Washington, Stanford advance to NCAA Men's Soccer Sweet 16

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SAN FRANCISCO – No. 6-seed WASHINGTON and No. 7-seed STANFORD both won their NCAA Tournament Second Round matchups and advanced to the Sweet 16, marking the first time since 2016 that a pair of Pac-12 men’s soccer teams reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

PREVIEWING THE WEEK: Washington and Stanford both host their respective Sweet 16 matches on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 5:00 p.m. PT. With victories, the Pac-12 would have a pair of programs through to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fourth time in league history (2002, 2010, 2013).

No. 6-seed Washington takes on No. 11-seed Marshall (16-2-3) at Husky Soccer Stadium. The Thundering Herd is riding a six-game winning streak into the Sweet 16, most recently notching a 2-1 victory over West Virginia in the NCAA Second Round. Marshall entered NCAA postseason play coming off Conference USA regular season and tournament titles, posting a 5-1-1 league record with an additional pair of conference tournament victories against Kentucky and Charlotte. Washington won the only prior meeting between the teams back in 2006 with the Huskies taking a 2-0 home victory. With a win, UW would face No. 3-seed Georgetown or Louisville in the quarterfinals on Dec. 6 or 7.

The Huskies are making their fifth appearance in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, holding a 1-2-1 all-time record in the Sweet 16. UW reached the Sweet 16 most recently in 2016, when the Huskies were defeated by Denver on the road.

No. 7-seed Stanford hosts No. 10-seed Virginia Tech (10-5-3) at Cagan Stadium in the first-ever meeting between the two programs. Following a first-round bye, the Hokies hosted New Hampshire in the NCAA Second Round and advanced with a 4-1 victory. Virginia Tech midfielder Kristo Strickler bagged the equalizer (17’) and game-winner (35’) to down the Wildcats, good for his team-leading 10th and 11th goals on the year.

This is Stanford’s fifth-straight and ninth all-time appearance in the Sweet 16 as the Cardinal holds a 5-2-1 record in the NCAA Third Round. Stanford tied Saint Mary’s, 0-0, in 2018 with the Cardinal advancing to the Elite Eight on penalty kicks. The Cardinal won each of the previous three Sweet 16 matches they played and went on to win the national title in 2015, 2016, and 2017. With a victory, Stanford would face No. 2-seed Clemson or Providence in the Elite Eight on Dec. 6 or 7.

WEEKLY RECAP: Postseason play for Pac-12 men’s soccer kicked off with CALIFORNIA heading to UCSB (13-4-4) for a first-round matchup on Thursday. After giving up an early 18th-minute goal, the Golden Bears rallied to equalize in the 39th with a Christian Gomez goal on a rebound. Cal gave up a pair of goals in the second half, however, and ended its season with a loss to the Gauchos, who went on to rout No. 12-seed Saint Mary’s, 4-0, to reach the round of 16. The Golden Bears finished the year 8-7-3 overall and fourth in the final Pac-12 standings with a 4-4-2 league record.

After being named the No. 6 and No. 7 overall seeds in the NCAA Tournament, respectively, Washington and Stanford received first-round byes and advanced to the second round.

The Huskies (16-3-0) hosted Boston College (9-6-3) on Sunday and secured a 2-0 victory to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 and fifth time in program history. Pac-12 Player of the Year Blake Bodily opened the scoring in the 25th minute, finishing a Charlie Ostrem cross for his 11th goal of the year. Bodily wasn’t done in the first half as he added an assist on Jaret Townsend’s insurance tally in the 31st. Freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler recorded his seventh shutout of the year and UW notched its 16th win of the season, equaling the Huskies’ most single-season victories (2013, 1998) since the team won 17 matches in 1983.

The Cardinal (13-2-4) welcomed Seattle U (15-3-5) on Sunday for a second-round battle at Cagan Stadium. The match was tied 1-1 after 90 minutes as the teams exchanged second-half goals. Two periods of extra time passed without a tally from the Cardinal or Redhawks, thus securing the draw and sending the game to a penalty shootout. First Team All-Pac-12 goalkeeper Andrew Thomas was dominant in the shootout, saving four of Seattle U’s five attempts from the penalty spot. Senior defender and All-Pac-12 Second Team honoree Tanner Beason, who scored Stanford’s lone goal in regulation (61’), buried the third and deciding PK for the Cardinal to advance to the Sweet 16 for the ninth time in program history.

The victories from Washington and Stanford marked the first time since 2016 that a pair of Pac-12 teams advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament (No. 5-seed Stanford, No. 11-seed Washington). The Cardinal would go on to win the NCAA Championship in 2016, the seconf of its treak of three national titles form 2015-17.

ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS: The Pac-12 Conference announced Tuesday the All-Pac-12 honors for the 2019 men’s soccer season, as selected by a polling of Conference head coaches. Washington midfielder Blake Bodily was voted Pac-12 Player of the Year while Husky defender Ethan Bartlow earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Stanford’s Ousseni Bouda was tabbed Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Washington head coach Jamie Clark earned his second-career Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors after leading the Huskies to the Conference title. The All-Conference teams were also announced. 

To view the complete All-Conference teams and the full award announcement, click here.

PAC-12 IN NATIONAL RANKS: Washington checked in at No. 4 in the final regular season edition of the United Soccer Coaches national poll, the Huskies’ ninth-straight appearance in the top 10 this year. Stanford followed at No. 7 in the national ranks. Cal received votes in the poll but just missed the top 25.

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 eighth and 13th in RPI, respectively. Cal jumped into the top 50 at No. 49 while Oregon State was right behind at No. 50. UCLA finished its season at No. 55 in the RPI ranks. 

NON-CONFERENCE PROWESS: Pac-12 men’s soccer compiled a 29-13-7 record in non-conference play in the regular season. The league’s .674 non-conference winning percentage was good for the third-best mark across all conferences, trailing only the ACC (89-30-17, .717) and Big East (64-28-6, .684).

PAC-12 AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Included in the Pac-12’s 29-13-7 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

STAT CENTRAL: UCLA forward Milan Iloski is tied for second in the nation with 17 goals on the year. Iloski is third in points per game with 2.25 and tied for 10th in total points with 36. Washington goalkeeper Sam Fowler has posted a 0.458 goals against average, good for the second-best mark in the nation and the lowest average among freshmen. Stanford goalkeeper Andrew Thomas is ninth in the country in goals against average (0.636) and tied for 15th in shutouts (8).

Washington (16-3-0, 0.842) and Stanford (13-2-4, 0.789) are tied for seventh and 12th, respectively, in winning percentage this year. The Huskies have the third-best shutout percentage in the nation at 0.632. Washington (0.574) and Stanford (0.599) rank fifth and sixth in the nation, respectively in team goals against average. The Cardinal has posted the fifth-best save percentage this season at 0.842. The Huskies have compiled 120 total points on the year, good for 21st in the country. UCLA has played the seventh-hardest schedule in the country this year with a combined opponent record of 168-100-42 (.610).

FRESHMAN PHENOMS: Pac-12 men’s soccer freshmen have impressed in their debut collegiate seasons. Stanford freshman forward/midfielder Ousseni Bouda earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors with five goals and five assists on the year, good for a team-best 15 points. Fellow Stanford first-year forward Gabe Segal is tied for the team lead with six goals on the year. The Bethesda, Md., native bagged the game-winner (42’) against then-No. 1 Washington (Nov. 10) and also scored in three straight matches from Sept. 15 – Sept. 24, including the game-winner in his first Big Clásico against Cal. 

Freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler has recorded 11 starts for Washington this year and posted seven shutouts, compiling 17 total saves. His 0.458 goals against average is the second-best mark in the country and the lowest average among freshmen.

COACHING MILESTONES ACHIEVED: Cal head coach Kevin Grimes (204-138-45) notched his 203rd-career victory in the Golden Bears’ 3-2 victory over then-No. 1 Washington. The victory made Grimes Cal’s all-time winningest men’s soccer head coach, eclipsing Bob DiGrazia’s 202 career wins.

Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn (110-32-25) 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 (2014-18) and three NCAA Championships (2015-17). Washington’s Jamie Clark (115-45-20) 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).                                                        

NATIONAL HONORS: Stanford’s Tanner Beason and Washington’s Blake 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 has sent at least three teams to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight year. UCLA and Stanford have combined to win seven national titles for the Conference, highlighted by the Cardinal’s three-consecutive national titles from 2015-17.

FINAL STANDINGS:

Team Overall Record Conference Record Points
1. Washington 16-3-0 8-2-0 24
2. Stanford 13-2-4 6-2-2 20
3. Oregon State 8-6-2 5-3-2 17
4. California 8-7-3 4-4-2 14
5. UCLA 6-9-3 2-6-2 8
6. San Diego State 3-12-2 1-9-0 3
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