Defending Home Turf

Forward Calista Reyes.

The Pepperdine women’s soccer team will look to continue its winning streak and cement its hold on the West Coast Conference title in two upcoming home games.

The Waves, owners of an eight-game winning streak and undefeated in six WCC games, will host Pacific on Friday at 3 p.m. and Saint Mary’s on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both squads are WCC opposition. 

After the Waves’ sixth consecutive win, an Oct. 15 victory over Gonzaga, Pepperdine coach Tim Ward said the Waves, the defending WCC champions, are trying to get better every day.

“We want to stay humble and stay hungry,” he said. “I’d be lying if we said we didn’t want the WCC championship this year. At the end, if our body of work merits it, we will be champions.”

The 13th-ranked Waves, 12-2-2 overall this season, nabbed their seventh and eighth straight wins last weekend in away games over WCC opponents. In the contests—a 2-1 victory over BYU on Oct. 19 and 3-0 win over San Diego two days later—Pepperdine freshman forward Joelle Anderson scored three goals and her teammate, senior forward Bri Visalli, the team’s leading scorer, had two assists. Goal keeper Brielle Preece, a junior, had six saves in the two games.

Anderson scored two goals in the BYU victory. The San Jose native’s scores, her fifth and sixth of the season, came in a four-minute stretch after Pepperdine’s defense gave up its first score in five games. 

BYU scored in the game’s 14th minute. The Cougars held the lead for five minutes, but then Anderson’s scores in the 19th minute and four minutes later put Pepperdine up for good. 

Anderson’s first score was a shot 30 yards away from the goal, which ripped into the top right corner of the net. 

Pepperdine took a 2-1 lead when Visalli kicked the ball ahead to Anderson. The freshman dribbled the ball once, then rocketed a shot that hit the crossbar and bounced in the goal. Visalli, also the Waves leader in assists, earned an assist on the play. 

Against San Diego on Oct. 21, three different Waves—Anderson, senior forward Alex Marmureanu and freshman forward Calista Reyes—scored to lead Pepperdine to a win. 

The scores were in a 13-minute stretch in the first half. 

After collecting a pass from Anderson in the 22nd minute, Marmureanu beat the Toreros goal keeper one-on-one to score her first goal of the season. Anderson collected a ball from Visalli, who gained another assist, and scored on a kick to give the Waves a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute. Reyes nabbed her fourth goal of the season in the 34th minute. She grabbed a rebound and scored on a kick from six yards out. 

The Waves have outscored WCC opponents, 17-1, this year. 

Ward said Pepperdine’s offense is multifaceted.

“Our job is to create an attack that will come at you from every angle,” he said. 

After winning the WCC championship last season, the Waves were selected to play in the NCAA tournament. Ward said the Waves want to make the tournament again, but added he and his coaches talk beyond wins and losses with the team.

“We talk about doing the process right,” Ward said.