Freshman Kristen Rodriguez Scores First Collegiate Goal in Debut
August 26, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine opened its 2013 season and its youth movement with a 1-1 double overtime deadlock against No. 18 Cal on a beautiful Monday afternoon at Tari Frahm Rokus Field. The Waves (0-0-1) get a big result against the Golden Bears (1-0-1) who knocked Pepperdine out of the 2012 NCAA Tournament last season in Malibu.
Youth was served in a big way for Pepperdine as nine true freshmen appeared in the contest. Four first-year Waves cracked the starting lineup, joining two redshirt freshmen.
Kristen Rodriguez (Inglewood, Calif./Notre Dame Academy) made a magical debut coming off the bench to score the first goal of her collegiate career and the inaugural strike for the Waves in 2013. Rodriguez collected a carom in the box and punched it in from close range in the 54th minute for a 1-0 lead. Mandy Davis (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley HS) and Katie Gallanes (Yorba Linda, Calif. /Esperanza HS) collected assists.
“The reality is that the freshmen did really, really well today,” Pepperdine head coach Tim Ward said. “It’s not easy to come into your first collegiate game and manage the expectations and the emotions of it all. You look forward to becoming a collegiate athlete and sometimes you come in and you have this high intensity and then it drops. That was not the case today. It was a great result against a great team.”
Cal answered back in less than four minutes on a nice goal from Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick on a great cross from Rachel Mercik for a 1-1 tie in the 57th minute.
Both teams created quality chances, but the opposing defenses stood just stout enough. For the match, Pepperdine held a 17-14 shot advantage, including a 9-4 edge in the opening period. The Waves held a slight edge in shots on frame, 9-8. The match featured a whopping 14 corner kicks, eight by Pepperdine.
Hermann Trophy Watch List member Lynn Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) fired a team-high four shots, two on frame, while Davis added three for the Waves. Fitzpatrick tallied a match-high six attempts, four on target.
Freshman goalkeeper Hannah Seabert (Riverside, Calif./Woodcrest Christian HS) enjoyed a strong debut between the pipes, recording seven saves including a do or die play in the closing seconds of regulation to preserve the tie and force overtime. Emily Kruger made eight saves for the Golden Bears.
Pepperdine returns to action when it welcomes Wright State to Malibu Thursday, August 29. Match time against the Raiders is set for 3:00 p.m. at Tari Frahm Rokus Field.
NOTES: Pepperdine played just one overtime match in 2012 – its 12th game of the year … It is the first tie secured by the Waves since forcing a draw at Fresno State (9/25/11) … It is the first time Pepperdine has recorded a tie in the season opener since a scoreless deadlock against Duke (8/31/07) in the WCC/ACC adidas Challenge in San Diego … In 21 seasons, Pepperdine owns four tie results in season opening matches … The Waves improve to 10-3-3 in season openers under Tim Ward.