This week in Pac-12 Women's Soccer
By the Pac-12 Conference
Put a bow on the non-conference schedule. Pac-12 schools posted a 66-25-11 (.701) combined record against non-conference competition this season—an 18-point improvement over last season (.521)— and outscored opponents by an average of nearly two-and-a-half goals per game. The Conference is well represented on the NCAA leaderboards as UCLA tops the charts in goals against average (0.212) and shutout percentage (0.778) and Oregon State leads the nation in save percentage (0.933). For the third consecutive week, three Pac-12 teams rank in the NSCAA top-25. No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 UCLA traded places in the poll this week, and Oregon State moved up a spot to No. 23. Action resumes on Thursday as Oregon State travels to Stanford in the first of eight games televised by the Pac-12 Networks this weekend.
(Times local to site)
Thursday, September 27
No. 23 Oregon State at No. 2 Stanford* (Pac-12 Networks), 6:00 p.m. PT
Friday, September 28
Washington State at Utah* (Pac-12 Networks), 1:00 p.m. MT USC at Arizona State* (Pac-12 Networks) 2:00 p.m. PT
Oregon at California* (Pac-12 Networks), 2:00 p.m. PT
Washington at Colorado* (Pac-12 Networks), 3:00 p.m. MT
No. 3 UCLA at Arizona*, 7:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, September 30
Oregon at No. 2 Stanford*, 12:00 p.m. PT
Washington at Utah*, 1:00 p.m. PT
USC at Arizona* (Pac-12 Networks), 1:30 p.m. PT
No. 23 Oregon State at California* (Pac-12 Networks), 1:30 p.m. PT
Washington State at Colorado* (Pac-12 Networks), 2:30 p.m. MT
Monday, October 1
No. 3 UCLA at ARIZONA STATE* (Pac-12 Networks), 7:00 p.m. PT
AROUND THE LEAGUE
•Thursday's matchup between Stanford and Oregon State pits the Pac-12's top scoring attack against the Conference's second-ranked scoring defense. Stanford averages a remarkable 2.78 goals per game, while OSU has held opponents to a mere 0.39 goals per match. Oregon State, which is off to its best start in franchise history (9-1-0), notched a shutout victory over Utah in its conference-opener. Stanford, meanwhile, improved to 8-0-2 in conference lid-lifters under head coach Paul Ratcliffe with a 3-0 victory over Arizona State. The Cardinal has won 32-consecutive league matches.
•When Colorado and Washington State take the field on Friday, one of the Pac-12's premier scorers, Anne Stuller, will challenge the Conference leader in saves, Kari Davidson. Stuller, the league's third-leading scorer, has rattled off 4.1 shots per game, a figure that ranks second in the Pac-12. Davidson, who averages 5.44 saves per game, ranks third in the Conference in save percentage (0.891) and owns the highest save percentage among net minders who have logged 600 minutes.
• Two of the Pac-12's most prolific offensive threats will be on display when UCLA visits Arizona on Sunday. Arizona's Jazmin Ponce, the league-leader in shots (4.5 spg), is coming off of a three-goal performance last week. She is tied for fifth in the Conference in goals per game (0.60) and has netted a pair of game-winners. UCLA's Zakiya Bywaters ranks in the top-5 in the Pac-12 in shots per game (third, 3.89), goals per game (fourth, 0.67) and points per game (fifth, 1.56) and has struck two game-winners. Additionally, the Bruins have allowed just two goals this season. In six games, goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland has posted five complete-game shutouts and has yet to concede a goal.
•Arizona State and USC have employed different formulas for success. The Sun Devils are anchored by a bevvy of upperclassmen, while the Trojans have seen contributions from a number of freshmen and sophomores. As in almost any case, however, there are exceptions to the rule. Freshman forward Cali Farquharson has been a bright spot along ASU's front line, ranking second on the team in points (7), goals (3), and shots on goal (14). For USC, senior forward Samantha Johnson and junior midfielder Jordan Marada have combined for 19 points and 61 shots and rank first and second (in one order or the other) on the team in every major offensive statistical category.
•Washington State enters Friday's match against Utah with the Conference's leading scorer in Micaela Castain (0.89 gpg). Castain also leads the Pac-12 in points (1.78 ppg) and game-winning goals (4). She faces a tall order this week, as Utah has won 11 of 12 games in Salt Lake City dating back to last season and has yet to allow a goal at home this season. The Cougars held UCLA—which averages 2.33 goals per game— scoreless in their conference-opener.