No. 1 Washington can clinch men's soccer league title ahead of matchup with No. 5 Stanford

Pac-12 Content Image
Red Box Pictures

SAN FRANCISCO – WASHINGTON maintained its position as the No. 1 team in the country in the United Soccer Coaches national poll, receiving 23 of a possible 27 first-place votes to hold the top spot for the third-straight week. The Huskies have won their last 10 matches, the second-longest active streak in the country, and their 10-match Conference winning streak that dates back to last season is tied for the longest such streak in the nation.

The Huskies and No. 5 Stanford square off on Sunday in what could be a critical Conference showdown in the second-to-last league match for both teams. Washington, however, can clinch the Pac-12 Championship ahead of this clash with the Cardinal if UW defeats CALIFORNIA on Thursday and Stanford loses or draws its Thursday game to OREGON STATE.

PREVIEWING THE WEEK: This week’s five-match slate (Thursday, Nov. 7 – Sunday, Nov. 10) features four Conference matches with important point-scoring opportunities in the league title race.

Thursday’s action kicks off with Oregon State (7-5-1, 4-2-1, 13 pts) hosting No. 5 Stanford at 4:00 p.m. PT. The teams secured a 1-1 draw in early October with Joel Walker opening the scoring (68’) for the Beavers and Derek Waldeck equalizing for the Cardinal (73’) just minutes later.

No. 1 Washington (14-1-0, 7-0-0, 21 pts) hosts Cal (6-5-3, 2-3-2, 8 pts) at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday with the Huskies looking to secure their 11th-straight victory overall and in Conference play. If Stanford has already drawn or lost to Oregon State, Washington can clinch the league title with a win over the Golden Bears. If Stanford has already defeated Oregon State or Washington loses to Cal, the title race will extend to the final week of Conference games (Sunday, Nov. 10 – Saturday, Nov. 16). 

The Cal-Washington match could be also an historic one for Cal head coach Kevin Grimes (202-136-45), who needs just one more win to pass Bob DiGrazia and become the Golden Bears’ all-time winningest men’s soccer coach

SAN DIEGO STATE (4-11-1, 1-8-0, 3 pts) plays the only non-conference match of the week as the Aztecs host Nebraska Omaha. SDSU is coming off its first Conference win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Cal last week. The Mavericks have won just three matches in 2019 but do have experience against Pac-12 competition, taking a 0-1 exhibition loss to UCLA (Aug. 24) and a 0-1 loss to Cal (Aug. 30).

The first match of Sunday’s slate will feature Oregon State and Cal with a 1:00 p.m. PT first whistle. The Golden Bears secured a 2-1 victory in the first matchup in the season series (Oct. 3) behind goals from Francisco Perez and Tommy Williamson.

The marquee matchup of the week is No. 1 Washington hosting No. 5 Stanford at 2:00 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network. This is the second time this season these teams have faced off in a top-10 matchup, as the then-No. 7 Huskies took down previously unbeaten, then-No. 2 Stanford, 2-1 on Oct. 3 behind Lucas Meek’s game-winning header in extra time.

CLINCHING SCENARIOS: Washington can clinch the Pac-12 Championship on Thursday, Nov. 7 under the following scenarios:

  • If Stanford draws with Oregon State, Stanford will have 17 points and Oregon State will have 14 points. If Washington also defeats California, Washington will move to 24 points. Thus, Washington clinches the title with two games to play.
  • If Stanford loses to Oregon State, Stanford will remain at 16 points and Oregon State will move to 16 points as well. If Washington then wins against Cal, Washington will then move to 24 points. Thus, Washington clinches the title with two games to play.

**If Stanford defeats Oregon State on Thursday, the Cardinal will move to 19 points and the title race will be extended to the final week of Conference matchups (Sunday, Nov. 10 – Saturday, Nov. 16). A Washington loss to Cal on Thursday would also extend the title race.

PAC-12 IN NATIONAL RANKS: Washington was voted the No. 1 team in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches national poll for the third-straight week. Stanford checked in at No. 5 in the national ranks for the fourth-straight week, marking the 11th-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 year 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 seventh and 12th in RPI, respectively. UCLA just missed the top 50, checking in at No. 55 in the ranks.

WEEKLY RECAP: UCLA (5-9-3, 1-6-2) and Cal fought to a 3-3 draw on Thursday evening. The Bruins led at three separate points in the match after goals from Alexis Triadis, Eric Iloski, and Milan Iloski, but the Golden Bears battled and mustered three equalizers on the night. Cal’s Simon Lekressner scored with three seconds left in regulation to make it 3-3 and send the match to overtime before the eventual draw. Stanford won the second Halloween match of the night, taking down San Diego State, 3-2. The Azetcs (4-11-1, 1-8-0) took a 2-1 lead into halftime behind Tevenn Roux’s third goal of the year (19’) and a 41st-minute penalty kick from Adam Vargas. The Cardinal battled back late in the second 45 as Ousseni Bouda equalized in the 76th and Zach Ryan notched the match-winner in the 81st.

SDSU picked up its first Conference victory of the season with a 1-0 win over Cal on Sunday. The Golden Bears out-shot the Aztecs 27-9 on the night, but freshman goalkeeper Tetsuya Kadono secured eight saves and collected his first collegiate shutout. The 51st minute saw Vargas convert his second PK in as many games to provide the match-winner for SDSU. Sunday’s action was capped with Stanford’s 1-0 victory over UCLA, the Cardinal’s fifth-straight win overall and eighth-straight win against the Bruins. Marc Joshua bagged his first-career goal in the 65th minute to secure the victory for Stanford.

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 (71-16-13, .775) and Big East (56-23-4, .699).

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 non-conference 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: Stanford junior Logan Panchot won men’s soccer Player of the Week. The co-captain assisted on three of Stanford’s four goals in its weekend sweep of San Diego State and UCLA. The preseason All-Pac-12 selection assisted on the Cardinal’s first and third goals in its 3-2 win over the Aztecs on Thursday night, the first on a set piece and the winner on a corner. Panchot’s flick set up Marc Joshua’s header in Stanford’s 1-0 victory over UCLA on Sunday. The right back, who entered the season with three career assists, has a team-high six this season, tied for fourth in the Pac-12. A key cog in Stanford’s back line, Panchot and the Cardinal collected their ninth clean sheet of the season against the Bruins. This is the first-career weekly honor for Panchot. This is Stanford’s third men’s soccer weekly nod of the 2019 campaign, bringing the Cardinal’s all-time men’s soccer weekly total to 37.

STAT CENTRAL: UCLA’s Milan Iloski leads the nation in goals scored (17) and is second in points (36). Iloski is second in the country in points per game (2.40) 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 nine assists on the year, good for a tie for fourth. 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 fourth in the country in the category.

UCLA has played the hardest schedule in the nation in 2019 with a combined 142-73-30 (.641) 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 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 five 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 (202-136-45) 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 (108-31-24) 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 Points Conference Record Overall Record
1. Washington 21 7-0-0 14-1-0
2. Stanford 16 5-1-1 12-1-2
3. Oregon State 13 7-5-1 4-2-1
4. California 8 2-3-2 6-5-3
5. UCLA 5 1-6-2 5-9-3
6. San Diego State 3 1-8-0 4-11-1

 

Now on Pac-12 Network
10:30 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network