Stanford Picked to Win 2018 Pac-12 Women’s Soccer Title
SAN FRANCISCO – STANFORD was ranked No. 1 in the 2018 Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll, the Conference announced on Tuesday. This is the third year in a row Stanford was voted by the league’s coaches to win the Pac-12 title. The Cardinal is coming off an NCAA Championship and third straight Pac-12 title. UCLA came in second, followed by USC at third.
Stanford secured its second NCAA title in program history and fifth women’s soccer crown for the Pac-12 in 2017. With its third straight Pac-12 title, the Cardinal has won seven Pac-12 titles in the last nine years and 12 all-time. Eight-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year Paul Radcliffe’s squad welcomes back Pac-12 Forward of the Year, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and ESPNW National Player of the Year Catarina Macario as well as nine 2017 All-Pac-12 honorees.
UCLA was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 after reaching the NCAA final against Stanford in the first-ever all-Pac-12 NCAA final. The Bruins finished the 2017 season with a 19-3-3 overall record, an 8-2-1 Conference record and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. First-team All-Americans and MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalists forward Hailie Mace and midfielder Jessie Fleming return for 2018 alongside All-Pac-12 recipients Ashley Sanchez and Kaiya McCullough.
USC comes in third after posting a 15-3-2 overall record and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed last year. The Trojan squad returns first team All-Pac-12 midfielder Savannah DeMelo and defender Ally Prisock while adding an impressive freshman class that’s ranked No. 2 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer.
CALIFORNIA is slotted fourth in the poll after finishing the 2017 season with a 13-6-1 overall record, a 6-4-1 Conference record and an at-large bid for the program’s 25th overall postseason berth. The Golden Bears return five starters including leading scorers in forwards Miranda Nild and Abi Kim, as well as a pair of Pac-12 All-Freshman selections in Emily Smith and Luca Deza.
COLORADO is picked fifth after earning its 10th all-time NCAA Tournament berth last year. The Buffs (12-6-4, 5-4-2), closed out the regular season on a five-match winning streak, including three straight on the road, to finish sixth in the Conference. Standout goalkeeper Jalen Tompkins remains in front of the goal after earning three-straight Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honors, the most-consecutive weekly awards in Conference history.
ARIZONA weighed in at sixth in the poll, followed by WASHINGTON STATE at seventh, WASHINGTON at eighth, UTAH placing ninth, OREGON taking 10th, while ARIZONA STATE and OREGON STATE rounded out the poll in 11th and 12th, respectively.
The women’s soccer season kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 16. Pac-12 Networks will televise 66 live women’s soccer games in 2018, beginning with four matches on Friday, Aug. 17.
2018 Pac-12 Women’s Soccer Coaches Poll
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