Pacific Women's Soccer Opens Stanford Nike Tournament vs No. 9 Santa Clara Friday
The challenging road for the Pacific women's soccer team continues this weekend, as the Tigers face No. 8 Santa Clara and No. 2 Stanford at the Nike Invitational at Stanford. Pacific faces No. 9 Santa Clara on Friday, at 4:30 p.m. at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium
Pacific (2-2-1) is amid a stretch of four ranked squads in five matches. After facing No. 22 Oregon State last Friday, falling 2-0 on a pair of late goals, the Tigers tied Oregon, 1-1, and following this weekend's Nike Invitational, will meet No. 18 California on Sept. 19.
The Tigers place three on last weekend's Oregon Ducks Nike Invitational All-Tournament team. Midfielder Kristina Wavomba (Encinitas, Calif. / San Dieguito Academy), defender Alex Topp (San Diego, Calif. / Rancho Bernardo) and defender Kylee Ah Choy (Mililani, Hawai'i / Kamehameha) each earned a spot on the squad.
"Obviously, it's a challenge," head coach Keith Coleman said. "Last weekend, we played better as the weekend went on. I felt going against teams with the athleticism of Oregon and Oregon State was a good step for us to prepare for our upcoming games. As a coaching staff, we're excited to get in there and battle. Yes, out of 313 teams in women's college soccer, we have No. 2 and No. 9. But we have high expectations for what we can do this weekend. It isn't just surviving."
"We want to test ourselves and we have some very good players. We have a very good defense. Alex Topp has been one of the best players in every match we've played this year. And Maricela Padilla's coming along, Wavomba's playing better, Sammi Teramae has been great up front. Laura Hogan's done a good job of creating and Angelica Figueroa had a really good game on Sunday. I think we're excited to get in there and show them what we can do."
Figueroa, a junior midfielder who scored the game-tying goal in the Tigers' 1-1 draw with Oregon on Sunday, leads Pacific with a goal and two assists on the season. Junior midfielder Laura Hogan and sophomore midfielder Laura Hernandez each have netted a goal this season while Wavomba, a junior, is tied for Figueroa for the team lead with a pair of assists.
The sophomore Padilla is still looking for her first points of the season after a breakout freshman campaign in 2009. The midfielder from San Jose scored eight goals and racked up 18 points in just 12 games before her season was cut short due to injury.
Santa Clara is off to a 3-1-1 start with wins over San Diego State, San Jose State and Mississippi. The Broncos fell to No. 3 Notre Dame and tied No. 18 Cal. Stanford enters the weekend at 2-0-2 and will face No. 23 Georgia (4-1-0) on Friday.