Junior forward Victoria Romero celebrates after senior midfielder Shelby Little scores at Tari Frahm Rokus Field on Oct. 1. The goal would represent a momentum shift toward Women’s Soccer in the second half. Photos by Brandon Rubsamen
Pepperdine Women’s Soccer beat University of San Diego at Tari Frahm Rokus Field on Oct. 1, with a final score of 3-0. It was the first in-conference match in the Waves’ schedule, making them 1-0-0 within the WCC, and 7-1-2 overall for the season.
The Waves opened with a strong start, putting pressure on San Diego. Junior midfielder Tori Waldek was visibly energetic prior to the game even starting. She received several deep balls from redshirt sophomore defender Kam Pickett, resulting in several shots on goal.
“I always love going into the attack, and I think having that extra little pressure up in their defense always overwhelms them,” Pickett said. “I’m always happy to help and just try to get some attacking opportunities.”
Despite several chances, including a penalty kick and a breakaway by Waldek, the Waves were unable to put any points on the board during the first 45 minutes, resulting in a 0-0 score at halftime.
“We had a lot of possession,” senior midfielder Shelby Little said. “We were doing a really good job of keeping it and getting it toward the goal, but it was just getting that final touch and getting it into the goal.”
The Waves, despite a strong first half performance, needed to find their final touch in order to secure a victory.
“At halftime, we said that the performance is great, but if we want to be a championship team, you got to bury your chances. Put the nail in the coffin,” Head Coach Tim Ward said.
At the start of the first half, the Waves continued to press San Diego. In the 54th minute, Little scored off a corner kick redshirt senior forward Trinity Watson put into play.
“It really comes down to the delivery,” Ward said. “Trinity is one of the best I’ve ever seen. She’s the best we’ve ever had since I’ve been at Pepperdine, but across Division I soccer in my experience, she delivers the ball as good as anybody. And the consistency of her delivery is remarkable.”
Little found the ball leveled by Watson, and got the touch that she said she was looking for.
The goal resulted in a momentum change in favor of the Waves for the remainder of the game.
“Really proud of Mel, because she’s been working hard,” Ward said. “And sometimes when you come in as a freshman, there’s a lot of new information. She’s on board and she looked really really good today.”
“We’re going to need to be very efficient with our chances because when you’re on the road under the lights in front of a vicious crowd with a vicious opponent, I don’t suspect we’re going to get 26 opportunities to score,” Ward said. “Just sticking at it, staying with it. Being persistent.”
Pickett said she embodies a similar anticipation for the series of away games, especially with the momentum gathered from their 3-0 win over San Diego.
“Another day of fun. I’m ready for the next one,” Pickett said.
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