Four Pac-12 Schools Ranked in College Soccer News Poll
SAN FRANCISCO - UCLA, WASHINGTON, CALIFORNIA and STANFORD earned top-15 spots in the College Soccer News Top 30 Preseason Poll, the publication announced last night. The Bruins earned a No. 4 national ranking, while the Huskies weighed in at No. 6, the Bears at No. 10 and the Cardinal at No. 14.
UCLA looks to build on last year’s squad that advanced to the third round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Division I Tournament, after entering as the No. 1 overall seed. On offense, the Bruins bring back All-American, Pac-12 Player of the Year and conference leading goal-scorer Leo Stolz. Defensively, UCLA returns team captain GK Earl Edwards Jr., who was between the posts for all 20 matches last season and recorded seven shutouts.
Last season, Washington won seven Conference games to clinch their first Pac-12 title in men’s soccer since 2000. Led by freshman-of the-year award winner Cristian Roldan (19 points, seven goals), the Dawgs entered the postseason tournament as the No. 4 seed and advanced to the quarterfinals. 2013 First Team All-Conference F Darwin Jones also returns, who along with Roldan led the team with seven goals last season.
California won three games to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship Tournament last year and this year they’ll have an experienced attack as MF Seth Casiple and F Stefano Bonomo both return for their senior seasons after earning second team All-Pac-12 honors last season. The Bears also bring in freshman defender Jorge Miranda, who spent time playing with the U-17 U.S. Men’s National Team.
STANFORD brings back leading goal-scorer Zach Batteer and sophomore Jordan Morris, who returns after scoring six goals and tallying seven assists last season. Defensively, Stanford brings back Second Team All-Pac-12 CB Brandon Vincent to anchor the back line. The Cardinal will look to build on the momentum of a 2013 squad that advanced to the third round of the NCAA Championship tournament after entering on an at-large bid.