Marquee conference battles highlight Pac-12 women's soccer

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Mike Greening

SAN FRANCISCO - The battle for the Pac-12 crown heats up this week as STANFORD and USC are tied at the top of the league standings with 15 points each. COLORADO is just a point behind and have yet to lose a game this season, but face their toughest test yet when they travel to Stanford this Sunday at 12 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.
• Colorado vs. Stanford will be an offensive showdown between two of only three teams in the country without a loss this season. The Buffs and the Cardinal looks to be a high-scoring affair, as Colorado has the second-best scoring offense in the country and first in the Conference with 2.87 goals per game, while Stanford is ranked sixth in the nation and second in the league with 2.54 goals per game. Colorado is led by the trio of Jorian Baucom, Tatum Barton and Taylor Kornieck who occupy the top-three spots in total points in the league. Stanford’s offensive duo of Catarina Macario and Sophia Smith will be tough to keep away from the net as well, as they rank first and second, respectively, in shots on goal per game in the league.
With just three weeks remaining in the regular season, Pac-12 women’s soccer remains at the top of the United Soccer Coaches poll with STANFORD ranked No. 1 and USC ranked No. 2 for the fourth-straight week. The Conference has claimed the top-two spots in the country seven out of ten weeks this season. Altogether, five Pac-12 teams are nationally ranked, including three in the top 10.
• Pac-12 Networks broadcasts six games this week. Thursday’s slate includes a UTAH team that has stepped up its game in Conference play with a 4-2-0 record and 12 points playing on the road against Stanford. Additionally, UCLA, fighting for a chance at the league title, hosts OREGON. Sunday’s slate of marquee matchups has OREGON STATE visiting UCLA in addition to CU taking on Stanford.

IN THE RANKINGS:
• For the 16th-consecutive week, dating back to Oct. 10, 2017, Stanford has claimed the No. 1 spot in the nation. USC took the No. 2 spot for the fourth-straight week, marking the seventh time this season the Conference has claimed the top-two spots in the nation. The Pac-12 is the only conference to occupy the top-two spots this season and is the only conference to have two teams ranked in the top-five every week of the season.
• UCLA is ranked No. 9, while Colorado moved up a spot to No. 15 and WASHINGTON STATE landed at No. 22.
• Seven Pac-12 teams have RPI in the top-50, with Stanford possessing the best RPI in the nation. Four teams are ranked in the top-25, with USC at No. 6, UCLA at No. 19 and ARIZONA at No. 22. Nine of 12 Conference teams have an RPI in the top-100.

NOTABLES: 
• Stanford (12-0-1) and Colorado (12-0-3) are two of only three teams in the nation without a loss this season.
• Stanford’s program-record 35-game unbeaten streak is the seventh-longest in Division I history and the longest since UCLA went 44 games unbeaten from 2013-14. The Cardinal has not lost since Aug. 25, 2017.
• The Cardinal's 23-game Pac-12-win streak is tied for the 14th-longest in Division I history, winning every Conference contest since Oct. 6, 2016.
• Colorado continues to make history this season, tying its longest unbeaten streak in program history after a 4-1 win over Oregon. The Buffs have also scored 43 goals this season, tied for second-most in program history, with five games still remaining in the regular season.
• CU’s goalie Jalen Tompkins earned her 36th-career win last weekend. She is now one win shy of tying Jessica Keller for the school record.
• USC has its fifth-consecutive double-digit-win season, all under head coach Keidane McAlpine.
• USC has been one of the toughest teams to score on in the country this season, giving up more than one goal in a game just twice this season. The Trojans lead the league in goals-against average (0.488) and shutout percentage (0.643), and are nationally ranked 11th and ninth in those categories, respectively.
• Utah notched its fourth shutout in a row in a 2-0 win over Oregon State, the first time it has accomplished a run like that in Pac-12 play. The next-longest shutout streak dates back to 2006 (nine games).
• WSU’s Maddy Haro picked up her 11th assist of the season against USC, tying the Cougars single-season record for assists, and is tied for most in the nation.

NATIONAL STATS LEADERS:
• Pac-12 teams know how to let it rip on offense, as four teams rank in the top-25 in shots per game. Stanford ranks first with an impressive 24.69 shots per game, three shots higher than the next closest team. USC is ninth-best with 19.21, Colorado is 16th with 18.27 and Washington State ranks 21st with 18.15.
• Conference teams have also found ways to turn those shot opportunities into points, with three teams in the top-15 in points per game. The Buffs lead the nation with 8.87 points per game, USC averages 7.43 ppg for ninth-best and Stanford is just behind at 10th with 7.38.

MAC HERMANN WATCH LIST:
Taylor Kornieck has been on an offensive tear this season, netting two goals, both off of penalty kicks, in a 4-1 victory over Oregon to notch her fifth and sixth goals of the season. Kornieck's two goals was the first time Colorado scored two penalty kick goals in the same game since 2002. Her 21st point ranks third in the league, behind teammates Jorian Baucom and Tatum Barton.
Ashley Sanchez of UCLA helped the Bruins win their fourth-straight game, contributing the first goal of the game in a victory over Washington. Her fourth goal of the season is tied for a team-best with Anika Rodriguez.
• USC has been dominant on defense, led in the backfield by Ally Prisock. The Trojan defense has outscored opponents 35-7 and has only allowed 8.1 shots per game and a 0.061 shot percentage for opponents.
• The Pac-12 has the most representatives on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List with 12 student-athletes, the most from the Conference since eight were named in 2009. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer, presented annually to one male and one female student-athlete. The watch list is headlined by last year’s MAC Hermann Trophy finalist Jessie Fleming of UCLA, and semifinalists Stanford’s Tierna Davidson and Catarina Macario, and UCLA’s Hailie Mace. Stanford leads the nation with five student-athletes on the 2018 watch list, including Davidson, Macario, Alana Cook, Tegan McGrady and Jaye Boissiere. The Conference is also represented by Taylor Korniek, Colorado; Savannah DeMelo and Ally Prisock, USC; Kaiya McCullough and Ashley Sanchez, UCLA.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
• USC’s Leah Pruitt earned her first-career Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor after tallying a goal and an assist in a win over No. 22 Washington State. Now ranked third in the Pac-12 in goals, Pruitt was also named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.
Delanie Sheehan of UCLA earned her first Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week nod after contributing a goal and leading a backfield to a road shutout of Washington. Sheehan helped limit the Huskies to just four shots on goal to notch the Bruins’ eighth shutout of the season.
• UCLA’s Teagan Micah nabbed her second Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honor this season, and sixth of her career, with her fifth solo shutout in a road win over Washington. The junior now ranks fifth on UCLA’s all-time list for shutouts (23), victories (39) and saves (179).

2017 IN REVIEW:
• Last season, seven Pac-12 teams made the NCAA Tournament with Stanford earning a No. 1 overall seed for the fourth-straight year and was joined in the field by No. 2-seeded UCLA, No. 3-seeded USC, Arizona, Colorado, California and Washington State. Six teams advanced to the second round and three made the round of 16. Stanford was crowned the 2017 NCAA Champion for the second time in program history in the first-ever-all-Pac-12 final against UCLA.

PROMISING FRESHMAN CLASS:
• The incoming Pac-12 freshman class had the most selections of any conference on the Top Drawer Soccer preseason Best XI Freshman team. Sophia Smith of Stanford, Summer Yates of Washington, Maricarmen Reyes of UCLA and Eva Van Deursen of ARIZONA STATE look to make their mark in their first season.

PAC-12 WOMEN’S SOCCER BROADCASTS:
• Pac- 12 Networks coverage on the pitch features a 66-game women’s soccer schedule. All Pac-12 universities appear on the Networks at least seven times in 2018.

CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded standings)

Teams Points Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Stanford 15 5-0-0 12-0-1
USC 15 5-1-0 12-1-1
Colorado 14 4-0-2 12-0-3
UCLA 12 4-2-0 9-3-1
Utah 12 4-2-0 7-6-1
Washington State 9 3-3-0 10-3-0
Washington 6 2-4-0 7-6-1
Arizona 5 1-3-2 8-4-2
Arizona State 4 1-3-1 6-5-1
California 4 1-4-1 5-7-2
Oregon 3 1-5-0 7-6-1
Oregon State 3 1-5-0 2-12-0

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Times local to site)

Thursday, Oct. 18 TV/Stream Time
#22 Washington State at Arizona State* Live Stream 11 a.m. MT
#15 Colorado at California* P12N 12 p.m. PT
Oregon State at #2 USC* P12N 3 p.m. PT
Utah at #1 Stanford* P12N 5 p.m. PT
Oregon at #9 UCLA* P12N 6 p.m. PT
Washington at Arizona* Live Stream 7 p.m. MT
Sunday, Oct. 21 TV/Stream Time
#15 Colorado at #1 Stanford*
P12N
12 p.m. PT
Oregon State at #9 UCLA*
P12LA
12 p.m. PT
#22 Washington State at Arizona* Live Stream 12 p.m. MT
Utah at California*   12:30 p.m. PT
Oregon at #2 USC* Live Stream 1 p.m. PT
Washington at Arizona State* Live Stream 1 p.m. PT

P12N/P12A/P12BA/P12LA/P12M/P12O/P12W - Indicates live broadcast on Pac-12 Network. 
* Pac-12 match


PAC-12 WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

THIS WEEK: 
Offensive:
Leah Pruitt, USC
Defensive: Delanie Sheehan, UCLA
Goalkeeper: Teagan Micah, UCLA

ALSO NOMINATED THIS WEEK:
Offensive:
Jada Talley, ARIZ; Miranda Nild, CAL; Taylor Kornieck, COLO; Taylor Lemmond, OSU; Ashley Sanchez, UCLA; Ireland Dunn, UTAH.
Defensive: Morgan McGarry, ARIZ; Jesse Loren, COLO; Ashleigh Fonsen, OSU; Ally Prisock, USC; Maddy Haro, WSU.  
Goalkeeper: Jalen Tompkins, COLO; Lindsay Lamont, OSU; Kaylie Collins, USC; Carly Nelson, UTAH.

PAC-12 WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

 

Offensive

Defensive

Goalkeeper

Aug. 21 Hailie Mace, UCLA Maddy Haro, WSU Siena Ruelas, WASH
Aug. 28 Tatum Barton, COLO Mykiaa Minniss, WSU Teagan Micah, UCLA 
Sep. 4 Emma Eddy, ORE Sam Hiatt, STAN Kaylie Collins, USC
Sep. 11 Tatum Barton, COLO Kelsey Aaknes, COLO Alison Jahansouz, STAN
Sep. 18 Marissa Everett, ORE Karina Rodriguez, UCLA Jalen Tompkins, COLO
Sep. 25 Morgan Weaver, WSU Aaqila McLyn, WSU Rachel Thompson, WSU
Oct. 2 Sophia Smith, STAN Maegan O'Neill, WSU Alison Jahansouz, STAN
Oct. 9 Jorian Baucom, COLO Kaiya McCullough, UCLA Carly Nelson, UTAH
Oct. 16 Leah Pruitt, USC Delanie Sheehan, UCLA Teagan Micah, UCLA

NATIONAL HONORS

MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
Alana Cook, Stanford; Tierna Davidson, Stanford; Tegan McGrady, Stanford; Jaye Boissiere, Stanford; Catarina Macario, Stanford; Hailie Mace, UCLA; Jessie Fleming, UCLA; Kaiya McCullough, UCLA; Ashley Sanchez, UCLA; Savannah DeMelo, USC; Ally Prisock, USC; Taylor Kornieck, Colorado

Top Drawer Soccer Player of the Week
Oct. 2: Sophia Smith, Stanford
O
ct. 9: Jorian Baucom, Colorado

Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week
Aug. 28: Teagan Micah, UCLA; Grace Hancock, Washington State; Savannah DeMelo, USC
Sept. 4: Ally Prisock, USC
Sept. 11: Emily Knous, Arizona; Catarina Macario, Stanford
Sept. 25: Mykiaa Minniss, Washington State
Oct. 2: Maddy Haro, Washington State; Sophia Smith, Stanford
Oct. 9: Tegan McGrady, Stanford; Viviana Villacorta, UCLA; Jorian Baucom, Colorado

Oct. 16: Leah Pruitt, USC

Senior CLASS Award Candidates
Alana Cook, Stanford
Hailie Mace, UCLA

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