Women's soccer set to begin conference play

By the Pac-12 Conference

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This week marks the start of conference play, and while a few teams have yet to wrap up their non-conference schedules, the chase for the Pac-12 title begins on Thursday. In the last full week of non-conference action, Pac-12 schools posted an 18-2-3 (.780) combined record, including a 2-1 mark against ranked teams, and outscored opponents 55-14. For the second-consecutive week, three Pac-12 teams rank in the NSCAA top-25, with UCLA and Stanford occupying the second and third spots in the poll, respectively. Oregon State returns to the rankings after a two-week absence, checking in at No. 24. Washington, which dropped out of the poll after spending last week at No. 23., and Washington State are among the unranked vote-getters. The Cougars kick off the conference slate against UCLA on Thursday in the first of five games televised by the Pac-12 Networks this weekend.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
(Times local to site)

Thursday, September 20
No. 2 UCLA at WASHINGTON STATE* (Pac-12 Networks), 7:00 p.m. PT

Friday, September 21
ARIZONA at CALIFORNIA* (Pac-12 Networks), 2:00 p.m. PT
WASHINGTON at USC* (Pac-12 Networks), 2:00 p.m. PT
COLORADO at OREGON* (Pac-12 Networks), 4:00 p.m. PT
UTAH at No. 24 OREGON STATE*, 7:30 p.m. PT

Sunday, September 23
ARIZONA at Pacific, 12:00 p.m. PT
CALIFORNIA at Nevada, 1:00 p.m. PT
WASHINGTON STATE at Santa Clara, 1:00 p.m. PT
ARIZONA STATE at No. 3 STANFORD* (Pac-12 Networks), 2:00 p.m. PT

Monday, September 24
BYU at OREGON, 7:00 p.m. PT

*- Conference Game

AROUND THE LEAGUE

•Gaining momentum: Utah has played seven consecutive matches without suffering a loss, marking the second longest active streak in the Conference. Only UCLA, one of two remaining unbeaten teams in Division I women's soccer, rides a longer active streak (8 games). Eight other Pac-12 teams enjoy current unbeaten streaks of three games or longer— Stanford (5), Oregon State (4), California (4), Colorado (3), Arizona State (3), Washington State (3), Arizona (3) and Oregon (3).

•Turning it around: Arizona has assembled a more desirable team stat line through the first eight games of 2012 than it put together in 2011. The Wildcats have scored 12 goals through eight games (1.5 gpg.) this season, a marked improvement over the eight goals they managed in 18 matches last season (.44 gpg.). Arizona has surrendered just seven goals (.85 gpg.) this season, to rank in the top-half of the Pac-12. They ranked last in 2011, allowing 43 goals (2.39 gpg.).

•Juggernaut: UCLA outscored its opponents 11-0 over the weekend, reeling off 38 shots in two games. The Bruins racked up seven goals and 11 assists against Princeton; both totals represent Pac-12 single-game highs in 2012. UCLA has outscored its opponents by an average of 2.38 points per game this season and, with a 164-50 advantage in shots, has more than tripled its opponents' shot production.

•Clutch performer: Oregon State's Megan Miller has tallied a team-high 10-points this season (3 goals, 4 assists). All four assists and one of her three goals have come on game-tying or go-ahead scores.

•With a come-from-behind win at San Diego on Friday, USC improved to 2-0 in unfriendly confines this season and snapped a four-game losing streak against the Toreros.

•Young gun: Oregon Forward Kristen Parr has provided plenty of offense for the Ducks this season. After a two-goal performance over the weekend, the freshman has accounted for six of Oregon's 11 goals on the year.

•Not in their house: Stanford held UNC Greensboro without a shot on Sunday, marking the first such occurrence in program history.

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