By Taylor Tobin, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The women's soccer team improved their record in the WCC to last 2-1-1 with a win over the San Diego Toreros (2-1-0) on Oct. 19 and a 3-0 shutout against the St. Mary's Gaels Oct. 21.
The Pilots are now preparing to take on No. 18 Pepperdine, last year's WCC co-champion, on Oct. 26 and Loyola Marymount University (LMU) on Oct. 28.
"I'm expecting a tough game from both of the teams," junior goalkeeper Erin Dees said.
Coach Garrett Smith notes that LMU will be tough competition for the Pilots, as well.
"LMU is a well-rounded, tough team to beat," Smith said. "They make it difficult to score goals."
LMU proved this to be true on Oct. 19, as they shutout Pepperdine, 3-0.
The Pilots look at the WCC play as a new start to their season and an opportunity to be competitive and improve from non-conference play.
"A few of our games in non-season didn't go how we would have hoped them to," sophomore midfielder/forward Emily Sippel said. "It's a new opportunity and we need to stay consistent throughout the season, take one game at a time."
Junior forward Amanda Frisbie, who scored twice on Oct. 19 against St. Mary's, agrees that WCC play is a fresh start to the season.
"I think our conference is getting stronger and stronger each year. It is kind of a new season for us, starting over and just taking it game by game," Frisbie said. "We like to focus on the game ahead of us, and we're expecting a good performance by a lot of these teams."
Smith says the team has specific goals going into the games this week, including opening up the field and building team shape; however, the Pilots also have a plan to expose Pepperdine's weaknesses.
"Pepperdine is a very composed team that has some great attacking players. We need to expose them defensively," Smith said. "Obviously, playing at home against Pepperdine should be an exciting Friday night game."
Frisbie explains that the team focuses on each game as a whole, as opposed to focusing on the individual players of each team. But, Frisbie notes that Pepperdine's sophomore midfielder/forward Amanda LeCave has been performing well.
With 10 goals, LeCave is the WCC leading scorer so far this year.
Last season, the Pilots fell to Pepperdine 2-1 in Malibu, Calif. This year, the Pilots are excited to take them on at Merlo Field.
"I'm happy to be back at home," said Dees. "It will be good to have a go at Pepperdine and see if we can beat them like we were unable to last year."
Junior forward Kaila Cameli adds that fans should be expecting more than your average excitement: "Expect a fight. We're going out for blood now that it's conference."
211 shot attempts
0.137 shot percentage
193 shot attempts
0.124 shot percentage
248 shot attempts
0.121 shot percentage
3 Keys to the Victory:
Lock down opponents offense. The Pilots are 11-4 when only allowing 1 goal
Pass and attack off rebounds and missed shots
Limit touches by Pepperdine's LaCave. She leads in WCC goals scored.
Blast from the Past
2012 gold medal Olympian Megan Rapinoe will be at Sunday's game against LMU. She will be honored at halftime and available for autographs after the game.