Conor McDermott Welch
USF began West Coast Conference play this week with a hard-earned 1-0 win over the Loyola Marymount Lions in Los Angeles, followed by a tough 2-1 defeat by the No. 11 Pepperdine Waves.
The Dons played with passion and finesse in Malibu on Sunday, going into the half tied against the Waves, who have lost just one game all year. Pepperdine’s Kristen Rodriguez scored the first goal on a penalty in the 54th minute, but the Dons quickly responded with a goal from freshman midfielder Sonja Giraud, who scored on a penalty kick just nine minutes later. Unfortunately, the Waves took the lead again in the 73rd minute and played solid defense in the last 10 minutes of the game, surviving four shots from the Dons during that span.
San Francisco’s WCC opener came two days earlier on the road against a 7-3-1 LMU squad. The Dons found themselves with opportunities to score early, but junior forward Alex Alugas and sophomore midfielder Amanda Whittle each had their shots saved in the first 14 minutes.
It was in the 54th minute of the match that the game’s lone goal was scored. Senior defender Abigail Phillips placed a perfect pass across the field to senior forward Mackenzie Krieser, who put the ball in the net for the Dons. Junior goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel got her fourth shutout of the season, and ended the night with two saves.
The close victory over LMU snapped the Dons’ three-game losing streak. After hanging with an elite Pepperdine team, USF will attempt to get back into the win column when they return home this week to face off against Santa Clara on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 1:00 p.m. τ