MALIBU, Calif. – Ally Holtz and Michelle Pao helped give the Pepperdine women’s soccer team a dream start, but the short-handed Waves didn’t have enough firepower to keep up with Santa Clara as the ninth-ranked Broncos rolled to a 9-2 West Coast Conference victory on Sunday.
Pepperdine fell to 9-7-2 overall and 4-4 in the WCC, while the Broncos improved to 13-3-1 overall and remained in first place in the WCC at 7-0.
Holtz (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and Pao (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista) both scored in the first 17 minutes to push the Waves to a 2-0 lead, but the Broncos evened the score at 2-2 by halftime and added five more in the first 17 minutes of the second half.
Pepperdine was looking for its first-ever win at Santa Clara in 10 tries and was hoping to solidify a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but unfortunately, the absence of several key attacking players put the Waves at a disadvantage. Among those on the injured list were junior forward Lynn Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS), who entered the weekend as the WCC’s leading goal-scorer with 11; freshman forward Kristen Rodriguez (Inglewood, Calif./Notre Dame Academy), third on the team with nine points; and junior forward Amanda LeCave (Windsor, Calif./Windsor HS), a 10-goal scorer from a season ago who has been out the entire year.
Holtz, who earned WCC Player of the Week honors for last weekend’s action, opened the scoring at 4:55 when she scored off a Pao corner kick. It was Holtz’ sixth goal of the season and her fourth in the last four games since Williams became injured. It was Pao’s 18th career assist, tying her for fifth all-time at Pepperdine.
Pao made it 2-0 at 16:19 with a tremendous individual effort. She sliced through a couple of Bronco defenders and rifled in a shot from distance for her second goal of the season.
But goals by Santa Clara’s Julie Johnston and Morgan Marlborough evened the score at halftime. Santa Clara then added seven more after the half, and Marlborough finished with a hat trick.
Pepperdine concludes the regular season with a Wells Fargo PCH Cup matchup at rival Loyola Marymount on Saturday (Nov. 9) at 6 p.m.
Goals: Ally Holtz (Michelle Pao), PEPP, 4:55; Michelle Pao, PEPP, 16:19; Julie Johnston (Alyssa Kleiner), SCU, 20:06; Morgan Marlborough, SCU, 27:06; Morgan Marlborough, SCU, 48:38; Sofia Huerta, SCU, 50:06; Morgan Marlborough (Sofia Huerta), SCU, 53:31; Jordan Jesolva (Morgan Marlborough), SCU, 55:25; Aly Birgel, SCU, 61:46; Julie Johnston (Ellie Rice), SCU, 84:21; own goal, SCU, 87:45.