Pepperdine Seizes Crucial WCC Victory at San Diego on Michelle Pao's Game-Winner
Oct. 19, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Pepperdine got a pair of sensational goals from All-American candidate Lynn Williams and All-American Michelle Pao and withstood a furious late rally to defeat San Diego 2-1 in West Coast Conference action Sunday night. The Waves (7-5-2, 2-1-0 WCC) young defensive unit found a way to keep the hard-charging Toreros (9-6-0, 2-2-0 WCC) at bay and collected its fourth straight victory against their Southern California rival.
Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) got the Waves on the scoreboard first with her WCC-leading 11th scoring strike of the season to make it 1-0 Pepperdine in the 20th minute. It would not last long. San Diego’s Emily Dillon scored her eighth of the year for the equalizer in the 22nd minute. The score stayed knotted at 1-1 until the 57th minute.
Pao (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista HS) found the back of the net for the first time this season and made it count for a 2-1 lead, which Pepperdine would not surrender. In a SportsCenter worthy finish, Pao fired a booming shot from 25 yards out that grazed the bottom of the cross bar on its way to the back of the net.
“This is one of the most intense games I've been a part of,” Pepperdine head coach Tim Ward said. “USD was excellent at times this evening and I'm proud to say so were we. It was a really wide-open game with two teams needing to win and wanting goals. I am incredibly proud of the spirit of our squad and the determination they showed tonight. Lynn's goal was pure determination and Pao scored one of the best goals I've ever seen a Wave score! It was just a great night and a great result.”
Freshman goalkeeper Hannah Seabert (Riverside, Calif./Woodcrest Christian HS) collected the win for Pepperdine, and made seven saves. Seabert keyed a young Waves backline that stood stout despite seeing what Coach Ward referred to as “everything but the kitchen sink” attack by USD late in the contest. Michelle Craft suffered the loss for San Diego and corralled a pair of saves.
Williams finished with three shots to pace the Waves, while three other players, including Pao, chipped in a pair. Dillon attempted a match-high eight shots for the Toreros.
San Diego held a 20-10 shot advantage – the first time Pepperdine has trailed in shots in almost a month – including an 8-4 edge in shots on frame. In addition, USD kept the pressure on, attempting 10 corners to just four for the Waves.
Pepperdine continues WCC play when it returns home for its final homestand of the 2013 regular season, beginning Friday, October 25 against Pacific. Match time against the Tigers is set for 3:00 p.m. at Tari Frahm Rokus Field in a match featuring live streaming video on PepperdineSports.com via WaveCasts.