Battle for the crown heats up in Pac-12 women's soccer
• Pac-12 Women’s soccer has passed the midway point for the year and prepares for the final three weeks of the 2017 season. No. 1 STANFORD holds its place at the top of the United Soccer Coaches Poll for the second straight week and the Pac-12 Conference with a perfect 6-0-0 league record.
• No. 2 UCLA (12-0-2, 5-0-1) defeated UTAH, 2-1, last week and is right behind the Cardinal in the national poll for the second week in a row after a six-week run at No. 1. The Bruins remain one of only two teams in NCAA Division I without a loss this season with Milwaukee being the other (12-0-3).
• Defending national champion USC (11-1-1, 5-0-1) maintains the No. 6 rank after blanking COLORADO, 2-0, last week. The Trojans got off to a slow start, but are now tied for second in the Conference with the Bruins (12-0-2, 5-0-1) and are looking to be closer to form to the team that won the NCAA title last year.
• No. 16 CALIFORNIA jumped up two spots in the national rankings after shutting out WASHINGTON STATE, 2-0, last week. The Golden Bears are fourth in the Conference standings and host their last two homes games this week against OREGON STATE on Thursday and OREGON on Sunday for Cal’s Senior Day.
• The regular-season champion is still up in the air and is coming down to the final weeks of the season. Key games in the race to the crown are between the four ranked opponents who play each other in the final two weeks of the season.
• This week’s action kicks off with Pac-12 Networks’ Thursday Goals as USC takes on WASHINGTON who received top 25 votes again this week. Eight contests will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks this week with four total matches on Thursday, also featuring ARIZONA STATE at Colorado, Oregon at Stanford, and UCLA at Washington State.
• A team to watch this week is USC as it looks to continue upon the five-game winning streak heading to compete in the Northwest against Washington and Washington State. In the Pac-12, the Trojans are first in shots (246), and third in points (77) and goals (25).
• No. 1 Stanford is tied with South Carolina for the second-longest winning streak in the country, reaching 11-straight games thanks to its undefeated league record. The Cardinal has consistently paved the way for setting high expectations in DI Women’s soccer, leading the nation in seven statistical categories including: total points (160), total assists (50) and scoring offensive (3.93).
• Washington’s Sarah Shimer has stood out in the net for the Huskies this season and is tied for fourth nationally and first in the Conference with 10 shutouts. Goalkeeping in the Pac-12 has highlighted steep competition across the country, especially in goals against average with Stanford’s Lauren Rood ranking second (0.143), California’s Emily Boyd at 10th (0.418) and Husky Sarah Shimer at 14th (0.449).
• On the offensive side of the field, UCLA’s Hailie Mace has been a force to be reckoned with this season, tying for seventh with goals per game (0.86) and tied for 10th in points per game (1.93) among the top scorers in the country. Mace recorded back-to-back Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors this week after scoring the game winner against Utah, 2-1, last week.
• Cardinal’s Tierna Davidson earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week and Lauren Rood earned Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week in the squad’s powerhouse effort to shut out Washington, 1-0, last week. Davidson played all 90 minutes during the match and assisted the games’ only goal while Rood made a season-high three saves to keep a clean sheet.
• Another Stanford attacker earned recognition for her individual play as Kyra Carusa was selected for TopDrawerSoccer’s Best IX weekly team. Carusa scored the game-winning goal with four minutes left in the match for the Cardinal edged UW, 1-0, at home.
• Utah makes program and institutional history this week as former soccer player Staci Burt will be just the second soccer player all time to be inducted into the Crimson Club Hall of Fame on Friday evening. On Sunday, the Utes will honor Ariauna Christensen, who has been diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia, a disease that affects the bone marrow, and will distribute blue pins to promote awareness of her condition.
• Three Pac-12 student-athletes appear on the 2017 Senior CLASS Award candidate list: Andi Sullivan, Stanford; Zoey Goralski, UCLA; and Alex Anthony, USC. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, honors the attributes of NCAA Division I senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season to determine an official ballot and the winner will be announced during the College Cup in December.
• The Pac-12 has the most representatives on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List with seven student-athletes, the most from the Conference since seven in 2010. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer, presented annually to one male and one female athlete. The Conference is represented by Jemma Purfield, Arizona State; Taylor Kornieck, COLORADO; Andi Sullivan and Tierna Davidson, Stanford; Jessie Fleming, UCLA; Ally Prisock, USC; and Hailey Skolmoski, Utah
• On TopDrawerSoccer 2017 Preseason Women’s DI Best XI teams, the Pac-12 tied for the most selections with seven student-athletes and had the most of any league with five on the Freshmen Best XI. UCLA’s First Team selection: Jessie Fleming, UCLA and Andi Sullivan, Stanford. Second Team: Jemma Purfield, ASU; Tierna Davidson, Stanford; Taylor Kornieck,Colorado.Third Team: Emily Boyd, California; Ally Prisock, USC. Freshmen: Emily Smith, California; Kennedy Faulnor, UCLA; Savannah DeMelo, USC; Ashley Sanchez, UCLA; Catarina Macario, Stanford.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded standings)
|Teams||Points||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Times local to site)
|Thursday, Oct. 19|
|Arizona State at Colorado||P12N||2 p.m. PT|
|Oregon State at #16 California||3 p.m. PT|
|#6 USC at Washington||P12N||5 p.m. PT|
|Oregon at #1 Stanford||P12N||6 p.m. PT|
|Arizona at Utah||6 p.m. PT|
|#2 UCLA at Washington State||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Oct. 22|
|Oregon at #16 California||P12N||1 a.m. PT|
|#6 USC at Washington State||P12W||12 p.m. PT|
|Arizona at Colorado||12 p.m. PT|
|Oregon State at #1 Stanford||P12N||1 p.m. PT|
|Arizona State at Utah||1 p.m. PT|
|#2 UCLA at Washington||P12N||2 p.m. PT|
P12N/P12A/P12BA/P12LA/P12M/P12O/P12W - Indicates live broadcast on Pac-12 Network. MWN - Indicates live broadcast on Mountain West Network.
PAC-12 WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive: Jessie Fleming, UCLA
Defensive: Tierna Davidson, Stanford
Goalkeeper: Lauren Rood, Stanford
Offensive: Gabi Stoian, ARIZ; Miranda Nild, CAL; Marissa Everett, ORE; Emma Jones, OSU; Alex Anthony, USC; Kyra Carusa, STAN.
Defensive: Morgan McGarry, ARIZ; Indigo Gibson, CAL; Brianne Parsons, ORE; Emmy Rodriguez, OSU; Karina Rodriguez, UCLA; Ally Prisock, USC; D Bond-Flasza, WASH.
Goalkeeper: Emily Boyd, CAL; Halla Hinriksdottir, ORE; Bella Geist, OSU; Teagan Micah, UCLA; Julia Murphy, USC; Sarah Shimer, WASH.
2017 PAC-12 WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
2017 Senior CLASS Award
Andi Sullivan, STAN; Zoey Goralski, UCLA; Alex Anthony, USC