Stanford chosen league favorite in 2018 Pac-12 Coaches Preseason Poll
SAN FRANCISCO – STANFORD, the nation’s overall No. 1 ranked preseason team, has been predicted to win the 2018 Pac-12 men’s soccer title by the Conference’s head coaches, the league office announced today. The three-time defending NCAA Champion has won four-consecutive Pac-12 regular-season titles and is the preseason favorite for the second-straight year. WASHINGTON comes in second place, followed by UCLA picked to finish third in the poll.
Stanford received five first-place votes and totaled 25 points to top the Pac-12 poll. Last week, the Cardinal was selected No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches national preseason poll by an overwhelming consensus, receiving 23-of-28 first-place votes. Head coach Jeremy Gunn has guided Stanford to a 30-3-7 (.838) Conference record since 2014. Gunn, the only coach in Conference history to win Pac-12 Coach of the Year in four-consecutive seasons, welcomes back two-time first team All-Pac-12 selection Tanner Beason. The Cardinal heads into the 2018 season unbeaten in its last 15 matches and has the opportunity to become the first program to win five-straight Pac-12 crowns.
Washington, No. 24 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason ranking, tallied 19 points to place second in the Pac-12 poll and edge out UCLA by one point. The Huskies have made four NCAA Tournament appearances during head coach Jamie Clark’s seven-year tenure, adding to the program’s 24 all-time trips. UW looks to make its third-straight postseason appearance as sophomore Blake Bodily, the 2017 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and five returning All-Pac-12 selections lead the team into the new season.
UCLA received the final first-place vote and amassed 18 points to slot third in the Pac-12. The Bruins vie for their return to NCAA Tournament this season after breaking their streak of 34-consecutive trips to the postseason. UCLA returns two All-Pac-12 team members in seniors Erik Holt and Anderson Asiedu, who have both been named to the 2018 Preseason All-Pac-12 team.
CALIFORNIA has been slated to finish fourth with 14 points and will lean on its returning leadership this season in Preseason All-Pac-12 recipient Drake Callender, one of two Pac-12 players on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. SAN DIEGO STATE and OREGON STATE each tallied seven points in the coaches’ poll to tie for fifth place.
In addition to the poll, the Pac-12 announced the Preseason All-Pac-12 team as voted on by the Conference coaches. The preseason team consists of 11 field players and one goalkeeper, which features eight returning 2017 All-Pac-12 honorees. Stanford and Washington lead the way with three honorees each followed by UCLA and Cal with two selections.
All six Pac-12 men’s soccer teams kick off the 2018 season on Aug. 24. This season, Pac-12 Networks airs 32 broadcasts, including 22 Conference matches. For more information and to view the 2018 schedule, visit www.pac-12.com.
2018 Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Coaches Poll (Parentheses indicate first-place votes)
|T5||San Diego State||7|
2018 PRESEASON MEN’S SOCCER ALL-PAC-12 TEAM
|Anderson Asiedu^||UCLA||M||SR||Hoboken, N.J.|
|Amir Bashti||Stanford||MF/F||SR||Cupertino, Calif.|
|Tanner Beason*||Stanford||D||RS-JR||Winston-Salem, N.C.|
|Blake Bodily*||Washington||M||SO||Eagle, Idaho|
|Drake Callender*||California||GK||JR||Fair Oaks, Calif.|
|Kyle Coffee^||Washington||F||RS-SR||Syracuse, Utah|
|Jared Gilbey||Stanford||M||JR||New York, N.Y.|
|Erik Holt*||UCLA||D||SR||San Diego, Calif.|
|Shinya Kadono^||California||M||SR||Irvine, Calif.|
|Quentin Pearson^||Washington||D||SR||Longmont, Colo.|
|Pablo Pelaez||San Diego State||F||RS-JR||San Diego, Calif.|
|Don Tchilao^||Oregon State||F||JR||Chandler, Ariz.|
Note: 12 team members due to tie.
*2017 first team All-Pac-12, ^2017 second team All-Pac-12