Women's Soccer Looks to Continue Strong Start

Michelle Manning

Aug. 24, 2011

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MALIBU, Calif. -- After going 2-0 on opening weekend, Pepperdine looks to continue winning ways with another road and home split weekend, as they travel to face Cal State Fullerton on Friday and return to Tari Frahm Rokus Field on Sunday to host Long Island.

MATCH #3 -- Friday (Aug. 26) at Titan Stadium: Pepperdine at Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m.

MATCH #4 -- Sunday (Aug. 28) at Tari Frahm Rokus Field: Pepperdine vs. Long Island at 1 p.m.

TICKETS -- Single-game prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students/seniors/children and free to all Pepperdine students, faculty and staff (and their dependents) with a valid Pepperdine ID. An all-sports pass, which provides admission to all Pepperdine sporting events, with the exception of men's basketball, is $100. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.

ON THE WEB -- Live internet statistics via Gametracker will be available for all home matches at www.pepperdinesports.com. A link to the opponents' live stats program will be provided for road games.

CAL STATE FULLERTON -- The Titans are 1-0-1 on the season after hosting the Waves' Sunday opponent, Long Island, last week. The Titans won the match 3-1 after being tied 1-1 in the 67th minute. SO F Nikki McCants scored two goals in the match and leads the squad in goals scored. JR MF Brisa Gonzales also netted her first goal of the season in the victory. On Friday, Aug. 19, the Titans played to a scoreless tie with new Pac-12 member Utah. The Titans outscored the Utes 11-5, but were unable to find the back of the net. The Titans are coached by Demian Brown, in his fifth year at the helm. The squad returns 16 letterwinners and six starters from 2010, where they finished 6-13 overall and 3-5 in the Big West Conference.

ON THE RECORD -- The Waves and the Titans have matched up 12 times overall, with the Waves leading the series at 7-4-1. The last time the two faced off was in 2008 at Tari Frahm Rokus Field, with the Waves dropping a 1-0 decision. The last time the teams played at Titan Stadium was in 2004, with Pepperdine taking that match, 1-0.

LONG ISLAND -- The Blackbirds are 0-1-0 on the season after losing to Cal State Fullerton in their season opener on Sunday, Aug. 21. Their roster features 10 players from California, as they make a southern California swing this week. The team will face WCC rival Loyola Marymount on Friday in Los Angeles before making its way to Malibu on Sunday. SR F Ariana Calderon netted the lone goal for the Blackbirds in a 3-1 loss at Cal State Fullerton. The Blackbirds are coached by Tracey Bartholomew, in her 12th season. The team finished 15-3-3 overall in 2010 and won the Northeast Conference regular season crown with an 8-1-1 mark.

ON THE RECORD -- Sunday's match with Long Island marks the first time the two schools will meet in women's soccer.

2-0 START -- The Waves finished opening weekend with a 2-0 record after facing two tough Pac-12 opponents in California and Arizona. The last time the team was 2-0 after opening weekend was in 2005 when they started the season 6-0 and made it to the Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament. The 2-1 victory at California marked the first time the Waves have ever won at Edwards Field. The only other time they played there was in 1999, in a match that finished as a tie. The 2-0 victory over Arizona at Tari Frahm Rokus Field brings the Waves to 13-5-1 in home openers.

SEASON OPENERS -- With the 2-1 victory over California, Pepperdine now has an all-time record of 12-4-3 on opening day. Overall the team is 3-1-1 in season openers on opponent's turf.

SCORING -- Wave strikers have gotten right to work in 2011, with three starting forwards netting a combined 4 goals. JR F Anisa Guajardo scored both goals in the California match, the first time she has scored in double figures since her freshman season when she netted two goals against Saint Mary's (11/1). JR F Michelle Manning scored her first of the 2011 season, to game-winning goal against Arizona. FR F Lynn Williams started both games to kick off her freshman campaign and scored her first collegiate goal against Arizona.

LINEUPS -- The 2011 Waves feature an excellent mix of experienced letterwinners and newcomers ready to make an impact. In the two games over the weekend, two slightly different lineups were used. Four freshmen made their collegiate debuts in F Lynn Williams, F Amanda LeCave, MF Micaela Cervantes and MF Ally Holtz. Overall 17 different players saw action over the weekend.

2011 ROSTER -- The Waves bring back 15 of 24 letterwinners (including nine of 11 starters) as well as one redshirt, while 10 newcomers complete the roster. Returning players account for 25 of the 26 goals (96%) and 13 of the 19 assists (68%). The roster consists of four seniors, seven juniors, four sophomores, one redshirt freshman and 10 true freshmen.

2011 HONORS --Sophomore defender Michelle Pao was named to the 2011 preseason All-WCC squad. She picked up WCC All-Freshman honors and All-WCC first team honors in 2010, becoming the first freshman to be named first team since 1996. For her part in this weekend's wins and preserving a shutout against Arizona, JR GK Roxanne Barker was named SoccerSavings.com/LA Soccer News Women's College Player of the Week for the week ending August 21.

Tim Ward -- Part of the program from nearly the beginning, Tim Ward is in his 14th season as the Waves' head coach. He enters the 2011 season with a 144-81-35 (.621) record with eight seasons of double-digit victories. His teams have posted ten winning seasons and five NCAA Tournament berths, including the Sweet 16 in 2002 and 2005. Ward has been with the women's soccer program for 18 of its 19 seasons, as he was an assistant coach from 1994-97 before being elevated to head coach.

SCHEDULE -- 10 of Pepperdine's 20 matches come against teams that posted a .500 record or better in 2009, and eight advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Waves will face top teams from the Pac-12, Big 10 and Southeastern Conferences. Pepperdine will play a total of nine home games.

WCC PRESEASON POLL -- The Waves were picked to finish sixth in the conference in a preseason vote of the league's coaches. The predicted order went as follows: Portland, Santa Clara and BYU tied for second, San Diego, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Saint Mary's and Gonzaga and San Francisco tied for eighth.

2010 IN REVIEW -- The Waves went 9-6-5 last season. Pepperdine narrowly missed out on an NCAA Tournament berth after finishing 2-3-2 in the WCC, good for a tie for fifth place. Michelle Pao made the NSCAA All-West Region second team, All-WCC first team and WCC All-Freshman honors. Roxanne Barker, Laura Cole, Kristin DeGrandmont, Kelsea Smith and Myriah Stockman all received All-WCC honorable mention nods.

WOMEN'S SOCCER HISTORY -- One of Pepperdine's youngest programs (it was established in 1993), the women's soccer team has also been one of its most successful over the last decade with five NCAA Tournament appearances, including Sweet Sixteen berths in 2002 and 2005. The Waves have posted winning seasons in 13 of their 1 seasons, including 11 years with double-digit victories.

ABOUT PEPPERDINE -- Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men's sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation's most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #53 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges. The 2011-12 school year marks Pepperdine's 75th anniversary.



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