7 Pac-12 women's soccer non-conference matches to watch in 2022
The 2022 women's soccer season officially kicks off on Aug. 18 and Pac-12 teams will face major tests from the get-go.
Keep an eye on these seven non-conference matches when the games begin.
No. 20 Washington State at No. 9 Michigan (Thursday, Aug. 18)
WSU's 2022 season will begin where its 2021 season ended — Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Cougars were knocked out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Tennessee on Michigan's home field last November. Now WSU will get to see how it stacks up against the Wolverines, who beat Tennessee to reach the Elite Eight.
The Cougars should be well-equipped, returning a bulk of their starters from last year's 14-3-4 team and adding a highly-ranked recruiting class.
No. 7 TCU at No. 15 USC (Thursday, Sept. 1)
The Trojans will host the reigning Big 12 champions in their first home game under new head coach Jane Alukonis.
Despite the coaching change, USC shouldn't miss a beat from last year when it went 14-3-3. The Trojans return two of their top three scorers, including 2021 Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year Croix Bethune, whose 42 points last season were the second-most in the Pac-12 and fourth-most in the NCAA.
No. 12 UCLA at No. 10 North Carolina (Sunday, Sept. 4)
Two national powerhouses will take the pitch in Chapel Hill as UNC and UCLA are among the 11 Division I women's soccer programs that have won a national championship. The Bruins captured theirs in 2013, while the Tar Heels have won 21 in program history, by far the most in the country.
The tradition remains strong as these teams only combined for four losses last season. UCLA, now led by first-year head coach Margueritte Aozasa, only had one.
UCLA will also face No. 2 Duke on Sept. 1 on what will be an eventful trip to the Tar Heel State.
Oregon State at No. 4 Virginia (Thursday, Sept. 8)
The Beavers will visit the reigning ACC champs as part of a two-game Virginia road trip that will also have them face James Madison.
A national semifinalist in 2020, the Cavaliers are consistently one of the best teams in the east. However, the Beavers beat them in the only other matchup in this series — a 2-0 win in Charlottesville back in 1998.
Oregon State is looking to improve on a successful 2021 season when it went 11-7-1 in head coach Lauren Sinacola's first year in Corvallis.
No. 5 Santa Clara at Oregon (Thursday, Sept. 8)
The Ducks are hoping to build off their best season since 2006 and can capture a statement win against Santa Clara, the 2020 national champions and a 2021 semifinalist, on Pac-12 Networks.
Looking to reach its first-ever NCAA Tournament, Oregon returns three all-Pac-12 players in goalkeeper Leah Freeman and defenders Chai Cortez and Croix Soto, and welcomes a top-25 recruiting class.
Utah at No. 3 BYU (Saturday, Sept. 17)
This in-state rivalry is one of the most passionate in the country and represents a chance for Utah to secure a signature win in head coach Hideki Nakada's second season.
Beating BYU will be tough — the Cougars reached the national championship game last season — but the Utes have already showed they can hang with them, battling to a scoreless draw in Salt Lake City last season.
No. 21 Stanford at No. 5 Santa Clara (Sunday, Sept. 18)
This Bay Area rivalry will pit the 2019 national champions (Stanford) against the 2020 champs (Santa Clara).
Both teams were terrific last season too, with Stanford going 13-6-1 and Santa Clara going 15-5-3.
Thanks to their close proximity, these teams play each other almost every season. Last year, they actually played twice.
Stanford won 3-1 at home in the regular season, but the Broncos got revenge in the postseason, knocking out the Cardinal 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Santa Clara.
Overall, Stanford has had the upper hand in this series, posting a 14-9-2 all-time record against the Broncos.
Santa Clara also cannot overlook Cal, which heads south to Santa Clara on Sept. 11. The Bears have a winning record (22-20-7) against the Broncos and return over 30 players from their 2021 team that tied Santa Clara 1-1 in Berkeley last season.
Other notable non-conference games:
- No. 13 UCLA at No. 5 Santa Clara (Aug. 28)
- No. 14 Penn State at No. 21 Stanford (Sept. 1, Pac-12 Networks)
- No. 13 UCLA at No. 2 Duke (Sept. 1)
- Colorado at No. 9 Michigan (Sept. 8)
- No. 17 Pepperdine at Arizona State (Sept. 8, Pac-12 Networks)
- California at No. 5 Santa Clara (Sept. 11)
- No. 17 Pepperdine at Arizona (Sept. 11)
- No. 13 UCLA at No. 17 Pepperdine (Sept. 18)