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From Star Player to Sidelined: Gabriella Torchia’s Story of Perseverance

by Paige Dormann Jun 23, 2023
Gabriella Torchia in action

Nursing graduate Gabriella Torchia ’23 has a history of rising above athletic injuries. 

During her first season of high school soccer, she tore her ACL, which required surgery and several months of rehab. Throughout the healing process, Torchia became fascinated by anatomy and physiology and knew she’d one day pursue a career in health care. 

When it came time to apply for college, DeSales was the easy choice. 

“I immediately felt at home when I stepped on campus for the first time. The nursing program at DeSales speaks for itself when it comes to top-notch facilities, professors, and curriculum. After the last four years, I don't think I could feel more prepared to enter my career as a nurse.”

 Gabriella Torchia ’23

In addition to being drawn to DeSales’ academic reputation, Torchia was eager to join the women’s soccer team. She flourished on the soccer field, making the First Team All-Conference during her first season. Other achievements included earning a spot as a starter throughout her entire undergraduate career and being elected captain during her senior year.

The fall 2021 season began with a bang—the women’s soccer team was undefeated 6-0—but during the seventh game, Torchia sustained a career-ending injury. At first, she and her family were devastated. She didn’t know what to expect now that she had to watch the game from the sidelines, and she worried about her ability to finish her clinical rotations. Thanks to a good attitude, sound advice from her mom, and accommodations by her professors, she quickly adapted to her new reality.

“I embraced my new role on the sideline and led my team in a way I never had the opportunity to before,” said Torchia. “It's really easy to succumb to the negativity associated with life's challenges and allow it to overwhelm you. These emotions need to be expressed in order to heal, but they can't stay around for the long haul. Nothing, especially negativity, is worth your happiness.”

Drawn to a career that would allow her to make strong personal connections while advocating for women, Torchia accepted a position as a labor and delivery nurse post-graduation. 

“Sometimes you can't control the challenges life presents you with, but you can control how you respond to them.”