Waves Clash With Titans In Season Opener
THIS WEEK’S MATCH: Against the Cal State Fullerton Titans (Saturday, Aug. 23 - 1 p.m.) is the season and home opener for the 2008 season ... Pepperdine is 9-3-3 (.700) in season openers and 11-4 (.733) in its home openers ... The Waves last opened their season with Cal State Fullerton in 2004 and won on the road 1-0.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Pepperdine begins 2008 on a seven-match homestand, which is its longest ever to start a season ... The Waves scheduled two previous seven-match homestands midway through the 2005 and 2007 seasons and posted respective win-loss records of 4-2-1 and 2-1-4 ... Prior to 2008, Pepperdine’s longest season-opening homestand had been four matches, which took place Aug. 31 to Sept. 17, 2001.
WAVES AT TARI FRAHM ROKUS FIELD (0-0): The Waves are 97-31-16 (.729) in 15 seasons of playing at Tari Frahm Rokus Field, including a 4-3-4 mark in 2007 ... Pepperdine, which has yet to post a losing record at Rokus Field in any season, has recorded two unbeaten and four one-loss campaigns on its home pitch since the program’s inception in 1993.
WAVES VS. TITANS: The Waves are 7-3-1 all-time vs. Cal State Fullerton, a team they have not played since 2004 ... Pepperdine is 4-1 against the 2007 Big West champions at home and 3-2-1 against them on the road ... The Waves are 3-0-1 in their last four meetings with CSF with their last loss taking place on the road in 1996.
THE HEAD COACH: The Waves are 115-59-27 under the direction of Tim Ward, who has served as Pepperdine’s skipper since 1998 ... Under Ward, the Waves have made the NCAA Tournament in five of the last seven years ... Ward has been with Pepperdine from nearly the beginning, as the program was established in 1993 and he became an assistant coach in 1994 before being elevated to the head position in 1998.
THE WAVES’ TRI-CAPTAINS: For 2008, the team captains are junior goalkeeper Kayla Stolte, senior midfielder Ashley Copp and junior forward Courtney Price ... The tri-captains were voted to their current position by their teammates just weeks before the start of the 2008 spring season ... Their leadership helped the Waves rebound from a disappointing 5-8-6 record in 2007, by guiding the club to an 8-1 mark against its exhibition opponents.
PRIZED RECRUITS: Pepperdine’s recruiting class was ranked 34th in the nation (out of 320 programs) and ninth in the West Region (out of 49 teams) by Soccer Buzz Magazine ... Head coach Tim Ward’s 2008 recruiting class includes Soccer Buzz Top 100 recruit and defender Kelsea Smith as well as Top 200 recruits forward Laura Cole and midfielder Myriah Stockman ... As a conference, the WCC ranked fourth (out of 31) in the Soccer Buzz conference team rankings behind only the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-10.
WAVES WITHIN THE WEST COAST CONFERENCE: Pepperdine is projected to finish fifth in the WCC in 2008 according to the preseason poll voted on by the conference’s coaches ... Portland led the way with 49 points and seven first-place votes and were followed by Santa Clara with 42 points and one first-place vote ... San Diego and Loyola Marymount were predicted to place third and fourth, respectively ... The Waves, who are seeking their sixth NCAA Tournament bid in the last eight seasons, return eight starters and 14 letterwinners overall.
ROUGH ROAD AHEAD: Pepperdine’s schedule is a major challenge once again in 2008 as the Waves match up with five nationally ranked opponents and six NCAA Tournament participants from 2007 ... Pepperdine’s 20-match slate includes preseason #2 UCLA and #13 Tennessee in addition to WCC rivals #6 Portland, #22 Santa Clara and #25 San Diego ... The Waves’ 2008 opponents combined for an overall win-loss record of 209-144-49 in 2007, equaling an impressive .581 winning percentage.
NCAA WOMAN OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE: Former Wave Jenna Shay was nominated by the West Coast Conference for the 18th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Award ... This award honors student-athletes after their senior year of academic eligibility for their collegiate achievements in service, leadership, athletics and academics ... During her career at Pepperdine, Shay was named to the WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four years and was a member of the Pepperdine Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) ... During the summer of 2007, Shay spent time in Uganda teaching soccer clinics, volunteering in a medical clinic and sharing her faith ... She also spent time as a student-teacher at local middle and high schools earning her the Athletic Director’s Award for Excellence in Academics, Athletics and Community Service ... The 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced in Indianapolis on Oct. 19.
A BRIEF LOOK BACK AT 2007: The Waves were left shaking their heads follow the 2007 campaign, a season in which they posted a 5-8-6 record and finished sixth in the WCC at 2-4-1 ... Amanda Rupp led Pepperdine on offense with 15 points on five goals and was named to the All-WCC honorable mention squad ... Sophia Medina, who was runner-up to Rupp with nine points, was voted to the All-WCC second team ... The Pepperdine defense had an excellent season and kept the squad in as many matches as it could, preventing any opposing offense from scoring more than two goals in a game ... The Waves ÂD’ pitched three shutouts behind goalkeeper Kayla Stolte, plus allowed just one goal in 12 games and two goals in only four contests ... Stolte finished the year with a 0.93 goals-against average and compiled 73 saves.
PEPPERDINE HISTORY: The Waves have made five NCAA Tournament appearances in their 15-year history, with all of them coming in the last seven years ... Pepperdine advanced to the Sweet 16 in both 2002 and 2005 ... The Waves also captured a share of the 2002 WCC title.
SUN DEVILS AND GAUCHOS ON TAP: Pepperdine’s homestand continues next weekend playing host to the Arizona State Sun Devils Friday at 3 p.m. and the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Sunday at 1 p.m.
TICKETS: 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 an university ID.