Five Pac-12 women's soccer teams kick off NCAA Tournament action
SAN FRANCISCO - Five Pac-12 teams earned a berth into the 2018 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship with all five teams selected to host first round games. STANFORD clinched its fourth-straight Pac-12 title in the final week of the regular season and also claimed the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament for the third-straight year. The Pac-12 finished the regular season with three teams ranked in the top-10 RPI, the most of any conference.
STANFORD is joined in the tournament by No. 2-seeded UCLA, No. 4-seeded USC, ARIZONA and WASHINGTON STATE. This is the third-straight year the Pac-12 has three teams seeded in the top four.
All five teams play their first-round matchups on Friday, Nov. 9. USC tries to make it two in a row over Big West Champion Long Beach State (12-5-3) after defeating the 49ers 3-0 earlier this season. Big Sky Champion Montana (7-8-6) returns to Washington State after suffering a 3-1 loss in Pullman on Sept. 14. Arizona welcomes Summit League Champion Denver (13-5-2), Stanford plays WAC Champion Seattle (10-7-3) and UCLA hosts Mountain West Champion San Jose State (9-6-6).
PAC-12 IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• The Pac-12 currently holds an all-time record of 186-125-29 (.590) in the NCAA Tournament.
• The Pac-12 has won the NCAA title in four of the last seven seasons and five of the last 11 years (USC ’07, STAN ’11, UCLA ’13, USC ’16, STAN ’17).
• Stanford and UCLA made history in a first-ever all-Pac-12 NCAA final when they met for the 2017crown. The ACC and WCC are the only other conferences besides the Pac-12 to have an all-conference NCAA final, with the ACC having done so twice and the WCC once.
• Stanford’s NCAA title marked the fifth women’s soccer crown for the Pac-12, the second most NCAA titles of any other conference.
• The Pac-12 is one of three leagues to capture consecutive NCAA women’s soccer national titles (ACC, WCC) with USC claiming the 2016 championship.
• The Pac-12 earned 33 NCAA Tournament berths over the last five years (nine in 2014, six in 2015, six in 2016 and seven in 2017 and five in 2018). This is the third most tournament berths of any conference in that time span.
• In 2017, Stanford became the first school in NCAA history to win both the women’s and men’s soccer titles in the same season.
IN THE RANKINGS:
• For the 19th-consecutive week, dating back to Oct. 10, 2017, Stanford has claimed the No. 1 ranking in the nation. The Conference had occupied the top two spots in the nation 11 of 12 weeks this season. With UCLA at the No. 4 spot, the Pac-12 is the only conference to have two teams ranked in the top-five every week. USC lands at No. 6, giving the Pac-12 the most teams ranked in the top 10 of any other conference.
• Seven 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 UCLA at No. 7, USC at No. 8 and Arizona at No. 29. Nine of 12 Conference teams finished the regular season with an RPI in the top 100.
• Stanford (17-0-2, 10-0-1) is just one of two teams in the nation without a loss this season.
• The Cardinal notched its fourth undefeated-regular season in program history and is riding a 41-game unbeaten streak, the sixth-longest in NCAA Division I history and the longest since UCLA went 44 games unbeaten from 2013-14.
• USC (15-2-2, 8-2-1) 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.
• Arizona (12-5-2, 5-4-2) 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. He is also the only coach in program history to lead his team to four NCAA Tournament appearances.
• Arizona State (10-7-1, 5-5-1) 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 (13-4-3, 5-4-2) electrifying offense set a single-season program record for goals with 47 and assists with 52.
• Oregon (9-9-1, 3-8-0) broke a nine-season losing streak. The last Oregon team to post a .500 record was the 2008 squad that went 9-9-2.
• The Ducks senior keeper Halla Hinriksdottir made her mark on the UO record book in her final season. She is tied for first on the school’s single-season wins list and finished tied for second in career shutouts (16) and fifth in career saves (141).
• Utah (9-8-2, 6-4-1) earned its first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2007 with a 1-0 victory over No. 21 Colorado on Friday. The Utes finished the season fourth in the Pac-12, the second-best finish since joining the Conference in 2011.
• Washington State’s (12-5-1, 5-5-1) Maddy Haro moved into a tie for 10th on the all-time Pac-12 single season assist leaders with her 13th assist of the season. She also sits second on the Cougars all-time career assist leaders with 20.
NATIONAL STATS LEADERS:
• Pac-12 teams have put some of the best offensive talent in the nation on the pitch this regular season. The Conference dominates the top of the national scoring charts with four teams ranked in the top 15 in goals per game, the most of any conference. Stanford is the second-best scoring offense in the nation with 2.68 goals per game, USC is seventh with 2.53 gpg, UCLA is 11th with 2.44 goals per game and Colorado is 15th with 2.35 goals per game.
• The Conference also dominated the assists category with the same four teams ranked in the top 20 for total assists. Colorado tied for most in the country with 52 while USC ranks sixth with 47. Stanford has the 10th most with 45 and UCLA lands at 17th with 41. Individually, three student-athletes ranked in the top 17 in assists. WSU’s Maddy Haro has the fourth most this season with 13, CU’s Taylor Kornieck has the 10th most with 10 and USC’s Savannah DeMelo lands at 16th with nine.
MAC HERMANN WATCH LIST:
• Stanford’s senior defender Alana Cook finished off a stellar season by leading the Cardinal to a shutout victory over Cal and notched her first assist of the season in a 4-1 win over Arizona State. Cook has been a key figure in Stanford’s defense that has held opponents to just nine goals and 7.8 shots per game.
• UCLA secured a huge comeback victory to defeat USC in double overtime with the help of four standout student-athletes. Ashley Sanchez sent the helper to Hailie Mace to tie the game in the 86th minute and Jessie Fleming assisted on two goals, including the game-winner in double OT. Kaiya McCullough played tough defense against an explosive USC offense, earning herself Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
• Despite a tough loss to UCLA, USC’s Savannah DeMelo scored her seventh goal of the season. She finished the season with a team-leading nine assists, third most in the Conference.
• 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:
• WSU’s Morgan Weaver notched her second-straight Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor with her second-career hat trick in a win over Washington. Weaver finished the regular season ranked second in the Pac-12 with 12 goals and first in shots with 91.
• Kaiya McCullough earned UCLA its second-straight Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honor with several key defensive stops in a double OT victory over USC. Her tough defensive play helped the Bruins extend their win streak to nine heading into the NCAA Tournament.
• Utah goalie Carly Nelson made 10 saves to earn the Utes’ first true road win over a top 25 team since 2007 and Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honors. Nelson’s eighth shutout of the season was just one shy of setting a program single-season record.
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|
NCAA FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE (Times local to site)
|Friday, Nov. 2||TV/Stream||Time|
|Long Beach State at USC||1:30 p.m. PT|
|Denver at ARIZONA||7 p.m. MT|
|San Jose State at UCLA||6 p.m. PT|
|Montana at WASHINGTON STATE||Live Stream||7 p.m. PT|
|Seattle at STANFORD||7 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
Offensive: Morgan Weaver, WSU
Defensive: Kaiya McCullough, UCLA
Goalkeeper: Carly Nelson, UTAH
ALSO NOMINATED THIS WEEK:
Offensive: Marissa Everett, ORE; Sydney Studer, OSU; Jordan DiBasi, STAN; Jessie Fleming, UCLA.
Defensive: Morgan McGarry, ARIZ; Kayleigh Webb, COLO; Jazmin Jackmon, ORE; Emery Wallerich, OSU; Alana Cook, STAN; Hailey Stodden, UTAH.
Goalkeeper: Lainey Burdett, ARIZ; Jalen Tompkins, COLO; Halla Hinriksdottir, ORE; Bridgette Skiba, OSU; Alison Jahansouz, STAN; Teagan Micah, UCLA.
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
Nov. 6: Jordan DiBasi, Stanford
Senior CLASS Award Finalists
Alana Cook, Stanford
Hailie Mace, UCLA