Los Angeles Soccer: Connor Brandt
Pepperdine's dream of an unbeaten season ended Friday night to a goal scored with just eight seconds to go in the first half.
No. 10 Santa Clara pulled out a 1-0 triumph over the third-ranked Waves, vaulting into the top spot in the West Coast Conference when Bridgett Miller (Los Angeles/Archer School for Girls) put away a deflected free kick in the Bay Area showdown.
Roxanne Barker (Irvine/Woodbridge HS) made two big saves to keep Pepperdine (13-1-4) level, but there were no answers for Miller's goal.
“[Santa Clara is] a good team, and, to their credit, they came out firing, and we came out flat,” Waves head coach Tim Ward told his school's athletics web site. “As poorly as we were playing in the first half, I thought we were going to come out with a 0-0 score at half, but, unfortunately,
it didn't happen.
“The second half, we played much better and had some excellent scoring opportunties.”
The best was a Myriah Stockman try off a corner kick in the 52nd minute that Broncos goalkeeper Bianca Henninger saved.
Santa Clara (12-1-5) is 5-0-1 in the WCC. The Waves, who are home Sunday against Portland, and San Diego are 5-1; BYU is 4-1-1.
The loss ended a program-record 18-game unbeaten streak for Pepperdine,
In other women´s action:
- Taylor Nelson (Garden Grove/Pacifica HS) and Nicole Sweetman (Oxnard/Oaks Christian HS and UCLA) scored goals three minutes apart early in the second half as Long Beach State (12-5-1) clinched a Big West Conference tournament berth and climbed within a point of first-place UC Irvine with one game to go with a 2-0 victory over visiting UC Davis.
- Sydney Leroux netted her second first-half hat trick in as many weeks and Jenna Richmond added two goals as sixth-ranked UCLA (13-1-2) romped to an 8-0 Pacific 12 Conference victory at Colorado.
- Lauren Mellano (Fullerton/Troy HS) scored 105 seconds into overtime as Cal State Fullerton (8-8-3) edged Pacific, 1-0, in Big West play. The Titans tied an NCAA record (set in 2005 by William & Mary) with their 11th overtime game of the season and are 4-4-3 in games with the extra period.
- USC (6-12-0) saw its three-game winning streak halted in a 3-0 Pac-12 loss at Utah.
Natalia Ledezma netted a hat trick and UC Irvine took a huge step toward successive Big West Conference regular-season titles Sunday afternoon, romping to a 4-0 victory in a first-place showdown at Cal State Northridge.
Ledezma (La Mirada/La Mirada HS), a sophomore transfer from UCLA, followed a third-minute own goal with strikes in the 11th, 66th and 77th minutes as the Anteaters (12-3-2) improved to 5-1-1 in the Big West. Ledezma, who netted the first hat trick for UCI in 15 years, has 11 goals this season.
Northridge (6-8-2), a surprise contender for the conference title, fell to 4-2-1 in conference play. UC Davis (4-1-1) and Long Beach State (4-2) also are in the battle for the conference title.
Irvine and Northridge each have one conference match remaining.
In other women's action:
- Laura Cole (Whittier/La Habra HS) and Amanda LeCave scored first-half goals as No. 4 Pepperdine (13-0-4) extended its unbeaten streak to 18 games with a 2-1 West Coast Conference victory at St. Mary's. The Waves are 5-0 in WCC play and stand two points in front of Santa Clara, which it faces Friday in the Bay Area.
- Chelsea Stewart scored in the 28th minute and fed Jenna Richmond for a goal in the 35th, and No. 7 UCLA (12-1-2) toppled visiting Arizona State, 2-0, in a Pacific 12 Conference clash.
- Elizabeth Eddy scored on a 60th-minute breakaway as USC (6-11-0) claimed its third straight Pac-12 victory, beating visiting Arizona, 1-0.
The top-ranked Cardinal (11-0-1), national runners-up the last two seasons, has won the last four meetings with the Bruins (10-0-1), including a round-of-16 clash in last year's NCAA tournament. They're unbeaten in their last 57 regular-season games, since falling to UCLA on Oct. 31, 2008.
UCLA, which is No. 1 in the RPI and No. 2 in Soccer America's rankings, has used dominant defensive displays while winning its last seven games, five of them by 1-0 scorelines, but its depth in the nets will be tested after senior goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford tore her left Achilles' tendon during training last week. She was the Bruins' starter the past two seasons, but freshman Katelyn Rowland has been in the nets most of this fall.
The Bruins on Friday face California (8-3-1), with Stanford starting the weekend against struggling USC (3-9-0). Cardinal coach Paul Ratcliffe, who played on UCLA's 1990 NCAA men's title-winners, will claim his 200th career victory with his next win.
Ratcliffe, who is from Calabasas, guided St. Mary's for five seasons before taking charge at Stanford in 2003. His teams are 81-4-4 in the past three-plus seasons.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Connor Brandt (Temecula/Great Oak HS) turned a 20th-minute takeaway into a goal to lift Cal State Dominguez Hills to a 1-0 victory Friday at San Francisco State. He went one better two days later, with a steal and a chip in overtime to carry the Toros past Cal Poly Pomona, 2-1.
All-American Sydney Leroux's first-half goal stood up Sunday for third-ranked UCLA, which posted its third successive Pacific 12 Conference women's soccer shutout in a 1-0 triumph over No. 23 Oregon State.
Leroux, who is in the U.S. national team pool, took a pass from freshman Caprice Dydasco, made a run to the end line and slipped the ball past Beavers goalkeeper Coleen Boyd in the 17th minute. It was her team-best seventh goal of the season.
UCLA (10-0-1), which conceded just three shots to Oregon State (8-3-1) and claimed its seventh shutout in 11 matches, has a showdown next Sunday at No. 1 Stanford (11-0-1).
In other women´s action:
- USC (3-9-0) has lost six straight one-goal decisions after a 2-1 defeat to visiting Oregon. Kristina Noriega (Westminster/Ocean View HS) tallied for the Women of Troy, who dominated play but surrendered a 63rd-minute winner to Bri Pugh.
- Shawna Gordon (Rancho Cucamonga/Los Osos HS) and Marysol Rosas (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS) scored two goals and Nadia Link (Rowland Heights/Walnut HS) netted her 11th of the season as Long Beach State (9-3-1) routed Cal Poly, 6-0, in a Big West Conference clash in San Luis Obispo.
- Kishi Smith (Chatsworth/Chatsworth HS) set up Stacey Fox (Simi Valley/Royal HS) for the 87th-minute equalizer, then converted a penalty kick nearly four minutes into overtime to lift Cal State Fullerton (6-5-2) to a 2-1 Big West triumph at UC Santa Barbara.
Englishman Andy Rose scored in the first minute of overtime, and UCLA escaped its Pacific 12 Conference men's soccer opener with a 1-0 victory Friday night over visiting California.
Rose, a senior midfielder, scored from Shawn Singh's feed 59 seconds into the extra period, the third pass from a corner kick that Kelyn Rowe played short to Spaniard Victor Munoz.
The 25th-ranked Bruins (6-3-1) were the aggressor and held a 17-6 shot advantage on Cal (3-3-2) in a matchup of the Pac-12's perennial powers. UCLA plays Stanford on Sunday.
In other men's action:
- Taylor Rivas (Lancaster/Lancaster HS and UC Santa Barbara) nodded home an 89th-minute throw-in from Osvaldo Lopez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) to give Cal State L.A. (5-1-3), ranked 15th in D2, a 1-1 California Collegiate Athletic Conference draw at Cal Poly Pomona (6-2-1).