Washington stays on top as Conference season continues

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SAN FRANCISCO – WASHINGTON maintained its position as the No. 1 team in the country in the United Soccer Coaches national poll, receiving 21 of a possible 27 first-place votes to hold the top spot for the second-straight week. This is the first time since 2014 that the Huskies have held the No. 1 spot in consecutive weeks. The Huskies have won their last 10 matches, tied for the second-longest active streak in the country, and their 10-match Conference winning streak that dates back to last season is the longest such streak in the nation.

PREVIEWING THE WEEK: This week’s four-match Conference slate features a pair of league matches on Thursday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 3. Each game this week will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

Thursday’s action kicks off with CALIFORNIA (6-4-2, 2-2-1) hosting UCLA (5-8-2, 1-5-1) at 4:00 p.m. PT in what could be an historic game for Golden Bears head coach Kevin Grimes. Grimes (202-132-43) needs just one more win to pass Bob DiGrazia and become Cal’s all-time winningest head coach. Cal and UCLA played to a 3-3 draw on Oct. 13 in Westwood. No. 5 STANFORD (10-1-2, 3-1-1) welcomes SAN DIEGO STATE (3-10-1, 0-7-0) to Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at 8:00 p.m. PT. The Cardinal looks to extend its four-match unbeaten streak (3-0-1) while the Aztecs hope to avenge a 1-0 loss to Stanford on Oct. 13.

A pair of matches will kick off at 3:00 p.m. PT on Sunday afternoon. Cal wraps up its homestand against San Diego State as the Golden Bears look to secure the season sweep over the Aztecs after a 4-0 victory in San Diego on Oct. 10. Stanford simultaneously hosts UCLA as the Bruins look to snap a seven-match losing streak against the Cardinal.

PAC-12 IN NATIONAL RANKS: After a pair of victories over the weekend, Washington was voted the No. 1 team in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches national poll for the second-straight week. This is the first time UW has been selected the top-ranked team in the nation in consecutive weeks since 2014, earning the top spot in the Oct. 7 and Oct. 14 editions of the poll.  Stanford checked in at No. 5 in the national ranks for the third-straight week, marking the 10th-consecutive week the Cardinal has landed in the top 10 this season. With STANFORD’s No. 1 designation in the Sept. 24, 2019 edition of the poll, this is the first time since 2015 that a pair of Pac-12 teams held the top spot in the national ranks in the same year (Stanford, Dec. 15; UCLA, Sept. 1).

PAC-12 IN NCAA RPI RANKINGS: Pac-12 men’s soccer is led by Washington and Stanford in the 2019 NCAA RPI rankings as the Huskies and Cardinal rank sixth and 11th in RPI, respectively. UCLA also cracked the top 50, checking in at No. 48 in the current ranks.

WEEKLY RECAP: No. 1 Washington (14-1-0) continued to fire on all cylinders, securing road victories over UCLA (1-0) and San Diego State (3-0) to extend its undefeated record in Conference play (7-0-0). Junior midfielder Blake Bodily picked up three goals over the weekend while freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler’s shutout against the Aztecs was good for his sixth clean sheet of the season and lowered his goals-against average to a national-best 0.126.

Oregon State (7-5-1) also picked up a pair of league victories to move to 4-2-1 in Conference play. The Beavers first secured a 1-0 overtime victory over San Diego State on Thursday behind a 98th-minute winner from preseason All-Conference honoree Gloire Amanda. OSU went on to earn the Southern California road sweep with a 3-2 victory over UCLA. Amanda opened the scoring in the sixth minute before Matthew Powell equalized in the 43rd for the Bruins. Goals from Adrian Crespo (64’) and Joel Walker (69’) put the game out of reach in the second half and secured the victory for the Beavers. UCLA’s Milan Iloski did pick up his national-best 16th goal of the season on a penalty in the 78th, but it wasn’t enough for the Bruins.

No. 5 Stanford (10-1-2) picked up its third-straight victory with a 2-0 win over San Francisco. The Cardinal struck twice in 25 seconds of game time to secure the result. Freshman Keegan Hughes opened the scoring in the 26th minute, heading home a cross from senior Derek Waldeck. Just seconds later in the 27th, redshirt sophomore Zach Ryan notched his team-leading fifth goal of the year on a deflected shot attempt from 25 yards out.  

NON-CONFERENCE PROWESS: Pac-12 men’s soccer has compiled a 28-12-5 record in non-conference play thus far in 2019. The league’s .693 non-conference winning percentage is good for the third-best mark across all conferences, trailing only the ACC (70-14-13, .789) and Big East (55-22-4, .704).

PAC-12 AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Included in the Pac-12’s 28-12-5 non-conference record are four victories and a draw 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 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Washington midfielder Blake Bodily won men’s soccer player of the week for the second-straight week, marking the first men’s soccer weekly repeat since 2016, when San Diego State’s Travis Nicklaw secured the honors consecutively on Sept. 27 and Oct. 4. The junior scored three goals in two road wins (UCLA, San Diego State) to extend Washington’s winning streak to 10 games. He scored the lone goal for UW in the Huskies’ 1-0 win at UCLA, bagging the match-winner in the 66th minute off a deflected cross from Lucas Meek. Bodily recorded his first collegiate multi-goal game with a brace in Washington’s 3-0 win at SDSU, scoring in the 48th and 51st minutes on a free kick and penalty kick, respectively. He currently leads UW with eight goals on the year and has four goals in his last three matches. Bodily ranks second in the Pac-12 in goals (8) and points (21). This is the second-career weekly honor for Bodily and 39th all-time men’s soccer weekly nod for Washington.

STAT CENTRAL: UCLA’s Milan Iloski leads the nation in goals scored (16) and is second in points (34). Iloski is second in the country in points per game (2.43) and his five goals against San Diego State (Oct. 6) are tied for the most scored in a game by any player in the country this season. Washington goalkeeper Sam Fowler is the national leader in goals against average (0.126) and save percentage (.929). UCLA’s Riley Ferch leads the Conference with eight assists on the year, good for a tie for 11th in the country. Lucas Meek’s game-winning header for Washington against Stanford on Oct. 3 was his fifth game-winning goal of the season, good for a tie for second in the country in the category.

UCLA has played the hardest schedule in the nation in 2019 with a combined 119-59-26 (.647) opponent record and matchups against three top-six non-conference teams this season. Washington has posted a .733 shutout percentage this season, good for the second-best mark in the country. The Huskies have also recorded a .854 save percentage this year, the third-best mark nationally. 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. Freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler has recorded eight starts for Washington this year and posted six shutouts, compiling 13 total saves. His .126 goals against average and .929 save percentage are both good for the best marks in the country. The Huskies have outscored opponents 24-1 in the eight games in which Fowler has directed the back line. 

San Diego State freshman forward Hunter George has tallied a team-leading five goals on the year. Stanford’s first-year forwards Gabe Segal and Ousseni Bouda are tied for second on the team 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, while Bouda picked up the game-winner in the Cardinal’s 1-0 victory over San Diego State (Oct. 13).

COACHING MILESTONES ACHIEVED, INCOMING: Cal head coach Kevin Grimes (202-132-43) 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 one more win to eclipse Bob DiGrazia (202-133-9) and become the Golden Bears’ all-time winningest head coach.

Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn (106-31-24) 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 (114-43-20) 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 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 Conference Record Overall Record Points
1. Washington 7-0-0 14-1-0 21
2. Oregon State 4-2-1 7-5-1 13
3. Stanford 3-1-1 10-1-2 10
4. California 2-2-1 6-4-2 7
5. UCLA 1-5-1 5-8-2 4
6. San Diego State 0-7-0 3-10-1 0

 

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