WSOC | Gaels Prepare for Road Trip against LMU, Pepperdine
By Trey Hannula
SMC Athletic Communications
LOS ANGELES -- In their final road trip of the season, Saint Mary's will travel south to take on Loyola Marymount and No. 12 Pepperdine this weekend. Friday's contest against LMU will kickoff at 7 p.m. while the matchup against Pepperdine will take place at 1 p.m.
Live streams and stats for both matches can be found on the Saint Mary's schedule page.
The Gaels (6-10, 2-4 WCC) will look to right their ship down in Los Angeles after falling on hard times of late. The team has dropped their last four contests and was just narrowly edged by USF on Sunday in an overtime loss.
Despite the recent losses, Saint Mary's has been strong offensively having scored at least one goal in their last seven matches. Eight different Gaels have scored this season while Hannah Diaz leads the squad with seven tallies.
ABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
The Lions enter Friday's contest with a 6-6-4 record and are 1-4-1 in conference. LMU is 0-3-1 in their past four matches but did have quality wins over No. 17 Utah, Purdue, and Columbia earlier in the year.
The Lions' offense is well spread out as they have four players with at least three goals on the season, led by junior Sarina Bolden who has four scores. LMU has proven to be a second half time this year, scoring 15 of their 19 goals during the later period. Charlee Pruitt has started 14 matches in goal for the team and has five shutouts and an .804 save percentage to her credit.
In the final game of the 2016, Saint Mary's defeated Loyola Marymount 2-1 in Moraga. The two teams have been evenly matched in recent years as each team is 2-2-1 in head-to-head play
over the last five seasons.
Pepperdine currently ranks as the 12th best team in the nation with their 12-2-2 record and are first in the conference at 6-0 in WCC play. The Waves also rank 10th in RPI and are unbeaten at home this season.
Bri Visalli ranks among the top in the NCAA with 10 goals scored this season and leads the team with 46 shots taken. However, the Waves' biggest strength this season has been their defense which has surrendered just six goals all year. Goaltender Brielle Preece has salvaged 10 clean sheets and the Waves haven't allowed more than one goal in any of their contests.
Pepperdine won last year's matchup against the Gaels, 2-0.
- Sonja Rajatalo and Sarah Sawatsky have each started eight games in goals this year.
- Diaz, Heather Seybert, and Kelsey Hill have started all 16 games for SMC.
- Diaz leads the Gaels with four game-winning goals this season.
- Head coach Travis Clarke is just two wins away from 20 career wins at the helm of the Gaels.
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