Conference play looming for Pac-12 women's soccer
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - As Pac-12 play looms in the upcoming weekend, all but two teams wrapped up their non-conference slate while the Conference registered a 14-2-3 record in week five to bring the season total to 63-24-16. All 12 teams will open up Conference play between Thursday-Sunday, kicking off with Oregon hosting Washington State on Thursday night at 7 p.m. PT in a game that will be televised live on the Pac-12 networks. Washington will face No. 14/7 Portland on Sunday at 2 p.m. PT and California takes on San Francisco at 7 p.m. PT on Monday evening in the last and only non-conference games over the weekend. While there are no intra-conference matchups between ranked foes, the last three remaining unbeaten teams will all be tested on the road. It will be a battle of high-powered offenses versus stout goalkeepers as Washington State, Stanford and California face Abby Steele of Oregon, Lindsey Luke of Utah and Annie Brunner of Colorado, all three of which are in the top half of the conference in several defensive statistical categories. However, all three teams bring more than solid goalkeepers with them so defensive battles could ensue. UCLA will take its productive attack to Arizona while USC will be at Arizona as they try to recover from a couple of heartbreaking losses over the last couple weeks. With Pac-12 play on the horizon, the real season begins now and in a deep and talented Conference no one is safe.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
- Historic Start: With a pair of wins over the weekend, Washington State is now unbeaten through nine matches for the first time in school history and unbeaten in last 13 matches dating back to last season, also a school-record. Second-year coach Keidane McAlpine now owns a 19-6-4 and headed into Pac-12 play his team is looking like a Conference title contender. The Cougars are the verge of breaking into the NSCAA National rankings, receiving votes for the fifth straight week, including 56 this week, the second-most of any team outside the top-25. Meanwhile, California at 5-0-2 has gone unbeaten through seven games for the first time since 2000.
- Winning ways: Over half the Conference has one loss or less through their non-conference schedule (California has one remaining) with the top 7 teams combining for a total of 45 wins, 4 losses and 12 ties.
- Defending the title and their turf: Stanford begins its quest for its fifth-consecutive Pac-12 title and carry an impressive streak into Conference play. After a home win over St. Mary’s last weekend, the Cardinal now own 72-match home unbeaten streak--the second-longest in NCAA Division I women’s soccer history.
- Surprise at the top: Colorado is 8-1-0 through their non-conference slate and is currenlty tied for second in the Conference. Picked to finish 10th by the coaches in preseason, the Buffs are hoping to continue their hot start in to Conference play.
- Keeping the streaks alive: While the Beavers and Huskies have struggled throughout the first month, Washington evened its record at 4-4 and will look to extend its 3 game winning streak and Oregon State will hope to win two in a row for the first time this season.
- Pac-12 in the National Statistical Rankings (Top 30): (TEAM) Scoring Offense: Stanford (19), Arizona (25), California (27); Goals-Against Average: Washington State (7), UCLA (10), Colorado (23), Stanford (26); Shutout Pct.: Washington State (4), Colorado (12), UCLA (12); Win-Lost-Tied Percentage: Stanford (5), Colorado (8), UCLA (8), Washington State (8), California (14). Saves Pct.: UCLA (9), Utah (20); Points: Stanford (21). (INDIVIDUAL) Points Per Game: Micaela Castain, WSU (3); Cali Farquharson, Arizona State (10); Goals Per Game: Cali Farquharson, Arizona State (4), Micaela Castain, WSU (7); Taylor Uhl, Stanford (13); Goals Against Average: Lindsey Luke, Utah (2); Gurveen Clair, Washington State (10); Katelyn Rowland, UCLA (12). Save Pct: Lindsey Luke, Utah (2), Katelyn Rowland (14); Total Goals: Micaela Castain, WSU (4); Cali Farquharson, Arizona State (10), Taylor Uhl, Stanford (21). Total Points: Micaela Castain, WSU (3); Cali Farquharson, Arizona State (20).
California at Utah, 7:30 p.m. MT
Washington at Oregon State, 7 p.m. PT
Stanford at Colorado, 1 p.m. MT
UCLA at Arizona, 2 p.m. PT (P12N)
WASHINGTON vs. Portland, 2 p.m. PT
USC at Arizona State, 4 p.m. PT (P12N)
CALIFORNIA at San Francisco, 7 p.m. PT