Women's Soccer Plays at No. 1 UCLA, UC Irvine
The Waves have three non-conference games left on the schedule.
This Week: The Pepperdine women’s soccer team returns to Southern California, but stays on the road for a pair of matches this week, playing at No. 1 UCLA on Friday and then at UC Irvine on Sunday.
Game #8: Friday (Sept. 15) at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.: Pepperdine (4-2-1) vs. UCLA (7-0-0) at 7 p.m.
Game #9: Sunday (Sept. 17) at Anteater Stadium in Irvine, Calif.: Pepperdine (4-2-1) vs. UC Irvine (3-1-3) at 2 p.m.
Multimedia: Friday’s game at top-ranked UCLA will be streamed online via the Pac 12 Network, with a link available on the Pepperdine soccer schedule. Live stats will be available for the UC Irvine and UCLA games, with links also on the schedule page. Fans can follow @WavesSoccer on Twitter for live, in-game updates.
Series vs. UCLA: UCLA leads, 18-3-2. The Waves have dropped six straight to the perennial powerhouse Bruins, with their last win coming in 2010.
Series vs. UC Irvine: Waves lead, 8-4-2. Pepperdine won the last meeting between the teams in 2012, and has taken six of the last eight.
Last Week: The Waves split their two road games last week, dropping a tough 1-0 decision to DePaul, despite dominating possession and chances in the game, and then beating Northwestern 1-0. Christina Settles scored against the Wildcats and Brielle Preece recorded her fourth shutout of the year.
Player of the Week: Preece picked up the first WCC weekly award for the Waves after posting the shutout against Northwestern. Preece made four saves in the game, including one in the 87th minute, and has allowed just three goals in seven games this season.
On The Defensive: The Pepperdine defense has been stellar this year, giving up just three goals in seven games and posting four shutouts. The Waves had a 338 minute scoreless streak broken last week and the team’s 0.41 goals against average ranks 18th in the country and first in the WCC.
Fabulous Freshmen: The Waves have gotten great contributions from the freshman class so far, none bigger than leading scorer Devyn Gilfoy, who has four goals in her first collegiate season. Pepperdine has also got scores from freshmen Calista Reyes and Brie Welch this year.
The Road Ahead: Pepperdine plays its final non-conference game of the year next week, hosting UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Sept. 22. The Waves open WCC play on the road the following week, heading to San Francisco and Santa Clara.
WCC Preseason Poll: Pepperdine was selected to finish third in the WCC Preseason Poll. Santa Clara edged BYU for the top spot in the poll. Bri Visalli was also named to the preseason all-conference team. It was the third straight year the Waves have been picked to finish third in the WCC preseason poll. Pepperdine outperformed that prediction last year with a WCC Championship.
2017 Roster: Pepperdine returns 18 players from its 2016 roster and brings in an 11-player freshman class. The Waves lost 10 players from last year’s roster.
WCC Title: Pepperdine is coming off of its third WCC title last year. The Waves won their previous titles in 2011 and in 2002 before that. Pepperdine and BYU shared the championship with 7-1-1 records, but the Waves earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by beating the Cougars in their lone meeting last year.
Tim Ward: Ward picked up his fourth WCC Coach of the Year award and second in the last three years in 2016 and now heads into his 20th year at the helm for Pepperdine. He guided the Waves to a third conference title and ninth NCAA Tournament appearance last year. Ward now has 219 career wins as the winningest coach in program history. He has overseen 15 winning seasons and has led the Waves to 13 10-win seasons and nine years with at least 12 wins.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY: 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 undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). 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 #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.