Rupp Scores in 2-1 Loss at #3 Portland

MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine Waves women’s soccer team (6-8-2, 1-2 WCC) was handed its seventh one-goal loss of the season Sunday afternoon at #3 Portland, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Pilots (13-1, 3-0 WCC). 

The controversial game-winner was delivered in the 88th minute by Megan Rapinoe, who collected her own rebound off a missed penalty kick and sent a 12-yard strike past senior goalkeeper Kayla Stolte (Santee, Calif./West Hills).

Pepperdine head coach Tim Ward was notably put off by the official’s decision to award the penalty kick, branding it “ridiculous.”


According to Ward, the foul was called on Stolte for colliding in mid air with Danielle Foxhoven as both went up for a 50/50 ball. Ward felt Stolte was simply doing her job, retrospectively asking “what else is she supposed to do in that situation?”


He became further incensed following the referee’s no-call when two of Pepperdine’s defenders were trampled by Portland in the ensuing scrum that followed Stolte’s penalty-kick save.


Ward also was left shaking his head earlier in the match after no foul or PK was presented when Amanda Rupp (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) was taken down by a Portland defender as she readied her shot inside the 18-yard box.


The officiating inconsistencies left Ward feeling perplexed and annoyed, believing his team should have decided its own fate in overtime.


“The team played with a great spirit today and represented the university well ... but to get beat by the referee was an absolute disservice to the game,” Ward said. “I don’t know what the stats said, but I felt we played much better in the second half, and even dominated at times.”


The box score showed Pepperdine was outshot in the second half, 9-7, with the Waves recording the first five attempts within an 11-minute window; however, two of those shots were saved, another two sailed wide and one was blocked.


Portland is a good team, but we had the run of play early in the second half with three to four really good looks,” Ward said. “We were all over them through the first 20 minutes.”


Pepperdine received its equalizer in the 77th minute when Sophia Medina (Downey, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) hooked up with Rupp from just inside the 18-yard box.


“Bobo played a great thru-ball to Rupp and she smoked it,” Ward said. “We silenced the crowd with that goal. People were thinking Portland was in trouble.”


Rupp’s goal was her eighth of the year, giving the senior 21 points on the season. Medina’s assist was her second of 2008.


Portland went ballistic on offense following Pepperdine’s goal, but Stolte held steady in between the pipes and made three consecutive saves on shots taken by Foxhoven, Rapinoe and Sophie Schmidt within a span of two minutes.


The final statistics from Sunday’s match closely mirrored the ones from a 1-0 loss earlier this month at #4 UCLA, in which the Bruins registered 17 shots to the Waves’ 12.


Today, Portland recorded 18 shots to Pepperdine’s 11 and had only two more corners, 6-4, proving once again the Waves can hang with the nation’s best teams despite not finding the desired results.


The Waves placed four of their shots on goal Sunday in becoming only the fourth school this season – and first since Penn State on Sept. 28 – to score on Portland goalkeeper Kelsey Davis.


Davis, who entered the Pepperdine match with a 0.23 goals-against average, finished the match with four saves.


Stolte finished the match with eight saves including her stop on the penalty kick, which was her second of the season. She also brushed aside a UC Santa Barbara PK during a match in late August.


Pepperdine opponents have converted just one of three penalty kick attempts this season.


Portland took its first lead in the 27th minute on a goal by Schmidt, who like Rapinoe after her, buried a rebound from inside the goalmouth following a Stolte save. The goal was Schmidt’s fifth of the year.


“Someone played the ball through to Sophie and Kayla got a piece of her first shot, but almost like in slow motion, it bounced toward the goal and she delivered a chest-high header right as we were about to clear,” Ward said. “That was a committed goal.”


The Waves return home to Tari Frahm Rokus field next weekend following a month-long absence for a two-match homestand featuring #17 San Diego Friday at 3 p.m., and Santa Clara Sunday at 1 p.m.


Single-match tickets to all home women’s soccer games are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and free to all Pepperdine students and faculty with a university ID.



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