Conference play kicks off for Pac-12 Men's Soccer

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SAN FRANCISCO - Conference play kicks off for Pac-12 Men’s Soccer with five league matches this week (Thursday, Sept. 19 – Sunday, Sept. 22). The entire slate of games will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

The five-match slate is highlighted by the rivalry contest between CALIFORNIA and STANFORD, which will feature two of the hottest goalkeepers in the country (Drake Callender, CAL; Andrew Thomas, STAN), as well as a pair of coaches (Kevin Grimes, CAL; Jeremy Gunn, STAN) who have recently achieved or are approaching significant career milestones.

WEEKLY RECAP: Pac-12 men’s soccer picked up five wins over the weekend to bring the league’s non-conference schedule to 21-9-2. The Pac-12’s .687 non-conference winning percentage is good for third in the country behind the ACC (36-8-6, .780) and Big East (34-14-4, .692).

Stanford kept rolling with a pair of victories over the weekend. The Cardinal took down Denver, 2-0 behind goals from preseason All-Conference honorees Tanner Beason (23’ PK) and Zach Ryan (28’) as head coach Jeremy Gunn secured his 100th-career win on The Farm. A 3-0 victory over American moved the Cardinal to 5-0-0 on the year. Cal (3-1-0) and Stanford shared their opponents with the Golden Bears coming away 1-1-0 on the weekend. Junior forward Tommy Williamson scored in his third-straight game as Cal defeated American, 2-0, while the Golden Bears suffered their first loss of the year in a tough defeat against Denver.

WASHINGTON (5-1-0) came away with a 3-0 victory in the local derby against Seattle U behind a goal and two assists from sophomore midfielder Dylan Teves and redshirt sophomore midfielder Lucas Meek’s team-best third goal of the season. UCLA (3-2-0) traveled up the 405 for a date with local foe CSUN, taking a 4-2 victory as Milan Iloski continued his hot streak with five points (2 goals, 1 assist) on the night. It was the second multi-goal performance in the Bruins’ last three games for the junior midfielder, who bagged a hat trick against defending national champion Maryland on Sept. 6.

SAN DIEGO STATE’s (2-2-1) only match of the week saw the Aztecs secure a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Santa Clara. Redshirt junior midfielder Keegan Kelly headed home a 76th-minute equalizer, his first goal of the 2019 campaign.

PAC-12 AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Included in the Pac-12’s 21-9-2 non-conference record is a 4-2-1 mark against Top 25 opponents:
 • Stanford at then No. 3 Akron (W, 2-1) – Monday, Sept. 2
 • UCLA vs. then No. 3 Maryland (W, 3-2) – Friday, Sept. 6
 • Washington at then No. 16 Michigan State (W, 1-0) – Friday, Sept. 6
 • Washington vs. then No. 18 Denver (W, 2-1) – Friday, Aug. 30
 • California vs. then No. 25 UC Irvine (D, 1-1) – Sunday, Sept. 1

PAC-12 IN NATIONAL RANKS: For the third-consecutive week, reigning Conference champion Stanford moved up a spot in the United Soccer Coaches national poll, securing the No. 2 spot to lead the Pac-12 in the collegiate rankings. The Huskies checked in at No. 12 in the poll for UW’s third-straight week in the top 25. UCLA received 15 points in the poll to land just outside the national ranks.

PREVIEWING THE WEEK: San Diego State and UCLA hit the road this week with Washington and Oregon State hosting the Pac-12’s Southern California contingent. Thursday’s action features the Aztecs taking on the Huskies at 7:00 p.m. PT to begin a three-game homestand for Washington following four-straight on the road. Washington secured a pair of wins (2-1, 2-0) against San Diego State in 2018. The Beavers welcome the Bruins to Corvallis on Thursday (7:00 p.m. PT) as both teams enter the contest with three wins on the year. UCLA took a 1-0 triumph in Los Angeles (Oct. 7) against the Beavers last season with OSU winning a 4-3 thriller (Oct. 28) on Don Tchilao’s 93rd-minute game-winner in Corvallis.

Cal hosts the first 2019 Big Game on Friday (4:30 p.m. PT) as the Golden Bears look to hand the No. 2 Cardinal its first loss of the year. Stanford won the first Big Game of 2018 (Sept. 24), 4-2, behind a pair of goals from eventual Pac-12 Player of the Year Tanner Beason while Cal’s 1-0 victory on Nov. 8 snapped the Bears’ 10-match winless streak against the Cardinal.

The Aztecs finish up their road trip with a 2:00 p.m. PT matinee at Oregon State on Sunday. SDSU and OSU exchanged 1-0 home wins last season. The first week of Conference play wraps up with UCLA taking on No.12 Washington in Seattle (Sunday, 4:00 p.m. PT). A Milan Iloski free-kick strike was all the Bruins needed to take a 1-0 victory against the Huskies in early October 2018 while Washington secured the season split with a 2-0 win on Oct. 25.

PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stanford defender Tanner Beason secured Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Player of the Week honors. The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year captained the Cardinal to three shutout wins last week over UC Irvine (1-0), Denver (2-0), and American (3-0). Stanford’s defense got better as the week wore on, allowing 10 shots against Denver and just one against American, lowering the team’s goals against average this season to 0.20. Beason also added three points on a goal and an assist on the week. His successful penalty against Denver in the 23rd minute proved to be the game-winner, the fourth of his career. He also assisted on Zach Ryan’s 13th-minute winner against UC Irvine. Beason is tied for the team lead with three goals this season and leads the team in points (7). This is Beason’s third-career Player of the Week award, giving Stanford its 35th all-time men’s soccer weekly honor.

STAT CENTRAL: With his two goals and assist against CSUN on Sunday, Milan Iloski extended his Conference leads in goals (7) and points (16). The seven goals are tied for the most in the country. Iloski is also tied for the most points per game in the nation (3.20) and second in goals per game (1.40). Oregon State’s Adrian Crespo and Washington’s Dylan Teves are tied for the Conference lead in assists with five apiece, also good for a tie for the third-most helpers in the country. Cal’s Drake Callender and Stanford’s Andrew Thomas have produced goals against averages of 0.250 and 0.260, respectively, as the Pac-12 is the only Conference with a pair of goalkeepers in the top 10 nationally in the category. UCLA has played the second-hardest schedule in 2019 with a combined 16-3-2 (.810) opponent record and matchups against three top-six teams this season. Stanford’s Sept. 2 victory over then No. 3 Akron moved the Cardinal to 4-0-2 in its last six matches against top-five opponents.

COACHING MILESTONES ACHIEVED, INCOMING: Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn recorded his 100th-career victory at Stanford with the team’s 2-0 win over Denver (Sept. 13). Gunn is just the second to reach the 100-win milestone at Stanford as Fred Priddle went 133-119-23 from 1954-75. In just seven full seasons at the helm, Gunn has guided the Cardinal to five-straight Pac-12 titles and three NCAA Championships. Meanwhile, Cal head coach Kevin Grimes is on the verge of history in Berkeley. Grimes has compiled 199 wins across his tenure and needs just one more victory to become the second head coach in Cal history to reach 200. He also needs just three more wins to eclipse Bob DiGrazia and become the Golden Bears’ all-time winningest head coach.

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Pac-12 men’s soccer head coaches selected the Preseason All-Conference Team, a squad fully composed of 2018 All-Pac-12 honorees. Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year Tanner Beason headlines the team as the anchor of the Cardinal back four, while Stanford’s goalkeeper Andrew Thomas was selected following a Conference-best 82 saves in 2018. Two-time first team All-Pac-12 honoree Blake Bodily leads the Huskies’ trio of representatives, while reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Sofiane Djeffal was voted to the team along with sophomore forward Gloire Amanda for Oregon State. A pair of redshirt seniors, forward Pablo Pelaez (SDSU) and defender Matthew Powell (UCLA), round out the Preseason All-Conference team after All-Pac-12 second team honors in 2018.

NATIONAL HONORS: Beason and Bodily were named to the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious honor in collegiate soccer and is awarded annual to the most outstanding male and female players. The winners of the Trophy will be announced in January in St. Louis, Mo., at the Missouri Athletic Club’s annual banquet.

PAC-12 POSTSEASON HISTORY: The Pac-12 placed at least four programs into the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the past six seasons and the eighth time since it began sponsoring the sport with just five teams in 2000 (San Diego State added as sixth member in 2005). UCLA (four) and Stanford (three) have combined for seven NCAA Men’s Soccer titles, highlighted by the Cardinal’s recent streak of three-consecutive crowns from 2015-17. The Bruins and Cardinal have accounted for 17 of the Conference’s all-time top-4 finishes at the NCAA Tournament, including nine College Cup appearances between the two programs (Stanford 5, UCLA 4) over the past 18 seasons.

STANDINGS:

TEAM RECORD
1. Stanford 5-0-0
2. Washington 5-1-0
3. California 3-1-1
4. UCLA 3-2-0
5. Oregon State 3-3-0
6. San Diego State 2-2-1

NATIONAL HONORS

MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
Tanner Beason, D – Stanford
Blake Bodily, M – Washington

Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Top 100
1. Tanner Beason, D – Stanford
18. Andrew Thomas, GK – Stanford
28. Blake Bodily, M – Washington
42. Logan Panchot, M/F – Stanford
51. Sofiane Djeffal, M – Oregon State
57. Gloire Amanda, F – Oregon State

Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Best XI
First Team: Tanner Beason, D – Stanford
Second Team: Andrew Thomas, GK – Stanford
Third Team: Blake Bodily, M – Washington

Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Freshman Best XI
Ousseni Bouda, F – Stanford
Jefferson Alade, F – UCLA
Christian Soto-Rincon, M - Washington

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