Pac-12 women's soccer title comes down to rivalry week
SAN FRANCISCO - The top of the Pac-12 women’s soccer standings is all tied up between No. 1 STANFORD and No. 2 USC with just one week remaining in the regular season. The final week of the season will be a thriller as the two best squads in the nation play their rivals to determine the Pac-12 Champion.
With Stanford and USC tied with 25 points each, and UCLA close behind with 24 points, the Pac-12 crown is still up for grabs. With a Friday game against CALIFORNIA and a Sunday matchup against ARIZONA STATE, the Cardinal have to win one game to clinch at least a share of the Conference title. USC has just one game remaining against crosstown rival UCLA, and if the Trojans secure the win and Stanford loses to ASU, USC will have at least a share of the Conference title. However, if Stanford loses both of its games and UCLA defeats USC, UCLA could win the crown.
With so much weighing on the USC vs. UCLA matchup, it is only fitting for this marquee matchup to be played under the bright lights at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., this Friday on Pac-12 Networks. The Bruins are currently riding an eight-game win streak, but USC has only suffered one loss this season to No. 1 Stanford on Sept. 30. These squads have been some of the best offensive teams in the nation, as USC ranks seventh nationally with 2.56 goals per game and UCLA ranks 12th with 2.41 goals per game. While USC’s duo of Penelope Hocking and Leah Pruitt occupy the first and second spot in the Conference in point totals this season, UCLA has last year’s MAC Hermann finalist Jessie Fleming and semifinalist Hailie Mace back on the pitch to fight for the Pac-12 title after Fleming spent time with the Canadian National Team and Mace spent time with the U.S. National Team.
Pac-12 Networks broadcasts all six rivalry games on Friday, including the big matchup between the Trojans and Bruins, as well as Stanford’s pivotal game against Cal, and the Apple Cup between WASHINGTON and WASHINGTON STATE.
NCAA SELECTION SHOW:
• The 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship bracket will be announced on Monday, November 5 at 1:30 p.m. PT on NCAA.com
IN THE RANKINGS:
• For the 18th-consecutive week, dating back to Oct. 10, 2017, Stanford has claimed the No. 1 ranking in the nation. USC takes the No. 2 spot for the sixth-straight week, marking the ninth time this season the Conference has claimed the top-two slots 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. UCLA moves up to No. 6 and COLORADO lands at No. 21.
• Eight Pac-12 teams have a RPI in the top 50 with Stanford possessing the best RPI in the nation. Four teams are ranked in the top 30, with USC at No. 5, UCLA at No. 13 and ARIZONA at No. 27. 10 of 12 Conference teams have an RPI in the top-100.
• Stanford (15-0-2) is just one of two teams in the nation without a loss this season.
• Stanford’s 39-game unbeaten streak is a program record and ties for the sixth-longest unbeaten streak in NCAA Division I history. During the streak, which dates to Aug. 25, 2017, the Cardinal is outscoring opponents 125-14. It is the longest unbeaten streak since UCLA went 44 games unbeaten from 2013-14.
• Stanford’s 27-game unbeaten streak in Pac-12 play ties for the 17th-longest conference unbeaten streak in NCAA history.
• USC recorded its fifth-consecutive double-digit win season, all under head coach Keidane McAlpine. This also marks the fourth-straight 15-win season under McAlpine and the eighth 15-win season overall for the program.
• USC’s dominant defense earned its 13th shutout in 18 games, tied for the most in the nation. It is the fourth time in program history the Trojans have notched 13 shutouts in a season.
• Arizona head coach Tony Amato has made his first few seasons at the helm of the Wildcats historic. Amato has led AU to at least 11 wins in four of his first five years as head coach. No other coach in program history had more than two 11-win seasons.
• Arizona State reached double-digit wins for the first time since winning 12 matches in 2014. The Sun Devils also notched five wins in Conference play, marking the highest win total in the Pac-12 since 2015.
• Colorado’s electrifying offense has set a single-season program record for goals with 47 and assists with 52.
• Oregon keeper Halla Hinriksdottir recorded the 200th save of her career last week, just the fifth Duck to reach that milestone.
• Utah’s forward Ireland Dunn notched her seventh assist of the season in a loss to UCLA, tying for the most in a season for a Ute since the team joined the Pac-12 in 2011.
• Utah has been kryptonite for a talented USC squad as the Utes have tied with the Trojans in the last three regular-season meetings. USC has been ranked in the top 10 nationally each time.
• Washington had a dominant first half against Cal, scoring four goals in the first 45 minutes of play. This was the Huskie’s second four-goal half of the season (Sept. 16 at Seattle U). Before that, Washington had not scored four goals in a half since 2002.
• The nation’s assist per game leader, Washington State’s Maddy Haro became the Cougars’ all-time single season leader with her 12th of the year. Haro is one assist away from moving into the single-season top 10 assist leaders in the Pac-12.
• The Cougars were also the first to score on Stanford in over a month, the last coming on Sept. 27 when Stanford defeated UCLA, 3-2.
NATIONAL STATS LEADERS:
• Pac-12 teams have put some of the best offensive talent in the nation on the pitch this season. The Conference dominates the top of the national scoring charts, with four teams ranked in the top 12 in goals per game, the most of any conference. Stanford is the fourth-best scoring offense in the nation with 2.65 goals per game, USC is seventh with 2.56 gpg, Colorado is 10th with 2.47 goals per game and UCLA is 12th with 2.41 goals per game.
• The Conference has also dominated the total points category with the same four teams ranked in the top 20. Colorado leads the nation with 146 points, USC is sixth with 137 points, Stanford is right behind at seventh with 131 and UCLA ranks 18th with 120 points.
• Many of those goals have come from some of the best passers in the country as four student-athletes rank in the top 30 in assists per game. WSU’s Maddy Haro leads the nation at 0.75 and CU’s Taylor Kornieck is sixth with 0.67 assists per game. USC’s Savannah DeMelo owns the 15th spot with 0.53 apg, while Stanford’s Jordan DiBasi ranks 28th at 0.47.
• On the defensive end, Pac-12 keepers have been some of the toughest to score on. Three teams rank in the top 30 in shutout percentage with USC ranked third with .722, while Stanford ranks 19th at .588 and UCLA ranks 28th with .529. Three teams also land in the top 25 for save percentage. USC ranks 12th at .875, Stanford is 23rd with .855 and Colorado is just behind at 24th with .852.
MAC HERMANN WATCH LIST:
• Taylor Kornieck of Colorado netted her ninth goal of the season in a loss against UCLA. The junior midfielder now ranks fourth on the Buffs’ all-time scoring list with 27 and fourth on the all-time points list with 72.
• Stanford’s Catarina Macario continued her stellar season by scoring all three of the Cardinal’s goals in a 2-0 win over Washington and a 1-1 tie with Washington State. The sophomore produced another highlight reel goal in the draw with WSU as she bended a volley inside the far post for her 12th goal of the season, tied for most in the Conference. Macario currently ranks seventh in the nation in goals per game (0.86) and fourth in points per game (2.07).
• UCLA is happy to have last year’s MAC Hermann Trophy finalist Jessie Fleming back on the pitch as the junior scored her second goal of the season in a 5-1 win over Utah. Meanwhile, Ashley Sanchez has been pivotal to UCLA’s eight-game win streak. She added an assist against Utah and created both of the Bruins goals against Colorado, assisting on the first goal and scoring the game-winner in the 78th minute. Sanchez has scored a goal or assisted in each game of UCLA’s winning streak and leads the Bruins in all scoring categories with eight goals, seven assists and 23 points.
• USC’s Ally Prisock has been the defensive anchor for a staunch Trojan defense that notched its 12th and 13th shutouts of the season. Prisock helped blank Colorado’s offense that leads the nation in total points and assists and hold the Buffs to just five shots on goal. USC’s defense currently leads the Pac-12 and ranks third in both goals-against average (0.377) and shutout percentage (0.722.)
• 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:
• Washington State notched two weekly honors this week after a win over Cal and a draw with No. 1 Stanford. Morgan Weaver earned her second-career Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after she scored a team-leading and career-high ninth goal of the season to tie the game with Stanford, the first player to score on the Cardinal since Sept. 27. Goalie Rachel Thompson also earned her second-career Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week after she made a career-high nine saves to secure the draw with the defending NCAA Champions.
• Streaking UCLA earned a weekly honor with defender Karina Rodriguez. The sophomore earned her second-career Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honor after scoring against Utah and leading a backfield that held a lethal Colorado offense to just two shots on goal. Rodriguez also earned a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.
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|
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Times local to site)
|Friday, Nov. 2||TV/Stream||Time|
|Utah at #21 Colorado*||P12M||3 p.m. MT|
|#1 Stanford at California*||P12N||3 p.m. PT|
|Arizona at Arizona State*||P12N||5 p.m. MT|
|Oregon State at Oregon*||P12O||6 p.m. PT|
|#6 UCLA vs. #2 USC*||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|Washington at Washington State*||P12W||7 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Nov. 4||TV/Stream||Time|
|#1 Stanford at Arizona State*||Live Stream||3 p.m. MT|
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
Offensive: Morgan Weaver, WSU
Defensive: Karina Rodriguez, UCLA
Goalkeeper: Rachel Thompson, WSU
ALSO NOMINATED THIS WEEK:
Offensive: Kennedy Kieneker, ARIZ; Marleen Schimmer, ASU; Abigail Kim, CAL; Taylor Kornieck, COLO; Bayley Bruner, ORE; Taylor Lemmond, OSU; Catarina Macario, STAN; Ashley Sanchez, UCLA; Olivia Van der Jagt, WASH.
Defensive: Morgan McGarry, ARIZ; Jemma Purfield, ASU; Kelsey Aaknes, COLO; Ashleigh Fonsen, OSU; Naomi Girma, STAN; Julia Bingham, USC; Kaylene Pang, WASH; Maddy Haro, WSU.
Goalkeeper: Lainey Burdett, ARIZ; Nikki Panas, ASU; Jalen Tompkins, COLO; Halla Hinriksdottir, ORE; Lindsay Lamont, OSU; Alison Jahansouz, STAN; Teagan Micah, UCLA; Kaylie Collins, USC.
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
ESPNW Player of the Year Watch:
Savannah DeMelo ready to pounce when opportunity presents itself
Sophia Smith next in long line of stars at spotless Stanford
Buffaloes' Taylor Kornieck bullish on her future in the midfield
More Catarina Macario magic is afoot at Stanford
UCLA's Jessie Fleming and Hailie Mace are gone but not forgotten
Flurry of goals only part of the story for USC freshman Penelope Hocking
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
Oct. 23: Ashley Sanchez, UCLA; Penelope Hocking, USC
Oct. 30: Karina Rodriguez, UCLA; Marleen Schimmer, Arizona State; Catarina Macario, Stanford
Senior CLASS Award Finalists
Alana Cook, Stanford
Hailie Mace, UCLA