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Pepperdine Falls 1-0 to Cal State Fullerton


MALIBU, Calif. – A Tiffany Craig goal in the 70th minute off a busted set piece held up as the game-winner in Cal State Fullerton’s 1-0 victory over Pepperdine Saturday afternoon before 402 fans at Tari Frahm Rokus Field. Today’s match served as the season opener for both teams.


The Titans’ goal was initiated by a throw in from the far side deep inside the attacking third. The long toss was hammered down by Waves’ goalkeeper Kayla Stolte (Santee, Calif./West Hills HS) coming over the top, but the ball quickly found its way over to Craig as she blasted a sharp diagonal from 12 yards back.


“It was a broken play off a set piece, where they threw the ball in, it bounced down and they we’re just quicker to it than we were – it was a half-chance, but they delivered,” Pepperdine head coach Tim Ward said.


Stolte went on to finish the match with six saves, while her CSF counterpart Shannon Simpson made four. Simpson’s biggest save came on Amanda Rupp’s (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) penalty kick in the 84th minute.


Rupp was presented the game-tying opportunity after Simpson was yellow carded for a hard foul inside the six-yard box. But Simpson redeemed herself by reading the ball off Rupp’s foot in making a diving save at the far post.


The Waves’ offense created another flurry late inside the 86th minute; however, shots by Kelly Reilly (Cardiff, Calif./La Costa Canyon) and Ashley Copp (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) were saved by Titan defenders stationed on the goal line, while another attempt from Laura Cole (Whittier, Calif./Whittier) was blocked.


Three more Pepperdine corner kicks would soon follow, but the Waves could not find their desired equalizer.


“We set up a number of good chances for ourselves, so I can’t feel too badly about this loss,” Ward said. “Our team had about three or four clear chances to score and win the game and it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t put the match away. But it’s a young season, we have experienced players, and I’m confident we’ll bounce back.”


Pepperdine recorded a total of 14 shots – seven in each half – and placed six of them on goal. Emily Wynne led all players with four shots.


Pepperdine continues its homestand next weekend with matches Friday and Sunday against Arizona State and UC Santa Barbara.



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