Three Pac-12 Men’s Soccer teams tabbed in United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll
SAN FRANCISCO – Three Pac-12 men’s soccer teams appear on the 2017 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Men’s National Preseason Coaches Poll. NCAA Champion STANFORD, WASHINGTON, and UCLA are featured in the top 25.
For the third-straight year, a Pac-12 team is ranked No. 1 in the national in the preseason poll. Stanford holds the No. 1 spot in the preseason poll for the second-straight year and UCLA was No. 1 in 2015.
Reigning NCAA Champion Stanford is ranked No. 1 in the poll entering the 2017 season. Stanford won its second-consecutive national championship in 2016, becoming one of just six programs to do so. The feat had not been done in 12 years. This year, the Cardinal look to become the second-ever team to win three-consecutive national championships, joining Virginia (1991-94). The Cardinal return 2016 Co-Pac-12 Player of the Year senior Foster Langsdorf and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year senior Tomas Hilliard-Arce, as well as Pac-12 Coach of the Year Jeremy Gunn.
Washington comes in at No. 11 in the preseason ranking. The Huskies have a history of excellence, making 23 trips to the postseason, including four appearances under seventh-year head coach Jamie Clark. UW made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament last season and look to make a second-straight appearance, led by 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year sophomore Handwalla Bwana and All-Pac-12 honorable mention recipient junior Kyle Coffee.
UCLA is No. 21 in the preseason ranking. The Bruins have made 34-consecutive trips to the postseason and look to continue their streak. UCLA plays a difficult schedule this year, featuring games against eight teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament last year. Senior Brian Iloski, a second team All-Pac-12 recipient, and All-Pac-12 honorable mention pick junior Erik Holt, lead the Bruins into the 2017 season.
Pac-12 men’s soccer action starts Friday, August 25th with California hosting West Virginia.