Waves soccer squad defeated in NCAA Tournament 

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Waves freshman Ava Verplancke (24), seen here in action earlier this season, was named the the West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team with three of her teammates. Photo by McKenzie Jackson

With 3-0 loss at Stanford, Pepperdine ends its season with a 9-5-5 overall record

The Pepperdine Waves women’s soccer team’s season ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 10. 

The squad was defeated by the second-ranked Stanford Cardinal 3-0 in Stanford. 

Waves head coach Tim Ward congratulated the Cardinal for their victory. 

“They’re excellent,” he said. “I actually thought our performance was really solid tonight. I’m really proud of the ladies.” 

The Waves, Ward noted, overcame a lot of obstacles this season. 

“I told the team after the game that I’m proud of this team,” he said. “It hasn’t been an easy season on a lot of fronts — whether its injuries or the events that have happened at Pepperdine. But through it all, they’ve done an amazing job of being light, honest, and strong.”

Stanford’s Jasmine Aikey, Kennedy Wesley, and Andrea Kitahata scored goals against the Waves. 

Senior midfielder and forward Tori Waldeck took four shots, including two on goal for Pepperdine and freshman Julia Quinonez’s lone shot was on goal. 

Redshirt junior Alex Sampson, a defender and forward, and midfielder Kyra Murphy, a redshirt freshman, also took one shot each for the Waves. Pepperdine goalkeeper Taylor Rath, a redshirt sophomore, had four saves. 

Waldeck and freshman midfielder Ava Verplanke had a few scoring chances that failed to materialize for Pepperdine early in the contest, even though Stanford was in control of possession. Aikey scored in the 32nd minute to give Stanford 1-0 advantage at halftime. The Cardinal scored on a corner kick in the 52nd minute as Aikey kicked a cross that landed near the post, and the ball was corralled by Wesley, who kicked the ball with her right foot to score. 

Kitahata received the ball from Shae Harvey in the 75th minute, and a right-footed scoring swing of her foot gave Stanford a 3-0 lead.

Ward said the Waves were hopeful before Stanford’s second goal.

“Anything could happen,” he said. “But the moment the second goal went in was tough. We scouted that set piece — I don’t know if the ball skipped in — but it was a bit unfortunate. At that point that was the game.” 

Two days before the loss to Stanford, the Waves netted a litany of WCC honors. 

Waldeck, the conference’s leader in shots on goal and second-highest goal scorer at 11, was named WCC Offensive Player of the Year. Quinonez, who scored six goals this season, was named the Freshman of the Year.

Sophomore defender Taylor Bloom, an honorable mention WCC selection last season, and Waldeck were named to the All-WCC First Team. Quinonez and Tatum Wynalda, who also scored six goals this season, made the second team.

Sophomore midfielder Karina Gonzalez, who had three goals and five assists this season, was an honorable mention All-WCC selection. Quinonez, Verplancke, who had six assists this season, and defender Peyton Leonard, who scored the game-winning goal against Fresno State, were named to the conference’s All-Freshman Team. 

Pepperdine ended their season with a 9-5-5 overall record, including a 6-2 record in the West Coast Conference.