The Pepperdine Waves women’s soccer team began its season in winning fashion.
The Waves opened their 2022 campaign with a dominant 8-0 win over the Cal State Northridge Matadors on Aug. 18. Pepperdine then downed the UC San Diego Tritons 1-0 three days later.
The Waves host LSU on Thursday at 3 p.m. and then host San Diego State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Pepperdine is the 17th-ranked team in the nation. Florida State, the defending national champions, who beat the Waves in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 last season, is the top-ranked team in women’s college soccer.
Senior midfielder Carlee Giammona, redshirt senior forward Leyla McFarland, and freshman forward Melina Livadas each scored two goals apiece for Pepperdine in its win over the visiting Matadors. Redshirt senior defender Trinity Watson and freshman forward/midfielder Tatum Wynalda also netted scores.
Waves head coach Tim Ward said Pepperdine put on a “wonderful display.”
“We were able to get a lot of women on the field today, but what I think I was most proud of is that every Wave that stepped on the field played at a really high level —great rhythm, great tempo,” he said. “There were some really wonderful goals. As a coach, you can’t ask for anything more than that, so I’m really pleased with not only the goals we scored but also the fact that we limited them to very, very few quality opportunities.”
Giammona said teamwork was key.
“All preseason we worked on our team camaraderie,” she said. “We were really focused on just playing for each other and working as a team. I think that really helped us out there. Being able to just work together. That is how we were able to get so many of our goals — just good team buildup. It was really fun.”
Pepperdine dished out eight assists — including three by Watson, two by Giammona and one each by junior defender Victoria Romero, senior midfielder Shelby Little, and sophomore forward Kelsey Adams. The assist total tied for the fourth-most in Waves history. The assists added with the eight goals equals 24 total points, the third-highest point total in a game in program history. The squad also took 12 corner kicks, third-most in Pepperdine history.
Giammona scored the Waves’ first goal in the 16th minute after she received a pass from Watson. Giammona beat CSUN goalkeeper Taylor Thames one-on-one when she tapped the ball with her left foot into the net.
In the 31st minute, Giammona passed the ball to Romero, who then passed the ball to Livadas. The first year Wave kicked the ball with her left foot by a defender into the net. Then, around three minutes later, Giammona passed the ball from the left corner of the field to Livadas, who was in front of the Matadors goalie. Livadas headed the ball into the goal to give Pepperdine a 3-0 lead.
Watson beat the CSUN keeper for a goal on a penalty kick in the match’s 37th minute after senior forward Alex Hobbs was fouled. The score was Watson’s seventh career penalty kick, which tied a Pepperdine record.
Adams passed the ball to Little in the 57th minute. Then, Little sent the ball to McFarland, who scored the ball on a leaping header. That goal gave the Waves a 5-0 lead. After a corner kick by Watson on the left side of the field two minutes later, Adams sent a header from the far post to the left post where McFarland was. The forward knocked the ball in the goal with head again for her second score of the day.
Giammona scored her second goal of the game in the 79th minute when she received a corner kick pass from Watson and kicked the ball with her left foot into the net. Wynalda scored the game’s final goal in the 83rd minute. She drove down the right side of the field with the ball, cut in front of a Matador defender,and then kicked the ball into the goal from about 15 yards away.
Pepperdine redshirt freshman goalkeeper Taylor Rath had one save in the match.
McFarland’s goal in the 10th minute was the only score in Pepperdine’s victory over UC San Diego. Sophomore Tabitha LaParl passed the ball to her classmate Tori Waldeck, a forward. Waldeck then kicked the ball in scoring attempt, but Tritons goalkeeper Keara Fitzgerald deflected the ball. McFarland then kicked the ball with her right foot to put the Waves’ ahead on the scoreboard.
Pepperdine outshot the Tritons 15-3 in the contest. Rath had two saves.
Ward said UC San Diego was a tough opponent and that Fitzgerald defended their goal well.
“On another day, we could have scored two or three more if not for her excellent play,” he said.
The Pepperdine coach was happy his team won their first road match.
“We’re very proud of the way we stayed composed, managed the game, and got over the line,” Ward said. “In time, I believe this game will be really helpful in strengthening our program.”