This Week in Pac-12 Men's Soccer
• STANFORD booked its second-consecutive trip to the NCAA College Cup after defeating No. 4 Louisville 2-0. The Cardinal looks to become the first back-to-back national champion in over 12 years as it meets No. 9 seed North Carolina in the College Cup semifinals on Friday Dec. 9 at 5:45 p.m. PT at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. The winner of the match faces either No. 6 Denver or No. 2 Wake Forest on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. for the national title.
• Pac-12 Co-Player of the Year Foster Langsdorf netted the game-winning goal against No. 7 Louisville to send Stanford to its fifth trip to the College Cup in program history. Langsdorf is now the national leader in game-winning goals with eight and his 15 tallies this season is the most for a Stanford player in 35 years. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Epstein made four saves to earn his 22nd career shutout. Stanford has posted shutouts in five-straight postseason matches and head to the College Cup not having allowed a goal in the last 512:17.
• The Pac-12 currently holds an all-time record of 126-99-11 (.559) in the NCAA Tournament, with five national championships and eight second-place finishes. Along with Stanford, WASHINGTON, SAN DIEGO STATE, and UCLA all appeared in the NCAA Tournament this season, tied for the second-most conference representatives in the field. Last season, Stanford won its first national championship with a 4-0 victory over Clemson in Kansas City. View the 2016 NCAA men’s soccer bracket here.
• The Pac-12 placed a total of 18 student-athletes on NSCAA NCAA Division I Men's All-Far West Region Teams. Eight of the 11 individuals on the first team are from Pac-12 institutions including Stanford’s Andrew Epstein, Tomas Hilliard-Arce and Foster Langsdorf, Washington’s Justin Schmidt and Henry Wingo, San Diego State’s Pablo Pelaez, UCLA’s Jose Hernandez, and California’s Nick Lima. The second team includes SDSU’s Kyle Adams and Travis Nicklaw, Stanford’s Brian Nana-Sinkham and Drew Skundrich, Washington’s Auden Schilder, UCLA’s Jackson Yueill, and Washington’s Kyle Coffee. SDSU’s Adam Allmaras and Matt Callahan, and Cal’s Christian Thierjung were selected to the third team.
• UCLA’s Michael Amick was named the Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Amick, a senior defender from Sunnyvale, Calif., maintains a 3.63 grade point average (GPA) in biochemistry and is a two-time All-Pac-12 selection. He became the third UCLA player to earn the conference's Scholar Athlete of the Year award after Ryan Hollingshead won in 2012, followed by Joe Sofia in '13. In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution
• Stanford junior Tomas Hilliard-Arce was named one of 15 semifinalists for the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy. The 2016 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year is second on the team in goals (4) and fourth in points (10) and anchors a defense that is 12th in the nation in goals against average (0.65) and 12th in shutout percentage (0.50). The MAC Hermann Trophy is the highest individual intercollegiate award administered by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Last year, two-time Stanford All-American and 2016 Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris became the first Cardinal men’s player to win the honor. Stanford is just one of just four schools in the history of the award to have both men’s and women’s winners, is also the only one with semifinalists on both lists this year. Maddie Bauer and Andi Sullivan are up for the Hermann Trophy on the women’s side.
• The 2016 regular season concluded with Stanford capturing its third-consecutive Conference title going 8-1-1 in league play. Washington finished second in the league with a 6-4-0 record. San Diego State followed in third with a 4-3-3 record. UCLA, California and Oregon State rounded out the final standings.
• The Pac-12 concluded the regular season with three teams ranked in the final NSCAA top-25 poll. Stanford finished at No. 5, Washington at No. 14 and San Diego State at No. 19. At least two Pac-12 teams were ranked every week during the season, highlighted by a No. 1 preseason ranking by Stanford.
• The All-Pac-12 honors for the 2016 season were announced earlier this month, as determined by a polling of the Conference coaches. UCLA’s Jose Hernandez and Stanford’s Foster Langsdorf were voted Co-Pac-12 Players of the Year. Langsdorf’s teammate Tomas Hilliard-Arce was tabbed Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Washington’s Handwalla Bwana was voted Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Cardinal head coach Jeremy Gunn was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Year. The All-Pac-12 teams were also announced and can be viewed here.
• Stanford goalkeeper Andrew Epstein and UCLA defender Michael Amick were named to the 2016 Academic All-America Division I first team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Epstein is an electrical engineering major with a 3.76 GPA and was on the Academic All-America third team last season. He joins Taylor Graham (2002) as the Cardinal's only first team Academic All-Americans in men's soccer and is the 205th honor for a Stanford student-athlete. Amick, a biochemistry major, is now a two-time Academic All-American as he earned third team honors last season. He is the first Bruin since Joe Sofia in 2013 to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America first team honors and the second UCLA player to earn Academic All-America honors in back-to-back seasons (Joe Sofia, 2012-13).
• Stanford senior defender Brian Nana-Sinkam was named one of 10 men's soccer student-athletes selected as finalists for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate soccer. Nana-Sinkam helps to organize events between the AYSO VIP (Very Important Players) Green Giants team and the Stanford men's soccer team. He's also on the Stanford Athletics Cardinal Council, which brought together 23 Stanford teams for an annual Date Auction, raising over $4,500 for Camp Kesem, which offers recreational camps in the United States for children of parents with cancer. Additionally he is a creative consultant for The Releaf Group, a non-profit organization that connects Nigerian entrepreneurs in the agricultural industry to the United States. Excelling both on and off the field, nominees must be an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner through November 21. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner that will be announced during the 2016 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup championships in December.
• Seven Pac-12 athletes were selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Men’s Soccer Team. The Academic All-District Men’s Soccer Teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. The list includes Andrew Epstein of Stanford, Quentin Pearson of Washington, Michael Amick of UCLA, Aravind Sivakumar and Christian Thierjung of California, and Nathan Braaten and Timmy Mueller of Oregon State.
• The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) honored Oregon State and Stanford with the College Team Academic Award for the 2015-16 academic year. 315 men’s teams posted a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher to earn the recognition. The Beavers recorded a 3.14 GPA and the Cardinal posted a 3.39 GPA, tied for 35th among NCAA men’s soccer programs across all divisions.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (all times local to site)
|Friday, Dec. 9 - College Cup Semifinal|
|No. 5 STANFORD vs No. 9 North Carolina||ESPNU||8:45 p.m. ET|
|Sunday, Dec. 11 - NCAA Championship Game|
|(No. 5 STANFORD or No. 9 North Carolina) vs (No. 6 Denver or No. 2 Wake Forest)||ESPNU||2 p.m. ET|