MALIBU, California — The Pepperdine women's soccer team provided likely the biggest upset in NCAA soccer this season while posting one of the biggest regular-season wins in program history, as the Waves knocked off No. 2 Stanford 1-0 on Friday afternoon.
It took an incredible defensive effort as the Cardinal (5-1-0) entered the match as the nation's top-scoring team at 5.2 goals per game. And, Stanford ended up with advantages of 22-3 in shots and 12-1 in corner kicks today.
RANKINGS: United Soccer Coaches Top 25
But the Waves (2-3-1) made that one corner kick count, as sophomore defender Isabel Nelson (Houston, Texas/The Kinkaid School) scored on a header in the 20th minute.
The defense did the rest, as redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kinsey Ehmann (Paradise Valley, Ariz./Xavier College Preparatory) made six big saves and had numerous other catch/punch opportunities when Stanford was threatening. Additionally, the Waves' defenders cleared shots off the line on three other occasions, and the Cardinal put one shot off the crossbar.
Pepperdine 20': Senior forward Hailey Stenberg (Huntington Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS) sent in a corner kick from the left side, and Nelson met it powerfully in the center of the box, heading it into the back of the net. It was the third career goal for the 2018 WCC Freshman of the Year, and the first this season. It marked the first time all season that Stanford had been trailing.
Shots: Pepperdine 3, Stanford 22
Shots on Goal: Pepperdine 1, Stanford 9
Saves: Kinsey Ehmann (Pepperdine) 6, Lauren Rood (Stanford) 0
Corner Kicks: Pepperdine 1, Stanford 12
Fouls: Pepperdine 5, Stanford 8
Offside: Pepperdine 1, Stanford 7
Pepperdine Coach Tim Ward said: "Stanford, that program is good. We started the game well, we found some space early on and we had some moments. It was a brilliant goal. The set piece was fantastic and Izzy had a world-class goal to win a big game. Kinsey Ehmann had to make some fantastic saves. We rode our luck. They hit the bar, we had to clear the line three times. I've never seen a Pepperdine team defend that well. I'm really proud of the girls considering our last three results. I thought we had some good performances in the last three games but the results didn't go our way, so maybe the soccer gods were smiling down on us today."
Isabel Nelson said: "We came in with a game plan and executed really well. It's a process and we're getting there, we've got to build on it. I went up and (Hailey) delivered a perfect ball. I'm really proud of our team. It was a team effort. We played well and we worked hard."
Kinsey Ehmann said: "It's just amazing. I'm so proud of the team and the work we've put in. It's incredible and it's paying off. But this isn't the end for us, we're going to build on this and try to achieve all our goals."
- Pepperdine is now 2-0 all-time against Stanford, with the previous win in 2003 in Palo Alto.
- This was Pepperdine's third game against teams ranked in the top 12 nationally already (the Waves are now 1-1-1 in such games).
Pepperdine plays its sixth home game out of the season's first seven matches on Sunday (Sept. 15) against San Diego State at 1 p.m. PT. The game will be shown on the WCC Network.