Healy Kicks First Career Goal as Waves Soccer Earns a ‘W’

Freshman Nicolette Lewis

Pepperdine Waves women’s soccer player Meghan Healy has had moments of doubt during her collegiate soccer tenure. However, when those swirled in her head during game play, the senior changed her mindset.

“Our team really focuses on staying positive, and knowing you have an impact on the team no matter what,” Healy said. “I really focused on that in those times.” 

The 21-year-old’s positive attitude paid off for her and the Waves on Oct. 7. Healy scored Pepperdine’s lone goal in its 1-0 home victory over the fourth-ranked Santa Clara Broncos, a West Coast Conference opponent. 

The fourth-year player’s scoring strike was her first collegiate goal in 19 games, including two others this season, that she has appeared in. 

“It honestly shows if you just trust the process it is possible to change your entire season,” she said. 

Pepperdine head coach Tim Ward said Healy— a Pepperdine scholar-athlete and recipient of several WCC academic honors—had been playing well in practice, so he wanted to get her some game action.

“She has been through a lot of adversity, but what a time to get your first goal of the year,” he said. “In eight minutes [of playing time], she buries the match winner. It was good for her. It was great for us.”

Healy’s goal, coupled with great defense, improved the Pepperdine’s record to 7-6-1 overall and 2-1-1 in WCC play. Pepperdine now has 10 straight home wins over Santa Clara. The Waves also ended the Broncos eight-game winning streak.  

Healy scored in the match’s 44th minute. Sophomore forward Joelle Anderson took possession of the ball near the center of the field in Broncos’ territory after it deflected off an opposing player. The second-year Wave passed the ball to Healy on the left side of the field. Healy, who had checked into the contest five minutes prior, booted the ball over Santa Clara’s goal keeper and into the goal.

“I just saw the ball, and I saw the net, and thought ‘Okay, just put it in the net,’” said Healy. 

After the goal, Healy was the recipient of a big group hug from teammates on the field. When she returned to the sidelines, more Waves congratulated her. 

Pepperdine senior goalkeeper Brielle Preece said Healy’s goal was a celebration for the team. 

The reigning WCC Goalkeeper of the Year made a defensive play that was also cause for celebration four minutes before Healy scored. 

A Broncos player was knocked down in the box and awarded a penalty kick. However, Preece dove to her right to stop the scoring attempt. She dove to the other side to corral the ball after a Broncos player tried to score on a rebound kick. 

Ward called Preece’s penalty kick save extraordinary. The victory was Preece’s sixth shutout of the season and Pepperdine’s seventh. 

“If felt good to get another shutout,” Preece said. “It was nice, getting us back into our rhythm. It’s what we pride ourselves on, so it felt really good to get it done today.” 

Ward described the win over the Broncos as tough, adding that his squad played better in the first half, whereas Santa Clara outplayed them in the game’s last 45 minutes. He said the Broncos switched up their formation and played more aggressively on offensive because they were down a goal. 

“We were ready for it, but until you see it, sometimes it is hard to adjust on the fly,” Ward said. “But ultimately, we got the right pieces in the right places. It looked like we could have got a second goal—they were throwing caution to the wind because they had to go get a goal—so every time on the break it looked like we could have got a second goal, but one was enough today.” 

The longtime Waves coach said he just wants his team to continue to enjoy the season and to compete for each other. 

In a similar vein, Healy said, “We really believe in each other as a team, and we are ready to do it for each other.”

Pepperdine has three more games in the regular season after its matchup against Loyola Marymount. The Waves next host BYU on Saturday, and later, Loyola Marymount on Oct. 20. Both contests against conference opponents are at 1 p.m.