Pepperdine Women's Soccer Opens Up Home Slate with 2-0 Victory

Lynn Williams

Aug. 21, 2011

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MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's soccer team earned its second straight win on Sunday, defeating Arizona 2-0 at Tari Frahm Rokus Field, as both Michelle Manning and Lynn Williams netted their first goals of the year.

The Waves (2-0-0) are now 13-5-1 in home openers. The Wildcats drop to (0-2-0) with the loss.

The teams got off to a back-and-forth start, as the Waves worked to find their rhythm in their first home game of the season. In the 20th minute of the first half, the Waves got on the board, as the ball was served across the box, bounced around and cleared by an Arizona defender, right at the feet of junior Michelle Manning (Calabasas, Calif./Agoura HS), who drilled a hard shot home from 16 yards out.

Head coach Tim Ward was impressed with Manning's strike, saying "Michelle's shot was just an absolute strike. It was no questions asked, an absolute thumping."

With the 1-0 lead, the teams continued to trade counter attacks up to halftime, as the Wildcats totaled eight shots in the first half to the Waves' six. Freshmen Ally Holtz (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and Micaela Cervantes (San Diego, Calif./Mission Bay HS) saw action in the match, logging their first collegiate minutes in the first half.

On the team's play in the first half, Ward explained, "We were mixing up the players, getting some new players some minutes. I believe soccer is a game of rhythms, so once we were able to establish a rhythm, I thought we played better together."

The Waves came out striking in the second half, having some excellent cracks at the goal that just missed the back of the net. The first with a strike was Karissa Garcia (Roseville, Calif./Oakmont HS) in the 46th minute, with Wildcat keeper Ashley Jett making a strong save. Freshman Lynn Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) had two chances, once in the 50th minute and again in the 53rd minute, which she made count, as she received a pass from Garcia and nailed a hard shot from the right side just outside the box over the head of Jett into the back of the net for her first collegiate goal.

"Lynn is just one of these ultra-powerful girls, Ward explains. "Coaches tell all their strikers just to hit the ball because you never know. I think the pace of the shot surprised the keeper. It was a brilliant goal, really a tremendous strike."

The Waves worked hard to preserve the 2-0 lead for the rest of the match, as the Wildcats continued to fight. The squad never let up the attack either, blasting 12 shots in the second half alone.

Junior Roxanne Barker (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) preserved her first shutout of the season, making eight saves in the match.

"It was a great weekend. We talked all preseason about the schedule and how tough it is, and honestly when you play two Pac-12 teams right out of the gate, you have no idea what may happen. To get two wins, one on the road and one at home, knowing that our team can win on the road and at home, I think it's a great psychological advantage that we just picked up. The way the game went down, I think it is a beautiful thing when you win games and you still know that you have a ways to go to peak, that is encouraging," said Ward.

With Manning and Williams finding the back of the net today and Anisa Guajardo (Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS) scoring two on Friday, all three starting strikers have goals early in the season.

This is an encouraging fact for Ward, who explained, "Now with three of our starting strikers all getting on the score sheet, what a bonus. It is going to help them play a little looser. When you are a striker you want to see the ball go into the back of the net. For them to get out of the gate like that, you couldn't have scripted it better."

Next up for the Waves is a trip to Fullerton, Calif. to face Cal State Fullerton on Friday (Aug. 26) at 7 p.m. and then back to the friendly confines of Tari Frahm Rokus Field next Sunday (Aug. 28) as they host Long Island at 1 p.m.



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