Injuries hurt women’s soccer team

The GW women’s soccer team this season is facing a problem that often haunts collegiate athletic programs.

A large number of injuries have created problems early in the season for the Colonial women, who have limped to a 1-6 start.

“It’s been quite a struggle, and it is frustrating,” junior Katy McQuillin said. “But there is nothing we can do. The injuries make it more of a challenge.”

GW head coach Michele Rodriguez-Smith said that several of her players have suffered injuries – from the minor to the season-ending. Junior defender Katy Roman will be out for the rest of the season. She tore her anterior cruciate ligament in a loss at Navy Sept. 14, Rodriguez-Smith said. She joins senior midfielder Kristin Robertson, who broke her leg before the season began, on the sideline.

Junior Malynda Nichol, who is coming off an ACL injury last season, suffered a ruptured calf muscle. She was able to play a few minutes in the games last weekend at the James Madison University Classic, but she won’t be fully healed for a few weeks, Rodriguez-Smith said.

The team also is plagued by minor injuries. Freshman Tiffany Williams is playing with a back injury, while freshman Erin Coppedge and sophomore Melissa Schreibstein also have nagging injuries that they are playing through, Rodriguez-Smith said.

“Obviously all the injuries have been pretty tough for the team,” Rodriguez-Smith said. “We basically played the first six matches with very limited substitutions. The starting 11 played pretty much all 90 minutes.”

“We don’t have many substitutes,” senior Jane Lea said. “It is always nice to have depth on the bench.”

Depth is not a luxury the Colonial women have had so far this season, but Lea said the strong play of freshmen has helped fill the gap created by injuries.

“The freshmen are stepping up,” Lea said. “The injuries are demanding more out of the team. We are dealing well, but you never know what to expect.”

-Dustin Gouker contributed to this report.

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