Following a historic season, members of the Pepperdine Waves women’s soccer team hauled in a record set of postseason honors last week.
A quintet of Waves—Joelle Anderson, Zoe Clevely, Carlee Giammona, Tori Waldeck, and Trinity Watson—were named to United Soccer Coaches’ 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s West Region First Team on Nov. 30, the most-ever first-team nods in Pepperdine history. The previous record was three in 2014. The 15-person first team also included players from BYU, Cal Poly, Gonzaga, Santa Clara, BYU, The University of Denver, and the University of California, Irvine.
Each year, United Soccer Coaches, the world’s largest soccer coaches’ group, places top college players from across the country on of its Atlantic, East, Midwest, North, Pacific, South, Southeast or West all-region squads.
Pepperdine’s five players receiving All-West Region status tied a program record first set 10 years ago. Pepperdine also had five players receive All-West Region first, second, or third team status in 2014 and 2017.
Joelle Anderson, a redshirt senior forward, said receiving recognition from United Soccer Coaches reveals that Pepperdine fielded a special team this season.
“Sometimes, our program gets overlooked because we are a smaller school, but I believe this season proved to not only our team but the entire country that this is one of the best places in the country to play D1 soccer,” she said. “It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of our players were recognized because I know how much talent we have and how hard we worked every single day.”
Anderson, who is set to begin her pro soccer career with the Houston Dash at the end of January, received an additional honor the day after the All-Region honorees were announced. She was named to the Senior CLASS Award All-American second team. Anderson was one of five players named to the second team and one of 10 to be honored with the status, which recognizes players for their character, community work, and talent in the classroom and on the pitch.
Anderson, who has received academic honors from the WCC and Pepperdine, graduates this month with a 3.47 GPA. She is honored to be recognized alongside some the best soccer players in the nation.
“This award is special because they not only took into consideration my soccer abilities, but also other aspects of my life,” she said. “Receiving any award is always an awesome reminder that all my hard work is paying off.”
Pepperdine coach Tim Ward called Anderson one of Pepperdine’s “most interesting and fascinating leaders.”
“The staff and her teammates trust her completely,” he said. “Whether it was taking the critical penalty kick to tie the game in last year’s NCAA Tournament or simply looking for her to calm a chaotic moment in the game, her teammates go to her for strength, composure, poise, and confidence. In a quiet way, Anderson has been one of the most unbelievable leaders we have ever had in this program. She has a really big heart, but she doesn’t wear it on her sleeve.”
Anderson has been placed on the All-West Region first team three times and has been received All-West Region honors four times. She made the All-WCC first team five times and led Pepperdine with 11 goals and 30 points this season. In her five-season college career, Anderson rang up 24 goals and 16 assists for 64 points.
Clevely, a redshirt senior goalkeeper, earned All-West Region status for the first time. She was also an All-WCC honorable mention. Clevely registered 12 shutouts this season, second on Pepperdine’s all-time single-season list. She is first on the Waves’ all-time single-season wins list with 17 in 22 games. The goalkeeper had a .831 save percentage in 17 games and only allowed 13 goals with a 0.59 goals-against average.
This is the first time the junior midfielder Giammona earned All-West Region status. She was named to the All-WCC second team also and recorded seven goals and eight assists this season. Giammona had a Pepperdine record-tying three assists in the Waves’ victory over Vanderbilt.
Waldeck, a sophomore forward, garnered All-West Region status for the first time. She led Pepperdine with 10 assists and kicked nine goals. Waldeck, also an All-WCC first-teamer this year, tallied three assists in the Waves’ first-round NCAA Tournament win over South Dakota State.
Senior defender Watson has now received All-Region honors twice, and she collected her third All-WCC status this season. Watson had five goals and five assists this season. She was also nailed all four of her penalty kicks and started all 22 of Pepperdine’s contests.
The Waves finished its season last month with a 17-4-1 record. The squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, where they fell, 1-0, to Florida State. Florida State defeated BYU, 4-3, to win the NCAA title on Monday.
Anderson will always cherish her time at Pepperdine.
“I think everyone who has gone through the program can say how special of a place it is, and I am grateful for the amazing four and a half years I had,” she said. “Pepperdine soccer will always hold a huge place in my heart, and I hope I left behind a great legacy that will be remembered for a long time.”