Washington, Stanford advance to NCAA Men's Soccer Quarterfinals
SAN FRANCISCO – No. 6 seed WASHINGTON and No. 7 STANFORD both won their NCAA Tournament round of 16 matchups to advance to the quarterfinals, marking the first time since 2013 that a pair of Pac-12 men’s soccer teams reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
PREVIEWING THE WEEK: Both teams hit the road for their respective Elite Eight matches with the Cardinal and Huskies playing on Friday and Saturday, respectively. With victories, the Pac-12 would have a pair of programs through to the NCAA Men’s College Cup for the second time in league history and the first time since 2002 (UCLA, Stanford).
Stanford (14-2-4) faces No. 2 seed Clemson (18-2-1) at Historic Riggs Field in Clemson, S.C., on Friday, Dec. 6 (3:00 p.m. PT). The quarterfinal matchup will be a rematch of the 2015 College Cup Final, a 4-0 win for the Cardinal that was the first of its three-consecutive national titles. Stanford also won the only other meeting between the teams in 2002.
This is Stanford’s fifth-straight and eighth all-time appearance in the Elite Eight as the Cardinal holds a 6-2 record in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Stanford lost, to Akron in the 2018 quarterfinals but had won the previous three Sweet 16 matches it played, going on to win national titles in 2015, 2016, and 2017. With a victory, Stanford would reach its sixth College Cup in program history and face either Georgetown or Washington in the national semifinal on Dec. 13.
The Tigers enter the Elite Eight having won eight of their last nine matches, taking their only loss to Virginia in the ACC Championship (Nov. 17). Clemson has also secured a pair of overtime victories in its first two NCAA Tournament games with sophomore Grayson Barber and junior Robbie Robertson bagging golden goals against Charlotte (Second Round) and Providence (Sweet 16), respectively. The Tigers boast the nation’s most high-powered offense as they lead the country in goals (69) and assists (73).
Washington (17-3-0) travels to face No. 3 Georgetown (17-1-3) at Shaw Field in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Dec. 7 (9:00 a.m. PT). The match will be the first-ever meeting between the teams.
The Huskies are making their second appearance in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, losing their only other Elite Eight match to New Mexico in 2013. With a win, UW would reach its first-ever national semifinal and face Clemson or Stanford in the College Cup semifinal on Dec. 13.
The Hoyas enter the Elite Eight riding a 14-game unbeaten (11-0-3) streak, a stretch that has seen them pick up their third-straight BIG EAST title and outscore their first two NCAA Tournament opponents 10-1. Georgetown is fourth in the country in total points (147), bagging 51 goals and 45 assists on the year.
WEEKLY RECAP: The Huskies hosted No. 11 seed Marshall (15-3-3) on Sunday and secured a 4-1 victory to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2013. Pac-12 Player of the Year Blake Bodily opened the scoring for the second-straight postseason match, bagging his team-leading 12th goal of the season in the eighth minute. After Marshall equalized in the 25th, UW stormed back with three unanswered tallies, including a pair of goals from Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Ethan Bartlow (43’, 73’). Freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler notched his second-straight postseason win and 11th overall victory in his debut campaign. The win was good for Washington’s 17th of the year, tied with the 1983 team for the most single-season wins in program history.
Stanford welcomed No. 10 seed Virginia Tech (10-6-3) for a third-round battle at Cagan Stadium. All-Pac-12 First Team honoree Derek Waldeck opened the scoring for the Cardinal in the 53rd minute, notching his fourth goal of the year off a Zach Ryan cross. After the Hokies equalized in the 68th minute, Waldeck sent an in-swinging corner into the box and Keegan Hughes buried the game-winner in the 80th. The win sent the Cardinal to their eighth all-time and fifth-straight Sweet 16.
The victories from Washington and Stanford marked the first time since 2013 that a pair of Pac-12 teams advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament (No. 2 seed Washington, No. 4 seed California).
ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS: The Pac-12 Conference announced 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 has compiled a 31-13-7 record in non-conference play in the regular season. The league’s .676 non-conference winning percentage is good for the second-best mark across all conferences, trailing only the ACC (92-32-17, .713).
NATIONAL HONORS: Stanford’s Tanner Beason and Washington’s Blake Bodily were named among 15 semifinalists for the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy on Dec. 3. The two are among nine semifinalists still competing in this year’s NCAA Tournament. 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 AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Included in the Pac-12’s 31-13-7 non-conference record are six victories and two draws against Top 25 non-conference opponents in the regular season:
- 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 vs. then-No. 11 Marshall (W, 4-1) – Sunday, Dec. 1
- 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
- Stanford vs. then-No. 23 Virginia Tech (W, 2-1) – Sunday, Dec. 1
- Stanford vs. then-No. 20 Seattle U (D, 1-1 (PKs, 2-1)) – Sunday, Nov. 24
- California vs. then-No. 25 UC Irvine (D, 1-1) – Sunday, Sept. 1
STAT CENTRAL: UCLA forward Milan Iloski is tied for fourth in the nation with 17 goals on the year. Iloski leads the country in goals per game (1.06) and is third in points per game with 2.25. Washington goalkeeper Sam Fowler has posted a 0.504 goals against average, good for the second-best mark in the nation and the lowest average among freshmen. Stanford goalkeeper Andrew Thomas is 10th in the country in goals against average (0.654) and tied for 15th in shutouts (8).
Washington (17-3-0, 0.850) and Stanford (14-2-4, 0.800) are tied for seventh and 10th, respectively, in winning percentage this year. The Huskies have the fourth-best shutout percentage in the nation at 0.600. Washington (0.595) and Stanford (0.618) 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 0.840. The Huskies have compiled 131 total points on the year, good for a tie for eighth in the country. UCLA has played the eighth-hardest schedule in the country this year with a combined opponent record of 173-101-42 (.614).
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. San Diego State freshman Hunter George led the team with five goals this season, scoring in three-straight matches from Sept. 22 – Oct. 6.
Freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler has recorded 12 starts for Washington this year and has posted seven shutouts, compiling 18 total saves. His 0.504 goals against average is the second-best mark in the country and the lowest average among freshmen. The Huskies are 11-1-0 and have outscored opponents 35-6 in the games in which he has played.
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 (111-32-25) 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 (116-45-20) 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).
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.