Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Craig Denegar, Giselle Aerni, Catie Dann

Field of Study



Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Context: Female collegiate soccer athletes sustain injuries at a concerning rate, often with severe short and long-term consequences. Identifying changes in movement control and power that inherently occur over an athletic season may improve our ability to predict and ultimately prevent injury. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate movement control and power over the course of an athletic season in female collegiate soccer athletes. Design: Repeated measures Setting: Field Study Participants: 25 female athletes (age: 20±1years, mass: 66.5 ±6.6kg, height: 1.7±0.1m) Intervention(s): None Main Outcome Measure(s): Participants performed jump-landing and vertical jump (VJ) tasks five times (preseason (T1), end of preseason (T2), mid-season (T3), beginning of post-season (T4), end of post-season (T5).The jump-landing task was scored using an automated Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) grading system (PhysiMax Technologies Ltd., Tel Aviv, Israel), which is a movement control assessment. A high score on the LESS indicates a large number of movement errors, or poor movement control. The average LESS score and VJ was calculated for each athlete at each time point. Injury data were also collected throughout the season. Separate repeated measures ANOVAs were used to evaluate changes in LESS and VJ scores between the test points (α=0.05). Participant’s LESS score for each time point was dichotomized into a GOOD (LESS>5) or POOR (LESS£5) movement category. Each time point was coded as INJURY or NO INJURY A chi-square analysis was used to evaluate the association between movement category (GOOD, POOR) and the incidence of a non-contact lower extremity injury following each test point for each participant. Results: LESS scores were significantly different between T1 and T2 (1.73±2.02), T3 (1.73±2.22)(P=0.046). VJ performance significantly differed between T2 and all other time points (P < 0.001). There was a significant association between movement category and subsequent injury (c2(1) = 3.96, p=0.047, OR: 3.34, 95% CI [0.97, 11.49]) Participants were more likely to sustain an injury when their LESS score was >5 than when it wasMovement technique and VJ performance inherently vary over the course of one collegiate women’s soccer season, and may be the result of training intensity. Female soccer athletes were more susceptible for sustaining a non-contact lower extremity injury when their movement control was poor, as measured by a LESS score>5. Monitoring movement control during a soccer season may improve efforts to prevent injury.

Major Advisor

Lindsay DiStefano