Santa Clara's epidemic got so bad that injuries to Courtney Lewis and Lindsey Johnson last Friday against Cal Poly left the Broncos with only two available substitutes for last Sunday's game against California.
The Broncos fell, 2-0, at home, and lost their top spot in the Soccer America Women's Top 25. For its trouble, Santa Clara gets to face No. 1 Stanford Friday and No. 3 UCLA Sunday -- both on the road.
They went into the season knowing that Amanda Poach and Jordan Angeli, both former U-20s, would be out for the year with ACL tears. Foot injuries sidelined junior Dani Potts and highly regarded freshman Chelsea Bednarz before the start of the season.
Hayley Siegel, one of Santa Clara's key midfielders, tore her ACL in the last few minutes of the opening game, making five scholarship players lost for the season.
Given all these injuries, Santa Clara's success has been remarkable. It buried Notre Dame, 7-1, in one of the most shocking results of the 2007 season, beat No. 6 Missouri and tied No. 5 Virginia before losing for the first time in nine games against Cal.
Injuries are nothing new to the Broncos.
Tina Estrada missed all of last season with a knee injury, and Lewis and Johnson, who were injured last week, both suffered season-ending injuries early in the 2006 season.
Lexi Orand, once considered the top young prospect in the country, has had to battle back from chronic fatigue.