Concussions ended Rachel Butler’s soccer career now she’s a top runner

"This is not supposed to happen ... I've never seen this before."

Rachel Butler was crying.

The Xavier University women's soccer player was sitting in her coach's office. Her tears were the result of a decision that would drastically change her life.

"I think over the first three years (at Xavier) I had three concussions," said Butler. "I had one last (season) and just the lingering effects ... I wasn't passing my tests as fast as I should. I had side effects that were just not really worth it."

Xavier University women's soccer player Rachel Butler (33) recently decided to end her college soccer career after concussion issues. She's since joined the cross country team and won her first-ever meet on Sept. 3, 2021.

Her coach knew it too. In April, three weeks after Butler's concussion, she had her year-end meeting with Nate Lie.

"That's when I started the conversation with her about the bigger picture," said Lie, Xavier's head soccer coach since 2017. "Is going back on the field the right thing to do? She's very intelligent. She's a great student. She has plans for the future. I was not feeling overly comfortable putting her back on the field. We're talking about her brain, something you can't reverse later on down the road."

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