Pac-12 women’s soccer starts league play after impressive non-conference run

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SAN FRANCISCO - Pac-12 women’s soccer kicks off Conference play this week after recording a dominant 2019 non-conference campaign. The league completed the five-week stretch of non-league competition with a combined 76-14-9 record for an .813 win percentage, the highest of any conference in the nation.

UTAH will travel to Tempe, Ariz, to take on ARIZONA STATE to mark the start of Conference play this Friday afternoon, Sept. 27 (2 p.m. PT, P12N). Three additional Friday matchups will mark the start of league action as CALIFORNIA heads to UCLA, No. 24 COLORADO visits ARIZONA, and OREGON travels to WASHINGTON all at 7 p.m. PT.

Saturday will feature two high-profile matches on Pac-12 Networks as No. 2 STANFORD heads south to face No. 3 USC in a top-5 clash (1 p.m. PT, P12N) and No. 21 WASHINGTON STATE hosts unbeaten OREGON STATE (7 p.m. PT, P12N).

NON-CONFERENCE NOTABLES:
• Pac-12 women’s soccer boasted the nation’s highest winning percentage the last four weeks of non-conference play (.875, .857, .811, .813), closing with a combined record of 76-14-9 including 6-3 against ranked opponents.
• Oregon State and USC finished their non-conference slates undefeated, two of just seven NCAA Division I teams that have not recorded a loss this season. The Beavers are one of just three teams in the nation with a 1.000 winning percentage as they are currently 8-0-0 on the season, the best start in program history. The Trojans’ 7-0-1 record also marks the best start to a season in school history.
• The league continues to post impressive offensive results as it currently has the second-most assists (219), fourth-most goals (233), and fifth-most shots (1,640) in the country.
• Arizona and California were the last two teams in the country to allow a goal this season. The Wildcats’ four-match win streak included four clean sheets before taking a loss against Santa Clara (Sept. 13, 4-0). The Bears would concede a goal just two days later to the Broncos but managed to still extend their win streak to seven, topping the Bay Area side, 2-1.

IN THE RANKINGS:
• Five Pac-12 teams appear in this week’s United Soccer Coaches poll.
• Stanford’s hard-fought victory over Santa Clara (4-2) pushes it up one spot to No. 2 in this week’s rankings.
• The Trojans come in at No. 3 after posting a win on the road at Seattle (3-2) and a draw at Baylor (2-2).
• UCLA enters this week at No. 7 after competing against Pepperdine (T, 2-2) and Hawai’i (W, 4-0) in Honolulu.
• The Cougs moved up to No. 21 after an undefeated run in Hawai’i topping the Rainbow Wahine (1-0) and Pepperdine (2-1).
• Colorado enters the rankings for the second time this season at No. 24 after it recorded two wins on the week, blanking in-state rivals Northern Colorado (4-0) and Denver (2-0).

MAC HERMANN WATCH LIST:
• Stanford’s Catarina Macario and Sophia Smith continue to find success up top as the duo both recorded a goal and an assist against Santa Clara. Smith scored the game-opener in the 21st minute but the Broncos responded soon after to tie the match. Knotted at 2-2 midway through the second half, Macario planted a 25-yard free kick in the top left corner to secure the victory over Santa Clara (4-2). The junior forward’s 10 goals on the season are tied for the most in the nation.
Ashley Sanchez netted both goals in the Bruins’ 2-2 draw with a tough Pepperdine side, posting her first multi-goal match of the season. The junior forward also picked up an assist in UCLA’s win at Hawai’i (4-0).
• Nine Pac-12 student-athletes were named to the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. This is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer and is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female players of the year. The watch list is headlined by 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Caterina Macario of Stanford. The Cardinal is further represented by sophomore forward Sophia Smith. The Bruins lead the Conference with three student-athletes on the list: 2018 semifinalist Ashley Sanchez, 2017 finalist Jessie Fleming, and junior defender Lucy Parker. Adding to the list of honorees are USC’s Kaylie Collins and Savannah DeMelo, Colorado’s Taylor Kornieck, and Washington State’s Morgan Weaver.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
• Colorado’s Taylor Kornieck earned her second-career player of the week honor after she helped the Buffs to a pair of victories to close out non-conference play, topping Northern Colorado (4-0) and Denver (2-0). Kornieck recorded a brace in the Buffs’ victory over the Bears, posting a multi-goal match for the second week in a row and bringing her career goal total to 33, the second-most in program history. The senior midfielder assisted on Colorado’s opening goal against the Pioneers, for the 23rd of her career, one short of tying a CU record.
Brianna Alger assisted both game-winning goals to help the then-No. 24 Cougs take the Rainbow Wahine Shootout title, beating Hawai’i (1-0) and Pepperdine (2-1), which previously defeated No. 3 Stanford and drew with No. 5 UCLA. Alger led a backline that gave up just one goal on the weekend,  and allowed just 10 shots, a season-low three to the Rainbow Warriors and seven to the Waves.She earned her second defensive player of the week honor this season and the 29th all-time for Washington State.
• Utah’s Carly Nelson helped the Utes finish their non-conference slate 5-3-1 after drawing with Butler (0-0) and defeating San Diego (1-0). Nelson recorded a pair of shutouts last weekend, earning her 19th-career clean sheet, the third-most in program history. The senior keeper held the Bulldogs to their first scoreless match of the season in double overtime. She collects her fourth-career goalkeeper of the week honor, Utah’s 16th all-time.

2018 IN REVIEW
• Last season, five Pac-12 teams earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Stanford entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, UCLA at No. 2, and USC at No. 4, while Washington State and ARIZONA clinched at-large bids. The Conference posted an impressive postseason run, as all Pac-12 squads went undefeated in the first round for the first time since 2007. The Cardinal, the Bruins, and the Trojans landed spots in the third round, marking the third-straight year three Conference teams were in the round of 16.

PAC-12 WOMEN’S SOCCER BROADCAST
• 73 women’s soccer contests will be televised on Pac-12 Networks throughout the season. All six Conference matchups will broadcast this week starting with Utah at Arizona State (2 p.m. MT), California at UCLA (7 p.m. PT, P12BA, P12LA), Colorado at Arizona (7 p.m. PT, P12A, P12M), and Oregon at Washington (7 p.m. PT, P12O, P12W) on Friday, Sept. 27th. Stanford will take on USC (1 p.m. PT, P12BA, P12LA) and Oregon State faces Washington State (7 p.m. PT, P12O, P12W) on Saturday, Sept. 28th.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Times local to site)

Friday, Sept. 27 TV/Live Stream Time
California at #7 UCLA P12BA, P12LA 7 p.m. PT
#24 Colorado at Arizona P12A, P12M 7 p.m. MT
Oregon at Washington P12O, P12W 7 p.m. PT
Utah at Arizona State P12N 2 p.m. MT
Saturday, Sept. 28    
Oregon State at #21 Washington State P12O, P12W 7 p.m. PT
#2 Stanford at #3 USC P12BA, P12LA 1 p.m PT

P12N/P12A/P12BA/P12LA/P12M/P12O/P12W - Indicates live broadcast on Pac-12 Network.


PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
THIS WEEK: 
Offensive: Taylor Kornieck, Colorado
Defensive: Brianna Alger, Washington State
Goalkeeper: Carly Nelson, Utah

ALSO NOMINATED:
Offensive: Jill Aguilera, ARIZ; Emma Eddy, ORE; Sophie Conrad, OSU; Catarina Macario, STAN; Mia Fishel, UCLA; Summer Yates, WASH; Molly Myers, WSU.
Defensive: Samantha Falasco, ARIZ; Hannah Cardenas, COLO; Alyssa Hinojosa, ORE; Kaillen Fried, OSU; Naomi Girma, STAN; Delanie Sheehan, UCLA; Aleea Gwerder, Utah.
Goalkeeper: Jalen Tompkins, COLO; Katelyn Carter, ORE; Bridgette Skiba, OSU; Lauren Rood, STAN; Teagan Micah, UCLA; Ella Dederick, WSU.

2019 PAC-12 WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYER OF THE WEEK

  Offensive Defensive Goalkeeper
Aug. 27 Catarina Macario, STAN Brianna Alger, WSU Teagan Micah, UCLA
Sept. 3 Tara McKeown, USC Delanie Sheehan, UCLA Teagan Micah, UCLA
Sept. 10 Averie Collins, WSU Emily Smith, CAL Anna Smith, USC
Sept. 17 Brianna McReynolds, OSU Emily Smith, CAL Angelina Anderson, CAL
Sept. 24 Taylor Kornieck, COLO Brianna Alger, WSU Carly Nelson, UTAH

NATIONAL HONORS

MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
Taylor Kornieck, Colorado; Caterina Macario, Stanford; Sophia Smith, Stanford; Jessie Fleming, UCLA; Lucky Parker, UCLA; Ashley Sanchez, UCLA; Kaylie Collins, USC; Savannah DeMelo, USC; Morgan Weaver, Washington State


IN THE PRESEASON

Pac-12 Preseason Poll | NCAA Preseason Poll | MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List

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