Pepperdine Opens 2004 Regular Season At Inland Empire Tournament

Sept. 8, 2004

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Waves Begin 2004 Campaign: Pepperdine kicks off the 2004 regular season this weekend at the Inland Empire Tournament on Saturday, September 11. The all-day event will be held at both the Unversity of Redlands and University of La Verne and will pit the Waves against Pomona-Pitzer at 3:15 p.m. and Santa Clara University at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, the Waves will travel to the USC to take on the fourth ranked Trojans at noon.

The Waves enter this year's campaign ranked fifth nationwide. The 2004regular season will feature seven home dates. Pepperdine will have plenty of opportunities to prove itself this year with five dates against opponants with higher pre-season rankings, including this weekend's match against the cross-town rival USC.

The Waves opened the season by hosting the 2004 Wasko Tournament. The event featured local rival and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponents UCLA as well as the Trojans. The scrimmage format allowed the Waves to get a preview of several of the teams they will face this season.

Pepperdine returns 16 letter winners from last year's squad having only lost four this offseason. Among the returning players are Third-Team All MPSF Josh Acosta and 2004 Olympian and First-Team All-American Jesse Smith,who will be redshirting this season along with goalkeeper Ben Tait. Despite losing Second-Team All-American Michael Hausmann and the veteren experience of Morgan Matthies, the Waves expect a strong season in 2004.

2003 Review: Pepperdine concluded the 2003 campaign with a respectable 19-8 overall record with a 3-5 record against MPSF opponents. Finishing tied for fifth in the MPSF standings, the Waves look to improve on that and are expecting a strong finish this season.

Following the 2003 season, Pepperdine recieved both team and individual recognition for their performance both in and out of the water. Jesse Smith was named a First-Team All-American while Michael Hausmann was named a Second-Team All-American in his final campain with the Waves. The two were also named First and Second-Team All MPSF players respectively and Josh Acosta was given Third-Team honors.

In the classroom the Waves were recognized as one of the top academic teams recieving a rank of 13th nationwide with a team GPA of 3.01. Outstanding Honors were given to Michael Hausmann and Morgan Matthies with Scott Harvey, Jordan Keitel, Matt Hahn and Tom Jasper each earning Excellent Honors.

Season Leaders: The 2003 season saw three Pepperdine players average over 1.0 goals per game. Jesse Smith (2.47), Michael Hausmann (1.92) and Josh Acosta (1.29) topped the leaderboard in scoring for the season. Pepperdine goalies Ben Tait and Michael Lee combined to hold opponents to 6.81 goals per game while the Waves averaged 9.74 per contest.

Going for the Gold: This summer saw one of Pepperdine's top athletes compete in an international arena as Jesse Smith was honored with an invitation to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Smith, a First-Team All-American helped lead the team in a 9-8 upset over Italy in the final game to finish the summer games. Smith also was one of the key players througout the games, helping to push the USA to a seventh place finish.

The Polls: The Waves finished the 2003 season ranked fifth nationwide and return to the same position with a preseason rank of five for the second straight season. Last season the Waves reached the number three spot in the poles before dropping back down to fifth to finish the campaign. The Waves follow up this weekend's Inland Empire Tournament with a match against fourth ranked USC marking their first match against a higher ranked opponant this season.

The Coach: Regarded as one of the world's all-time outstanding players, and the U.S. National team captain from 1983-92, Dr. Terry Schroeder is in the midst of his 19th season as Pepperdine's head coach. The Waves have enjoyed tremendous success during Schroeder's previous 18 campaigns, posting a cumulative record of 307-195 (.612), earning eight NCAA Championships berths and claiming the program's first-ever national title in 1997.

Under Schroeder's watchful eye, Pepperdine has been a regular contender in recent years for the NCAA title, winning 20 or more games in a season on seven occasions. Pepperdine notched a 19-8 record last season and finished tied for fifth in the nine-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). Schroeder directed Pepperdine to a dazzling 25-3 (.893) mark in 1997, the best single-season winning percentage in the program's history. The campaign was highlighted by an 8-7 overtime win over local rival USC in the NCAA title game played at the International Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatics Complex in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Not only did the program have four players earn first team All-American honors from U.S. Water Polo, but Schroeder was named the national "Coach of the Year" in 1997, as Pepperdine won its first-ever NCAA crown in water polo.

Tabbed the Big West Conference (BWC) "Coach of the Year" in 1989, Schroeder has directed Pepperdine to five regular season league titles. Schroeder oversaw a smooth transition of the Pepperdine program in 1986 when he succeeeded longtime head coach Rick Rowland. The Waves rolled to a 23-11 record, winning the BWC title with an 11-1 mark, and placed fourth at the NCAA Championships. In 1991, the Waves compiled a 24-7 record and tied UC Irvine for the BWC title. Pepperdine recorded what had been its best-ever showing at the NCAA Championships that season, defeating UC Irvine by a final score of 9-7 to earn a third place finish.

Pepperdine earned a fourth place finish at the 1989 NCAA Championships and was fifth in 1987, 1990 and 1992. The 1997 team won its first 14 games and claimed the regular season MPSF title with a perfect 8-0 mark. Schroeder was selected the MPSF "Coach of the Year" for the first time since the league was formed for water polo back in 1992. Schroeder was tabbed the University's 1997-98 "Coach of the Year." Pepperdine advanced to the championship game of the MPSF Tournament in 1998 before falling to Stanford by a final score of 11-8 in overtime. Schroeder shared the league's "Coach of the Year" award with UC Irvine's Ted Newland.

A four-time Olympian, Schroeder maintains a busy schedule which includes coaching, working as a chiropractor and promoting water polo. The Schroeder-led U.S. team finished second to Yugoslavia at both the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, and placed fourth at the 1992 event in Barcelona, Spain. Schroeder helped the U.S. win its first-ever major international water polo competition in 1991, as the Americans captured the FINA Cup in Barcelona, downing longtime nemesis Yugoslavia in the title game. Noted as a leading spokesman for the sport of water polo, Schroeder has been featured in numerous national publications, including Sports Illustrated. Schroeder also modeled for a statue which was unveiled prior to the 1984 Olympic Games at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and carried the U.S. flag at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. A graduate of San Marcos High in Santa Barbara, Schroeder earned All-American honors at Pepperdine in 1977, 1978 and 1980. Schroeder led the Waves to fourth place finishes at the NCAA Championships in each of those seasons and a cumulative four-year record of 109-39 (.736). The Waves' scoring leader in three different seasons, Schroeder tallied a single-season record 138 goals in 1978.



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