MALIBU, Calif. – No. 8 Pepperdine women’s soccer remains undefeated on the season as they beat San Diego 1-0 in the West Coast Conference opener on Thursday at Tari Frahm Rokus Field. Senior forward Laura Cole put away the lone goal for the Waves and the defensive unit held strong as one goal proved to be enough for the victory this afternoon.
The win marks the first conference opener the Waves have won since 2005, after tying the past two seasons with Loyola Marymount in the first conference game. The win also snaps a three-game losing streak for the Waves against the Toreros. After tying 1-1 in San Diego in 2007, the last time the Waves defeated the Toreros was in 2006 with a 2-1 overtime victory at Tari Frahm Rokus Field.
After a 10 day layoff, the Waves returned to the field and seemed to fall right back into their groove, as they earned two excellent corner kick opportunities in the 11th and 12th minutes of the match. Both sides went back and forth throughout the first half, as both squads had excellent scoring opportunities. At the end of the half the Waves had six shots to the Toreros’ three and three corner kicks to the Toreros’ zero. Junior goalkeeper Roxanne Barker (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) had two saves in the half.
With the score tied 0-0 going into the final half, the Waves continued to push things offensively, as defender Myriah Stockman (Sandy, Utah/Brighton HS) made a run down the sideline and took a shot that went wide just five minutes into the half. Forward Lynn Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) gave Torero goalkeeper Courtney Parsons all she could handle with a hard shot at the 54:56 mark, but Parsons was able to make the save to preserve the tie at 0-0. Just a few minutes later in the 61st minute a shot from the Toreros’ Stephanie Ochs forced Barker to make a save of her own that keep the score tied.
A key moment in the match came when Williams made a run down the right side of the pitch and crossed the ball into the middle, where it found the feet of Manning, who dropped the ball back for a surging Cole (Whittier, Calif./La Habra HS). Cole took a few dribbles past San Diego’s back line and put away a low, hard shot into the lower left corner. The goal put the Waves up 1-0 at the 67:31 mark and was the fourth of Cole’s senior season. The assist went to Manning, her third of the year.
The Waves had the 1-0 lead, but the Toreros were not going to go down easily and saw some excellent opportunities of their own as the Waves’ defensive line of Kelsea Smith (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS), Kristin DeGrandmont (Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS), Michelle Pao (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista HS) and Stockman worked to preserve the victory. At the 79:22 mark the Toreros’ Elissa Magracia took an excellent low hard shot that forced Barker to make an outstanding diving save. The team was then able to clear the ball off the line to hold the lead at 1-0.
The Waves were able to weather the storm through the final whistle to preserve the 1-0 victory. The Waves added six more shots to their total in the second half, finishing with 12 overall to the Toreros’ eight. Barker finished with four saves and preserved her fifth shutout of the season.
“This is a very good decision for us today. They are an excellent team and came into this game on 10 days of rest like we did. This was a great win for us,” head coach Tim Ward stated.
With the victory the Waves have extended their new school record unbeaten streak to 14 games, stemming back to last season’s final game victory over Santa Clara.
The Waves will take to the road for their second WCC match, as they visit Provo, Utah for a match with conference newcomer Brigham Young on Saturday (Oct. 8) at 12 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv and is also available free online through byutv.org/live.