MALIBU, Calif. – The No. 8 Pepperdine women’s soccer squad defeated San Francisco 4-0 on Friday in the final regular season match at Tari Frahm Rokus Field and the win, combined with a San Diego victory over Santa Clara gave the Waves the West Coast Conference title for just the second time in school history. The Waves tied San Diego at the top of the standings with 21 points, but win the tiebreaker by virtue of a head-to-head victory over the Toreros to win the WCC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
“What an awesome achievement for our girls, head coach Tim Ward gushed. “What was so cool was how much the University got behind us, all year, but especially today. From President Benton to the guys that work on our field, it was great to have them out at the game today. We would have loved to have lifted that trophy, on our field, in the presence of our fans, but we had to wait on this outcome (San Diego over Santa Clara). I couldn’t be more pleased to share this with San Diego. Their coach is a great guy and I have so much respect for their program. So if there is anyone to share this championship with, I am happy it is them.”
“What I love about it is we set these goals at the beginning of the year and it is almost like we achieved them all. Now it is just the NCAA goals and we have lofty goals. But championships in our conference are just not easy to come by. Statistically speaking, Santa Clara and Portland have won most of them and we were the only ones to crack it in 2002. This year has just been magical. Our team is really a definition of team. We have very good soccer players. But when these girls play together, they hit another level because of each other. I am happy for our seniors and all of our alumni that were here to witness this tonight. They sweat and bled for our program and weren’t able to lift the trophy. This is not just for our current team, but for all the Waves. God has been watching over this team. From the way the ball bounces, to keeping us injury free, to the way we dealt with certain adversities. With every little turn, it is clear His grace has touched this team.”
Seniors Laura Cole and Karissa Garcia made their Senior Day count as they put away goals in the victory over San Francisco. Sophomore Michelle Pao and freshman Amanda LeCave also found the back of the net in the 4-0 win.
With the victory the Waves are 15-1-4 and 7-1-0 in West Coast Conference play. At Tari Frahm Rokus Field, the Waves were undefeated on the season with a record of 8-0-1. It is the second-straight season that the Waves are unbeaten at home and only the fourth time in school history. They are currently riding a 20 game winning streak at home.
The Waves were dominant from the opening whistle, with five shots in the first 12 minutes alone. In the 19th minute senior Myriah Stockman (Sandy, Utah/Brighton HS) drove the ball down the left sideline, passed to Anisa Guajardo (Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS) who crossed the ball to a waiting Cole (Whittier, Calif./La Habra HS) on the right post who put away her seventh goal of the season.
With the 1-0 lead the Waves continued to push on the offensive side and would strike again at the 39:25 mark as Ana Pontes (Houston, Texas/Clear Lake HS) fired a header from the top of the box that Amanda LeCave (Windsor, Calif./Windsor HS) redirected in front of the goalkeeper to finish off her second goal of the season and give the Waves a 2-0 lead.
The teams would go into halftime with the score set at 2-0. The Waves outshot the Dons 19-1 in the half and Don goalkeeper Celia Pellegrini made 10 saves. The Waves also had nine corner kicks to the Dons’ zero.
In the second half the Waves picked up right where they left off, as they continued to pressure the Dons’ defensive half. In the 55th minute Garcia (Roseville, Calif./Oakmont HS) put her head on a Guajardo cross to deposit her third goal of the season into the right upper corner of the net. The goal gave the Waves a 3-0 lead.
With 1:13 left in the game Michelle Pao (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista HS) made a streaking run down the right side and launched a shot from the top of the box that settled in the back of the net for the fourth goal of the day for the Waves.
The Waves earned the 4-0 victory, their ninth shutout of the season, one shy of the single-season school record of 10. They also finish the regular season with only 10 goals against, the lowest single-season total in school history.
The squad outshot the Dons 35-3 and forced Pellegrini to make 16 saves. Waves goalkeeper Roxanne Barker (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) finished with one.
On Senior Day Cole finished with a goal and an assist, Garcia with a goal and Stockman with an assist.
With the WCC title the Waves know they will be one of 64 teams picked for the 2011 NCAA Tournament, but will have to wait until Monday (Nov. 7) to hear their seed and first round opponent. The announcement will take place at 1:30 p.m. PT on www.ncaa.com/sports/soccer-women/d1.
Nov. 4, 2011- Tari Frahm Rokus Field
Pepperdine 4, San Francisco 0
PEP 2 - 2 = 4
USF 0 - 0 = 0
18:22 PEP Laura Cole (Guajardo, Stockman)
39:25 PEP Amanda LeCave (Pontes)
54:14 PEP Karissa Garica (Guajardo, Cole)
88:47 PEP Michelle Pao (unassisted)
SAVES: Roxanne Barker (PEP) 1, Celia Pellegrini (USF) 16
SHOTS: PEP 35, USF 3
CORNER KICKS: PEP 13, USF 0
FOULS: PEP 8, USF 4