#22 Pepperdine Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

Pepperdine Waves

Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #1 West Coast Conference
Pepperdine Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Pepperdine Team Page


Pepperdine had an amazing regular season, tallying a 15-1-4 record heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Waves second loss of the season came much quicker than they had hoped. Long Beach State made the short trip up the California coast for the first round of the tournament and left Malibu with a 1-0 overtime victory. Coach Tim Ward has another quality team in 2012 and they will be ready to avoid an upset in the NCAA Tournament this time around.

2011 Record: 15-2-4, 7-1-0
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tim Ward

Pepperdine wins games with their defense. Both losses in 2011 were by a score of 1-0 and all four of their ties were 1-1. If the Waves can score a goal, they can almost certainly at least get a tie out of the match. In fact, the only time Pepperdine allowed more than one goal in a game was against Illinois…and they scored four times in that contest. The defense will miss Myriah Stockman, who started 78 games over her four year career at Pepperdine. But back to lead the way are Kristin DeGrandmont, Kelsea Smith, Ana Pontes and Michelle Pao. DeGrandmont and Smith are the anchors of the back line. Smith will be the senior leader in the middle of the unit. Pontes started last season at the defensive midfield spot and will likely fill that role again, but she is more than capable of dropping back on a consistent basis. And it is helpful to have a player like Pontes who does a superb job covering on defense when Pepperdine has a weapon like Pao on the field. The wing back will get forward quite often and is a dangerous scorer and passer. She totaled two goals and five assists last season and may have a little more freedom to roam toward goal as an upperclassman. Behind the stellar defense will stand Roxanne Barker. The senior keeper allowed a mere 12 goals in 21 games. She recorded nine shutouts and finished her junior campaign with a .867 save percentage, ranking 13th in the nation. So not only is tough to get a shot off against Pepperdine, once you do Barker will probably stop it anyway.

Pepperdine does not have much trouble scoring goals, but they will miss forward Laura Cole and midfielder Karissa Garcia. Cole was second on the team in goals scored with seven and also tallied four assists. Garcia was a solid playmaker in the midfield who could find the back of the net as well. But there are plenty of goal scorers and playmakers returning. Anisa Guajardo is an experienced senior who led the Waves with nine goals last season. She is an efficient finisher around the goal and should be just as effective in 2012. Sophomore Lynn Williams will join her up front. Williams had a superb freshman campaign, tallying six goals and eight assists. She took a lot of shots to get those six goals, yet that worked out pretty well for the forwards. Williams can take shots and she is also a major threat to set up Guajardo or another scorer for a goal. Michelle Manning is a versatile midfielder who can move up and play some striker and should be one of the other main scoring threats for the Waves.

Final Projection:
This is a talented, experienced group that will battle for a West Coast Conference title. Getting Santa Clara at home should help, but a three game road trip that includes trips to San Diego, Portland and Gonzaga to close out the month of October could be when the WCC title is really decided. For the Waves it will come down to scoring goals. Their defense keeps them in every game, but this is not a team that will put up four goals against quality competition like Illinois very often either. Thus, the opposition will be able to stay close and try and steal a goal and sit on the lead and force Pepperdine to push up more than they would normally like.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Anisa Guajardo, Senior, F, 9
Assists: Lynn Williams, Sophomore, F, 8
Shots: Lynn Williams, Sophomore, F, 80
Saves: Roxanne Barker, Senior, GK, 78

Madness 2012 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#88 Rylee Baisden