[PEPPERDINE-SANTA CLARA]No. 21 Pepperdine returned to Malibu for the first time in more than three weeks and secured a 2-1 victory against No. 17 Santa Clara Sunday to win its fifth consecutive match in a battle of WCC rivals.
“That was a really good soccer team that we just beat,” Pepperdine coach Tim Ward said. “I have a lot of respect for their program. Our energy wasn’t the greatest today, but what I like about our team is that we didn’t play our best, but we still found a way to win.”
Michelle Pao put the Waves ahead on a free kick from 30 yards less than three minutes before the end of the first half.
Santa Clara answered in the 74th minute on a goal from Mexican under-20 international Sofia Huerta, but Lynn Williams won the game in the 82nd minute when she weaved through the Bronco defense and fired a shot in traffic to the far post from 15 yards.
“Michelle Pao’s goal today was a legitimate strike,” Ward said. “In the second half, they deserved a goal and I thought it was fair at 1-1. From there, it was game on and Lynn came through for us. Of all people, she deserved it. She’s been playing so well with no goals to show for it. She has been so instrumental in our team success so far and it was a great goal.”
With the win, Pepperdine increased its home unbeaten streak to 27 regular-season matches.
Oct. 14 in Malibu, Calif.
Pepperdine 2 Santa Clara 1. Goals: Pao 43, Williams 82; Huerta (Johnston) 74.
Pepperdine --Barker, Smith, Pao, Davis, DeGrandmont, Pontes, LeCave, Holtz, Guajardo, Williams, Payetta. Subs: Hilliard, Cervantes, Lariviere.
Santa Clara -- Rubattino, Reis, Kleiner, E.Rice, Shim, Weatherholt, Matheson, Vernon, Klei, Johnston, Huerta. Subs: Robertson, McAuliffe, Jackson, Birgel, B.Rice, Jones, Speidel.
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Pepperdine-Santa Clara Highlights: