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Four Pac-12 Men's Soccer programs prepare for NCAA Postseason

Nov 14, 2018

NCAA BOUND: Four Pac-12 men’s soccer teams earned bids to the 2018 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship with three programs earning hosting privileges for their first match of the tournament. Three-time defending NCAA Champion and No. 9 overall seed STANFORD received a first-round bye and is joined in the field by first-round hosts OREGON STATE and WASHINGTON as well as UCLA.

The first round begins on Thursday, Nov. 15 as the Beavers host The American champion SMU, UCLA travels to Portland and Washington welcomes Atlantic Sun champion Lipscomb, with the Huskies-Bisons match broadcast on Pac-12 Network at 7 p.m. PT. With a top-16 seed, Stanford opens postseason action on home turf for the sixth-consecutive year and will host either UC Irvine or Grand Canyon on Sunday, Nov. 18 live on Pac-12 Networks at 5:30 p.m. PT. The 48-team NCAA field features 24 conference champions and 24 at-large bids selected to compete in the single elimination tournament.

This season marks the seventh time since the Conference’s formation in 2000 that four teams qualified for NCAA play, including the fourth time in the past six seasons. Pac-12 programs have captured seven national championships composed of Stanford’s current streak of three titles (2015, 2016, 2017) and UCLA’s four previous national crowns (1985, 1990, 1997, 2002). In addition, the Conference has tallied eight runner-up finishes with the last one coming in 2014 when UCLA advanced to the Championship match for the fifth time in program history. In that same season, five league teams earned berths to the tournament for the most selections in Conference history.

All four teams in the NCAA Tournament boast a NCAA top-30 RPI with Stanford at No. 9, followed by Washington at No. 22, Oregon State at No. 29 and UCLA at No. 30. Three of the qualified teams are ranked in the United Soccer Coaches poll upon conclusion of the regular season with No. 7 Stanford, No. 17 Washington and No. 24 Oregon State, while UCLA is also receiving votes.

PAC-12 IN THE POSTSEASON: The Pac-12 currently holds an all-time record of 131-101-13 (.561) in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament. The Cardinal boasts the second-best win percentage in the NCAA Tournament at 0.678 with a 28-12-5 record, trailing only Indiana’s 0.742 (88-32-5), and the Bruins are tied for ninth at 0.645 with a 72-39-3 record. At least two Pac-12 teams have earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament in all but one season dating back to 1997, with 2011 the lone exception.

UCLA and Stanford met in the 2002 NCAA Championship game, which marked the first time two schools from the same conference reached the final match. The Bruins claimed a 1-0 victory for their fourth national title and now Stanford has a chance to tie UCLA for the most titles by a Pac-12 program. Only seven programs in NCAA history have recorded at least three national titles, UCLA and Stanford are tied for fourth and sixth-most titles, respectively.

CARDINAL CLAIM CLOSE PAC-12 RACE: The outright Pac-12 men’s soccer champion STANFORD (11-3-4, 7-2-1) became the first program to win five-consecutive Pac-12 crowns and earned the league’s automatic bid in the 2018 NCAA Tournament for its 17th all-time appearance. OREGON STATE (10-5-3, 6-3-1) finished second in the Pac-12 standings, matching its highest league finish in program history since the Pac-10 started sponsoring men’s soccer in 2000 (Pac-10 -2009, 2003).

WASHINGTON (12-7-0, 6-4-0) placed third in the league standings and is riding a four-game win streak heading into its sixth postseason trip in the last seven seasons. UCLA (10-8-0, 5-5-0) took fourth in the Pac-12 and earned its 45th NCAA berth, which included a stretch 33 straight appearances that concluded last season. CALIFORNIA (7-9-2, 3-7-0) and SAN DIEGO STATE (7-10-1, 2-8-0) concluded the 2018 campaign in fifth and sixth place in the league, respectively.

WEEKLY NOTES: Stanford earned its fifth-straight Pac-12 title and has recorded a combined 37-4-8 league mark during its successful five-year stretch. The Cardinal women’s soccer program also nabbed the Pac-12 title, marking the fourth-consecutive season the Cardinal swept the league’s soccer championships. Stanford earned the No. 9 overall seed for its sixth consecutive postseason berth, which ties the longest run of NCAA appearances in Stanford history (1997-2002). Stanford’s league-leading save percentage (0.861) ranks fourth nationally and its shutout percentage (0.556) ranks seventh. Goalkeeper Andrew Thomas ranks fourth in the country in save percentage (0.853), fifth in shutouts (9) and ninth in goals against average (0.575).

Oregon State has notched its 10th 10-win season in program history and the second since 2003, and the Beavers’ six Pac-12 wins marks its second-highest Conference win total all-time. Under first-year head coach Terry Boss, OSU tied the program record for longest home unbeaten streak of 10 matches. Gloire Amanda is tied for third in the Pac-12 with eight goals this season, followed by Don Tchilao, who is tied for fifth with seven. Tchilao is tied for first with seven assists and comes in second in the league with 21 total points.

Washington upset then-No. 22 Oregon State, 2-0, in its regular season finale to close with four-straight shutouts for the first time since the 1996 season. The Huskies have also scored two goals in each of their last four games to boast the best scoring offense in the league (1.63). Head Coach Jamie Clark has led the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in his eight years at the helm, with UW advancing to at least the third round on three occasions in that span. Washington leads the Conference in shots (271) and goals (31) while coming in second in assists (39) and goals allowed (20).

UCLA entered the 2018 season with the most Division I wins in NCAA history with 969 total victories and ranks second all-time by win percentage (.777). UCLA earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for its Conference-leading 45th all-time appearance, following a one-year absence after making 33 consecutive trips from 1983-2016. Matt Hundley is tied for the Conference lead with seven assists on the season, and is sixth in points per game (0.94), and is the first Bruin player since 2003 to log multiple five-point games.

CALIFORNIA wrapped up its regular season campaign with a historic 1-0 victory over Stanford. The win marked the Golden Bears’ first win over their Bay Area rival since 2013 and first on Cardinal turf since 2010. Cal’s top offensive force Shinya Kadono led the Pac-12 in points (26), goals (12) and shots (58) to close out a successful senior season.   

SAN DIEGO STATE ended its 2018 season on a positive note with a 1-0 shutout at UCLA on Thursday for its first road victory against the Bruins since 1987. Senior Damian German converted a penalty kick in the first half that would hold up as the game-winner, while fellow senior Cameron Hogg collected a career-high seven saves in net. Pablo Pelaez, the Aztecs’ leader in goals (6) and points (15), is eighth in the Pac-12 in goals per game (0.35) and ninth in points per game (0.88).

PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: California freshman JJ Foe Nuphaus scored the game-winning goal to help California upset No. 6 Stanford, 1-0, in the team’s season finale. A memorable first collegiate goal, the freshman scored a powerful diving header off a corner kick in the 85th minute to secure the win and help the Golden Bears post their fifth shutout of the season. Collects his first career Pac-12 Player of the Week honor for Cal’s 37th all-time nod.

NATIONAL HONORS: Five Pac-12 players are featured in the top-15 of TopDrawer Soccer's Midseason Top-100 Player Rankings, which ties the ACC for the most of any Conference in the nation. League selections include six in the top-25 -No. 5 Andrew Thomas, Stanford; No. 8 Jean-Julien Foe Nuphaus, Cal; No. 9 Frankie Amaya, UCLA; No. 12 Ethan Bartlow, Washington; No. 14 Justin Garces, UCLA; and No. 25 Ian Lonergan, Cal. A total of 11 Pac-12 players make an appearance on the list.

MAC HERMANN NOMINEE WATCH: Drake Callender of California and Erik Holt of UCLA represent the Pac-12 on the preseason MAC Hermann Trophy watch list. Twenty eight players from NCAA Division I schools around the country have been marked as potential contenders for the 2017 Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer, presented annually to one male and one female athlete.

TOPDRAWERSOCCER PRESEASON BEST XI: Stanford defender Tanner Beason, two-time All-Pac-12 first team selection, has been selected to the preseason All-Pac-12 team and the TopDrawerSoccer Preseason Best XI first team. Washington defender Quentin Pearson was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Preseason Best XI third team while new teammate Ethan Bartlow earned a spot on the freshman team. Including Bartlow, the Pac-12 had three TopDrawerSoccer Preseason Best XI freshman team selections, which tied for the most of any conference in the country. UCLA was the only school to land two incoming players on the team with forward Matt Hundley and goalkeeper Justin Garces.

CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded standings)

Teams Points Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Stanford 22 7-2-1 11-3-4
Oregon State 19 6-3-1 10-5-3
Washington  18 6-4-0 12-7-0
UCLA 15 5-5-0 10-8-0
California 9 3-7-0 7-9-2
San Diego State 6 2-8-0 7-10-1


Thursday, Nov. 15
UCLA at Portland    4 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at OREGON STATE   7 p.m.
Lipscomb at WASHINGTON  P12W
7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 18
No. 9 STANFORD vs. UC Irvine/Grand Canyon P12N + P12BA
5:30 p.m.


Date Student-Athlete
Aug. 28 Matt Hundley, UCLA
Sept. 4  Don Tchilao, Oregon State
Sept. 11 Shinya Kadono, California
Sept. 18 Amir Bashti, Stanford
Sept. 25 Shinya Kadono, California
Oct. 2  Amir Bashti, Stanford
Oct. 9 Tanner Beason, Stanford
Oct. 16 Hassani Dotson, Oregon State
Oct. 23 Alex Cover, Oregon State
Oct. 30 Don Tchilao, Oregon State
Nov. 6 Tanner Beason, Stanford
Nov. 13 JJ Foe Nuphaus, California


MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
Erik Holt, UCLA; Drake Callender, California

Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week
Aug. 28: Erik Holt, UCLA, Joey Parish, Washington
Sept. 4: Kolade Salaudeen, Oregon State
Sept. 11: Erik Holt, UCLA, Joey Parish, Washington, Shinya Kadono, California
Oct. 2: Hassani Dotson, Oregon State, Amir Bashti, Stanford
Oct. 9: AJ Vasquez, UCLA
Oct. 16: Adrian Fernandez, Oregon State
Oct. 22: Alex Cover, Oregon State
Oct. 30: Don Tchilao, Oregon State
Nov. 6: Tanner Beason, Stanford


Pac-12 Preseason Poll | United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll