the sport she loves is safe for the girls who love it as much as she does.