Huskies vault to No. 2 as Conference play continues

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Don Liebig

SAN FRANCISCO – Pac-12 men’s soccer continues Conference play with a five-match slate (Thursday, Oct. 10 – Sunday, Oct. 13) following an exciting week of league matches. WASHINGTON took down previously undefeated STANFORD in double overtime (Oct. 3) while Milan Iloski bagged a UCLA-record five goals in the Bruins’ win over SAN DIEGO STATE (Oct. 6)

WEEKLY RECAP: In the marquee matchup of last week, Washington (10-1-0) secured a 2-1 double-overtime victory over previously undefeated Stanford (7-1-2). Tied at one goal apiece heading into the second period of extra time, the 105th minute saw Lucas Meek head home a Blake Bodily cross for the golden goal to knock off the Cardinal. It was Meek’s team-leading sixth goal of the year and fifth game-winner of the 2019 campaign.

Iloski continued his brilliant season for UCLA, posting six goals in 2-0-0 week for the Bruins, including a five-goal effort in a 5-2 win over San Diego State (3-5-1) on Oct 6. The junior forward was unstoppable against the Aztecs and set the Bruins’ single-game goal-scoring record in the victory. Iloski is now the national leader in goals scored (14) and points (30). He also scored in UCLA’s 3-1 win over UC Riverside with Riley Ferch and Constantinos Michaelides registering their first collegiate goals for the Bruins.

The Huskies would go on to complete an undefeated week and secure their sixth-straight victory with a 1-0 win over CALIFORNIA (5-3-1). Bodily netted the game’s only goal in the 35th minute and freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler recorded his fifth shutout in his debut season. Prior to the loss against Washington, the Golden Bears secured a 2-1 home victory over Oregon State (5-4-1) on Oct. 3 behind a second-half penalty-kick goal from junior forward Tommy Williamson.

Stanford’s week was capped with a 1-1 draw against Oregon State. Beaver midfielder Joel Walker scored his team-best fifth goal of the season in the 68th minute before Derek Waldeck equalized for the Cardinal on a penalty in the 76th.

NON-CONFERENCE PROWESS: Pac-12 men’s soccer has compiled a 28-10-4 record in non-conference play thus far in 2019. The league’s .714 non-conference winning percentage is good for the second-best mark across all conferences, trailing only the ACC (62-10-10, .817).

PAC-12 AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Included in the Pac-12’s 28-10-4 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: A six-match winning streak has vaulted Washington to the No. 2 spot in the United Soccer Coaches national poll. This is the highest ranking for UW since the Huskies were named the nation’s top-ranked team in the Oct. 14, 2014 edition of the poll. Stanford checks in at No. 7 in the national ranks, marking the seventh-straight week the Cardinal has landed in the top 10.

PREVIEWING THE WEEK: Thursday’s action kicks off with San Diego State hosting Cal at 7:00 p.m. PT. The Golden Bears enter the SDSU Sports Deck having swept the Aztecs in a pair of meetings in 2018. UCLA then plays host to No. 7 Stanford at 8:00 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks. The Cardinal has won the last six meetings against the Bruins.

Stanford continues its Southern California road trip against San Diego State at 12:00 p.m. PT on Sunday. New No. 2 Washington hosts Oregon State at 3:00 p.m. on Pac-12 Washington, the lone match of the week for both teams. UCLA hosts Cal in a UC rivalry game on Pac-12 Networks with the first whistle scheduled for 4:00 p.m. PT.

PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: UCLA forward Milan Iloski won Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Player of the Week. Iloski bagged a single-game program record with five goals in the Bruins’ win over San Diego State on Sunday, including three goals in the span of 12 minutes in the second half. He also tied a UCLA single-game record with 10 points and has also tied the program record for single-season hat tricks (2). The junior has now taken over the national goal-scoring lead (14) and also leads the country in points per game (3.0). With just 10 games under his belt in 2019, the Escondido, Calif., product has the most goals by a Bruin since 2011. This is the second weekly honor for Iloski as he secured the weekly nod following a three-goal performance over defending national champion Maryland on Sept 6. This is the third men’s soccer weekly award for UCLA this year, extending its Conference-lead in men’s soccer all-time weekly nods with 64.

STAT CENTRAL: With six goals in his last two games, Iloski is now the national leader in goals scored (14) and points (30). Iloski’s five goals against San Diego State on Sunday were good for the most scored in a game by any player in the country this season. Oregon State midfielders Adrian Crespo (7) and Sofiane Djeffal (5) have combined for 12 assists on the year as the Beavers are the only team in the Conference with a pair of student-athletes with at least five assists on the year. Lucas Meek’s game-winning header against Stanford on Oct. 3 was his fifth game-winning goal of the season, good for a tie for the national lead in the category.

UCLA has played the eighth-hardest schedule in the nation in 2019 with a combined 57-28-13 (.643) 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.

FRESHMAN PHENOMS: Pac-12 men’s soccer freshmen have already impressed in their debut collegiate seasons. Despite only making two starts in 2019, San Diego State freshman forward Hunter George has already tallied five goals on the year, good for the team lead and tied for the third-best mark in the Conference. Fellow first-year forward Gabe Segal is leading Stanford with four goals in 2019. Segal scored in three straight matches from Sept. 15 – Sept. 24, including the game-winner in his first Big Clásico against Cal. UCLA freshman Riley Ferch has recorded a team-best five assists in his debut campaign, also notching his first goal of the year against UC Riverside (Oct. 1).

Freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler has recorded five starts for Washington this year and posted four clean sheets, compiling nine total saves. The Huskies have outscored opponents 15-0 in the five games in which Fowler has directed the back line.

COACHING MILESTONES ACHIEVED, INCOMING: Cal head coach Kevin Grimes (201-131-42) notched his 200th-career victory in Berkeley with the Golden Bears’ 2-0 win over San Francisco on Sept. 28. He became just the second head coach in Cal history to reach 200, now needing just two more wins to eclipse Bob DiGrazia (202-133-9) and become the Golden Bears’ all-time winningest head coach.

Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn (103-31-24) 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. Washington’s Jamie Clark (109-43-20) also reached the 100-win milestone earlier this season in the Huskies’ season-opening win over then-No. 18 Denver (Aug. 30). He became only the third coach in program history to achieve the milestone and has since moved into second place on the all-time wins list with UW’s victory over UCLA (Sept. 22).

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 annually 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 Conference Record Overall Record
1. Washington 4-0-0 10-1-0
2. Oregon State 2-1-1 5-4-1
3. Stanford 1-1-1 7-1-2
4. California 1-2-0 5-3-1
5. UCLA 1-2-0 5-4-1
6. San Diego State 0-3-0 3-5-1

 

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