MALIBU, Calif. - Making its first appearance at home in nearly three weeks, No. 20 Pepperdine took full advantage, posting a 2-0 shutout win against UC Santa Barbara Friday afternoon at Tari Frahm Rokus Field. The Waves (7-3-0) remain unblemished at home (5-0) and win for the 10th time in 13 career meetings against the Gauchos (3-5-1).
Michelle Pao (Cupertino, Calif.) made her inaugural goal of 2012 memorable with a sizzling strike from 30 yards to the near post in the 19th minute. Taylor Vargo (Los Alamitos, Calif.) followed with her first tally of the season in the closing seconds of the opening period on a slow roller to the far post. Callie Payetta (Huntington Beach, Calif.) registered the assist on Vargo's strike.
"This was a great response for us after last weekend," Pepperdine head coach Tim Ward said. "We played well at UCLA, but we got punished ruthlessly by a strong Bruin team. Today we put in a strong performance against a good team. This puts us in a good position in the standings for the postseason."
Pepperdine held a commanding 20-8 shot advantage, including a 9-3 lead in shots on goal. The Waves owned an 11-4 shot edge at the intermission. Lynn Williams (Fresno, Calif.) led the way with a match-high five attempts, while Pao and Payetta added three apiece.
Roxanne Barker (Irvine, Calif.) collected her third shutout of the season and collected three saves, improving to 5-3-0 in 2012. Makenna Henry suffered the loss for UCSB and made seven saves.
Pepperdine takes a break before traveling to the East Coast to take on Boston College Saturday, September 29. Match time against the Eagles is set for 9:00 a.m. (PT) on the campus of Harvard University.
NOTES: Pepperdine improves to 3-0-0 this season against Big West opponents ... The Waves dispatched UC Irvine (4-0) and Pacific (3-2) ... The goal was the third career scoring strike for Pao in her 50th match in the orange and blue.