After growing up in Florida and Massachusetts, Sarah Brown had it in her mind that she would return to the east to play lacrosse in college.

Then she gave Colorado a chance.

"When I visited and I went on the campus, I was like, 'I could really see myself here,'" Brown said.

On Sunday, Brown, a junior standout on the Centaurus girls lacrosse team, gave a verbal commitment to play lacrosse at CU. A student at Boulder High School, she is one of the first recruits in the class of 2014 for CU head coach Ann Elliott.

CU will play its inaugural season in 2014 and Brown is eager to join the team for its second year.

"The coaches are amazing and I just think they're going to have a great program," said Brown, who moved to Boulder three years ago.

Several schools, including Boston College, Massachusetts and Towson, were interested in Brown until recently when a back injury shut her down.

Brown fractured her L5 vertebra over the summer, but didn't realize it until six weeks ago. Initially, she thought she had pulled a muscle. Although her play was impacted, she continued to take the field. Then, when she discovered the fracture and couldn't play in the fall season, several schools backed off of their recruitment of Brown.

CU and Jacksonville University remained interested, though. Brown was impressed enough with CU's fledgling lacrosse program and the school's music department to accept a partial scholarship to play for the Buffs.

"(Elliott) saw my potential -- that's what she said," Brown said.

An all-state and first-team all-conference midfielder, Brown has helped Centaurus reach the state semifinals the past two years. She scored 73 goals and tallied 49 assists as a sophomore in the spring.

Brown said she will get an MRI on Tuesday. She expects to return to running in a couple of weeks and will "definitely" be ready to play for Centaurus in the spring.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.