Sept. 12, 2008
MALIBU, Calif. - A goal in the second minute of the match proved to be the game winner for Pepperdine over the University of Tennessee women's soccer team on Friday afternoon. The 23rd-ranked Lady Vols' scoring woes continued as they were shut out for the fourth time this season, falling to the Waves, 2-0.
Pepperdine struck for its first goal just over a minute into the match, when Samantha Hire headed in a rebounded shot to notch the eventual game winner. The goal was Hire's first of the season and came after a cross from Laura Cole was headed off the crossbar and came straight back to Hire.
Despite allowing the early goal, Tennessee controlled possession for the remainder of the first half, limiting the Waves to just three shots following the score. Meanwhile, the UT offense took seven shots, putting three on goal. Big Orange senior keeper Jaimel Johnson needed just one save to keep the Waves scoreless for the final 43 minutes of the half.
The Lady Vols created several quality scoring opportunities in the first frame, with senior forward Kylee Rossi blasting a shot off the crossbar in the 14th minute. Later in the half, freshman midfielder Chelsea Hatcher had a good chance for a one-on-one with the keeper with six minutes left but tripped up in the box, negating the opportunity.
The second half saw both squads come out looking to score. Pepperdine doubled its shot output in the second half, notching eight shots to finish even with the Lady Vols with 12 strikes in the match.
The Orange and White again created several scoring chances, with Rossi and freshman forward Emily Dowd nearly finding the back of the net on consecutive shots in the 76th minute. After Rossi's shot was blocked, Dowd found the ball at her feet near the top of the box, where she ripped a shot high.
The Waves put away the insurance goal in the 85th minute after forward Emily Wynne fed leading scorer Amanda Rupp inside the box where she went one-on-one with Johnson, beating her to the right on the ground. The goal was Rupp's fourth of the season.
Tennessee drops to 2-4-0 on the year, while Pepperdine improves to 2-3-1 overall. The Orange and White held the advantage in corner kicks, doubling the Waves' total with eight. Pepperdine freshman keeper Lacey Heck earned the win and the shutout in the first start of her career, making five saves to hold UT scoreless.
The Big Orange will now look ahead to UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. The Gauchos are ranked No. 21 by Soccer Buzz and enter the weekend with a 4-1-0 record. UCSB will meet Washington State at 7 p.m. PT tonight before taking on Tennessee. The two teams last met in 2003, when the Lady Vols topped the Gauchos, 1-0, in Knoxville to open the season. Sunday's match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. PT at UCSB's Harder Stadium. Live statistics will be available during the match at utladyvols.com.