Stanford Men’s Soccer Advances to NCAA Third Round in Quest for Four-Peat

CARDINAL STANDS STRONG: No. 9 overall seed STANFORD (12-3-4, 7-2-1) advanced to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship’s third round after defeating UC Irvine, 2-0, on home turf last week. The Cardinal’s quest for a fourth consecutive NCAA title resumes on Sunday, Nov. 25 as it travels across the Bay to face local foe, undefeated and No. 8 seed Saint Mary’s (18-0-1, 6-0-1).

The Cardinal defeated the Gaels, 2-1, earlier this season in an exhibition match on Aug. 14.

Pending a victory, Stanford would then compete against another familiar opponent in the quarterfinal round between either No. 1 national seed Wake Forest or Akron. The No. 9 seed Cardinal defeated the top-seeded Demon Deacons in the quarters and the Zips in the semifinals during its 2017 NCAA title run.

Stanford’s opening win marked its 13th consecutive NCAA postseason shutout and extended its tournament unbeaten streak to 16 matches with its last loss coming in 2014. Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year Tanner Beason drew a foul and converted the penalty kick that would stand as the game-winner for his seventh tally of the season. Zach Ryan gave the team insurance in the 82nd minute with a left-footed goal to secure the victory. Since 2015, Stanford has outscored its postseason opponents 24-3 en route to three national titles.

Stanford’s sixth consecutive postseason berth ties its longest run of NCAA appearances in school history (1997-2002) for its 17th all-time appearance. The Cardinal will continue as the lone Pac-12 team in the postseason and look to make its seventh NCAA College Cup appearance in program history. Stanford has reached the championship match in five of its College Cup berths and is coming off its third-straight NCAA title (2015, 2016, 2017).

Stanford’s save percentage (0.866) ranks second nationally and its shutout percentage (0.579) ranks fifth. Goalkeeper Andrew Thomas ranks third in the country in save percentage (0.859), fifth in shutouts (10) and seventh in goals against average (0.546). Stanford has a chance to tie UCLA for the most titles by a Pac-12 program after the two teams met in the 2002 NCAA Championship game when the Bruins claimed a 1-0 victory for their fourth national. 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.

NCAA TOURNAMENT RECAP: 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 Stanford was joined in the field by first-round hosts OREGON STATE and WASHINGTON as well as UCLA.

Oregon State made its fourth NCAA appearance all-time and opened the first round of the tournament with a 2-1 victory over SMU on Thursday night. The win marked its second postseason victory in program history, the other coming in 2014. Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Sofiane Djeffal got the Beavers on the board in the first half and Eric Diaz rattled home the game winner in the 68th minute. Senior Don Tchilao assisted both tallies for his team leading ninth helper of the season. The Beavers subsequently dropped a 1-0 decision to unbeaten Saint Mary’s to finish the year with an 11-6-3 overall record, tied for the fifth-most wins in program history and second most since 2014 (12-8-1) during its last NCAA berth. Pac-12 Coach of the Year Terry Boss led OSU to its best win percentage since 2003 (13-7-0) in his first season with the Beavers.

Washington (12-7-1, 6-4-0) reached its sixth postseason in the last seven years after closing its regular season in third place in the league standings. The Huskies’ season came to a heartbreaking end after falling to Lipscomb in penalty kicks (5-4) following a scoreless draw through 110 minutes of regulation. Washington dominated play through double overtime, outshooting Lipscomb 14-5, but could not find the back of the net. Head Coach Jamie Clark has led the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times in his eight years at the helm, with UW advancing to at least the third round on three occasions in that span.

UCLA (10-9-0, 5-5-0) earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for its Conference-leading 45th all-time appearance. The Bruins traveled to Portland for the first round and, despite outshooting the Pilots 18-5 including an 11-7 edge in the second half, concluded the season with 1-0 loss. UCLA had several dangerous opportunities and could not slip one past the Pilots keeper who finished the game with six saves. UCLA holds the most Division I wins in NCAA history with 979 total victories and ranks second all-time by win percentage (.760).

PAC-12 IN THE POSTSEASON: The Pac-12 currently holds an all-time record of 133-103-14 (.560) in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament. Stanford boasts the second-best win percentage in the NCAA Tournament at .684 (29-12-5) only Indiana’s .726 (89-32-5). 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.

This season marked 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.

PAC-12 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: The Pac-12 has named STANFORD redshirt senior Adam Mosharrafa the Men’s Soccer Scholar- Athlete of the Year. A computer science major from Paradise Valley, Ariz., Mosharrafa owns a 3.52 grade-point average and is a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention selection. The defender has appeared in 82 career games at Stanford and has started all but one game since 2016, while recording five career goals and tacking on five assists. Mosharrafa was one of two Pac-12 players among 30 Division I candidates selected for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award at the beginning of the season.

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 12-3-4
Oregon State 19 6-3-1 11-6-3
Washington  18 6-4-0 12-8-0
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

NCAA SCHEDULE (Times PDT)

Sunday, Nov. 25
 
 
No. 9 STANFORD at No. 8 Saint Mary's (Calif.)      
1 p.m.

2018 PAC-12 MEN'S SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

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

NATIONAL HONORS

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


IN THE PRESEASON

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