Women's World Cup call-ups and injuries have depleted Portland, but the No. 3 Pilots have run off three straight shutout victories since losing
senior Rachael Rapinoe
with an ACL tear 11 days ago in their 1-0 defeat to Purdue.
Coach Garrett Smith
into the 2007 season knowing the Pilots would open without defender Stephanie Lopez
, who is starting for the USA at the Women's World Cup, and redshirt freshman
midfielder Sophie Schmidt
, who is representing Canada in China.
U.S. international Megan Rapinoe
twin sister, went down last October with the same injury and hasn't played since.
But the loss of Rachael Rapinoe was a blow. She had emerged from her twin sister's shadows, scoring 13
goals last season after being moved from the backline.
Such losses would devastate most teams, but the Pilots showed they're a gutty bunch in a 1-0 win over Washington on Wednesday in
Portland freshman Elli Reed
showed her toughness, scoring the only goal of the game and paying for it when she collided with charging
Huskies keeper Taylor Carr
on the play and had to be helped off the field.
Reed, one of the most highly recruited players in the country,
stayed on the turf for several minutes following the play that began when Pilot playmaker Angie Woznuk
sent her clear with a through ball into the box.