Girls Soccer Joins Stanford Study



   Just around the corner from Pinewood School happens to be one of the most well known universities and medical schools around: Stanford University’s Medical School. The girls soccer team at Pinewood has been lucky enough to take part in a study to prevent women soccer players from tearing their anterior cruciate ligaments, one of the four main ligaments in the knee.

   The whole point of the study is to prevent girls in particular from tearing their ACL during soccer, so Stanford University has come up with a program to test a player’s strength,
balance and flexibility at the beginning of the season. The testing happens in 15 sessions of 20 minute workouts, which happen twice a week.
   After all the of the sessions are done, they then proceed to test the player for improvement in their flexibility, balance, and strength and whether or not they helped with preventing an ACL tear.

   The study is run with 16 to 18 year-olds who participate in sets of given drills. After competing, it is up to the player to go into the Stanford lab and complete the testing.

   “We had to first go into Stanford and they had us do a series of tests, mostly running where they would put sensors on us and we would have to run past these lights that would capture our movement. They basically used that information as our baseline, and then had us do a bunch of stretches and exercises at the beginning of our practices so that we don’t tear our ACLs,” senior Casey Astiz, who’s beginning her final
year on Pinewood’s team, said. The coaching staff is embracing it too.

   “I am really excited about taking part in this. I think there is a problem, and that we as coaches need to learn how to help girls to stop this, so I think it’s great,” girls soccer coach Whitney Wood said. Even though Wood is excited the experiment, there is a chance that the study may not continue due to the fact that only four players have gone in for testing.

   “It is up to the players to go into the Stanford lab, and that is where they do all their testing, and they haven’t done it yet. Because there have only been four people who have done it, and if only four people have done it, they told me that it wouldn’t be worth their time,” Wood said despite the setbacks, Wood is staying hopeful that Pinewood will still be able to continue the study.