WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The University of San Diego women's soccer team (5-6-2, 1-2-0 WCC) will resume WCC play this week with a road trip to Malibu on Saturday to take on No. 7 Pepperdine University in a 3 p.m. match.
LAST TIME OUT: The University of San Diego women's soccer team upended the University of Portland, 3-0, Sunday afternoon in a West Coast Conference match at Torero Stadium. With the win, the Toreros improve to 5-6-2 overall, move to 1-2-0 in the WCC, and have now defeated Portland for the second time in four years. With the loss, the Pilots fall to 5-7-2 overall and move to 2-2-0 in the WCC. The Toreros scored the only goal they would need in the 30th minute of action. After dominating the time of possession over the first 29 minutes of play, Jacqueline Altschuld stole the ball near the 30 yard line, then took a few touches, and fired off a shot past a diving Portland goalkeeper to give USD the 1-0 lead. San Diego then doubled up its lead in the 33rd minute of action. Mariah Butera took a corner kick for the Toreros, and the ball skied into a busy goal box, and Julia Sherwood was there to redirect the ball with her head and into the back of the net, to give USD a 2-0 lead. USD then put the match completely out of reach in the 88th minute of action. Nikki Pappalardo stole the ball away for the Pilots near the 40 yard line, and was able to send a touch pass over to Camelia Tirandazi, who had a 1-v-1 with the Portland `keeper and she easily put the ball away to put the match at its final of 3-0. The Toreros outshot the Pilots 12-4, and they held a slight 11-8 advantage in corner kicks. McKenna Tollack picked up the win in goal for the Toreros, as she allowed no goals and recorded no saves.
MULTIMEDIA: Fans can watch Saturday's game live on WaveCasts, and fans can find a link to this broadcast on usdtoreros.com. Live stats for the game will also be available at usdtoreros.com. Fans can also follow @USDwsoccer on Twitter.
SCOUTING THE WAVES: The Waves' 12-1-2 record is tied for the best in program history through 15 games matching the 12-1-2 start the 2002 squad has. Pepperdine has not lost since Sept. 7 against No. 1 UCLA. Pepperdine's offense is paced by Lynn Williams, who has a team-best 10 goals to go along with three assists for a team-best 23 points. Hannah Seabert anchors down the defensive side of things for the Waves, as she has posted a 11-1-2 overall record in goal with a goals-against-average of 0.52. Pepperdine is under the direction of 17th-year head coach Tim Ward. During his tenure in Malibu, Ward has posted an overall record of 202-99-45.
THE SERIES VS. THE WAVES: Pepperdine leads the all-time series at 11-8-2, dating back to the 1993 season, USD's second year of program existence. USD is 6-4-1 all-time against Pepperdine when playing in San Diego, but on the road, USD is just 2-7-1 on the road. The last time USD defeated Pepperdine in Malibu came on 10-24-08, a 1-0 final score. USD has also lost four consecutive matches to the Waves.
LAST TIME VS. THE WAVES: The Toreros women's soccer team was edged by Pepperdine, 2-1, on Oct. 19, 2013 at Torero Stadium, giving USD just their second home loss of the season. Playing in front of 1,031 fans, the Toreros tallied 20 total shots (ten in each half) to the Waves ten, but couldn't take advantage of their opportunities. The Waves struck first in the 20th minute behind Lynn Williams, the WCC's leading goal scorer. Williams beat her defender and fired a shot towards the Toreros' keeper Michelle Craft, who was able to deflect it away. Unfortunately, Craft blocked the ball right back to Williams, who then one-touched it past Craft to put the Waves on top 1-0. The Toreros leading goal-scorer, Emily Dillon, answered back less than three minutes later when she fired a left-footer in to the lower left corner to knot the match at 1-1. Dillon now has eight goals on the season. Taylor Housley nearly gave the Toreros a 2-1 lead minutes before halftime when she launched a shot in to the upper right corner from the left wing. However, Waves' keeper Hannah Seabert leaped to make an incredible save. The Waves retook the lead in the 57th minute after Michelle Pao sent a rocket from 25 yards out that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and in. As time winded down, the Toreros had multiple chances to equalize but could not convert. Emily Dillon had two good looks late in the match, one in the 81st minute and again in the 84th minute, but both of her attempts were just off target.
THE RANKINGS: The Waves currently sit at No. 7 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll. Pepperdine also came in at No. 8 in the Top Drawer Soccer rankings and No. 9 in the Soccer America ratings. The Toreros are not ranked in any of the top-25 polls, and currently sits at No. 63 in the NCAA RPI ratings.
WHO'S HOT FOR THE TOREROS?: Sophomore defender/midfielder Jacqueline Altschuld has now tallied two goals over the past three games, one of them the game-winner against Portland. On the season, Altschuld has also accompanied her two goals one assist to total five points.
LEADER OF THE PACK: Julia Sherwood has now moved into sole possession of first place on the team in goals scored, as she tallied her fourth goal of the season in USD's 3-0 blanking of Portland this Past Sunday. Sherwood has now scored one goal in two of the past three games, as she also tallied a goal against BYU, in USD's 3-2 loss to the Cougars. Overall, Sherwood has added in one assists to total a team-best nine points.
I'M HERE TO HELP: Senior Mariah Butera tallied her fifth assist in Sunday's win over Portland. Butera has also scored a pair of goals, and is now in a three way tie for most points with nine.
I NEED STATS STAT!: All San Diego women's soccer home matches can be followed via Gametracker, and through Statbroadcast, on the Toreros athletic web site at usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of CBS, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action, and Statbroadcast is also an up to the minute update of the action in real time scoring. Selected San Diego road matches are also available via Gametracker and Statbroadcast. To see if live stats are available for a match, go to San Diego women's soccer schedule page, and if any type of live state is available, you will see those links there.
THEW.TV: This season San Diego will be featured on the West Coast Conference's new digital platform, TheW.tv, four times. All four of these productions will have a multi-camera high definition broadcast with a play-by-play announcer. USD's match against USC (8/24) was the first of these broadcasts. Here are the remaining matches to be aired on TheW.tv...BYU (10/3), Portland (10/12) and Santa Clara (10/26).
TOREROS TABBED TO FINISH FIFTH IN PRESEASON POLL: After capturing a share of the West Coast Conference championship for the second straight year in 2013, BYU was picked as a narrow favorite to win the 2014 title. The top three teams were separated by a total of just four votes in the annual preseason poll of the WCC's 10 coaches. The university of San Diego was picked to finish fifth, while receiving one first place vote. BYU earned 73 points and three first place votes, while Portland collected 72 points with three first place votes. Santa Clara earned 69 points and three first place votes. The Cougars, Pilots and Broncos each shared the 2013 WCC Championship, the first time in league history three member institutions accomplished the feat in women's soccer. All three programs represented the WCC in the NCAA Postseason. Pepperdine was picked fourth with 57 votes, while San Diego rounded out the top-five with 54 points including the remaining first-place vote. San Francisco was picked sixth with 35 points, while Saint Mary's (29), Gonzaga (25), Loyola Marymount (20) and Pacific (16) round out the survey.
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