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Pepperdine Women's Soccer Team Chosen To Finish Third In Highly Competitive WCC


Aug. 20, 2003

After producing the finest season in school history a year ago, the Pepperdine women's soccer team has been chosen to finish third in the highly competitive West Coast Conference (WCC) in a vote of conference coaches, it was announced on Friday.

Defending national champion Portland and national runner-up Santa Clara shared the top spot in the balloting as they each received four first-place votes and totaled 46 points.

The Waves, who claimed a share of their first-ever WCC title with Santa Clara last season, received 35 points and were followed in the voting by San Diego (29), Loyola Marymount (26), Saint Mary's (22), San Francisco (12) and Gonzaga (8).

Last season, the WCC had a total of five teams advance to the NCAA Tournament as San Diego and Loyola Marymount joined Pepperdine, Portland and Santa Clara in the 64-team field.

Pepperdine, which became the first school other than Portland or Santa Clara to win a WCC championship, concluded the 2002 campaign with a program-record 18-2-2 overall mark, advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history and earned its first-ever national Top 10 final ranking.

Sixth-year head coach Tim Ward welcomes back 14 letterwinners, including seven starters, from last year's club that went 6-1 in the WCC and defeated both Portland and Santa Clara in the span of a week.

Highlighting the list of returning players is third team All-American defender Ashley Swanson and the top four scorers from a year ago in junior forward Ali Pavoni, sophomore forward Jenna Fodor, senior forward Lacey Ubaldi and sophomore forward Megan Woods.

Pavoni and Fodor tied for the team-lead with 27 points, while Ubaldi totaled 25 points and Woods tallied 22.

Pepperdine opens its 19-match schedule on Friday, August 29, when it hosts UC Irvine at Tari Frahm Rokus Field beginning at 3 p.m. The Waves' home schedule also includes matches against local rival and perennial national power UCLA (August 31) and defending national champion Portland on October 24.

The 2003 WCC Women's Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll: 1. Portland (4) 46 Santa Clara (4) 46 3. PEPPERDINE 35 4. San Diego 29 5. Loyola Marymount 26 6. Saint Mary's 22 7. San Francisco 12 8. Gonzaga 8



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