Pepperdine Nipped By Cal 1-0 in NCAA Tournament First Round
Waves Complete Season at 14-7
MALIBU, Calif. – No. 22 Pepperdine and No. 23 California battled to a standstill through 86 minutes of the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, but then Cal’s Arianna Martinez found the back of the net in the 87th minute to send the Bears to a 1-0 victory on a windswept Saturday at Tari Frahm Rokus Field. The Waves (14-7) created some great chances early, but the Bears (16-5) made the plays necessary to advance to the second round.
“It’s a heartbreaker, Pepperdine head coach Tim Ward said. “It was just a really good soccer game. There was a good spirit about it. I have a lot of respect for Neil and Patrick and what they’ve done with that program. It was probably the tale of two halves. We definitely had our opportunities in the first half. It’s not like we blew them. Their keeper and their field players cleared balls off the line. As time was widening down you knew one goal was going to do it.”
Pepperdine was dangerous in the opening 10 minutes and took four corner kicks and fired four shots in the first eight minutes. Cal’s defense was up to the challenge as goalkeeper Emily Krueger got some help from her defense as Amanda Glass cleared a ball off the goal line 82 seconds into the contest that seemed destined for a 1-0 Pepperdine lead.
For the match, Cal held a 13-8 shot advantage, 8-2 in the second half. Eight of the Bears attempts were on goal, while the Waves recorded a pair. Anisa Guajardo (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) recorded a team-high three shots, while fellow senior Callie Payetta (Huntington Beach, Calif/Huntington Beach HS) and sophomore Lynn Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) added two shots apiece. Martinez led the way for Cal with three shots, while four of her teammates fired a pair.
Already without the services of All-American Michelle Pao (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista HS) and leading goal scorer Amanda LeCave (Windsor, Calif./Windsor HS) Pepperdine had some significant depth problems and only used four reserves in the match and did not make a substitution in the first half.
“There’s only going to be one team in this that’s happy and that’s the team that wins it all,” Ward said. “We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve done this year. We’ve had a ton of adversity to overcome as a program. In terms of the injuries, what happened even this week with a couple of our girls in the hospital, but I think we played well enough to win the game. We are incredibly proud of our girls and this senior class.”
Roxanne Barker (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) recorded seven saves in her final match for Pepperdine. Kruger collected the win for the Bears and corralled two saves.