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Pac-12 Conference

The Conference
of Champions

Everything you need to know about the Pac-12's women's soccer teams for 2022

Aug 12, 2022
Photo courtesy Stanford Athletics

The 2022 Pac-12 women's soccer season is right around the corner, kicking off on Aug. 18.

The Conference landed four teams in the first United Soccer Coaches Poll of the season but also boasts plenty of depth, with nine of its 12 teams coming off a winning season and six winning 10 or more matches.

Here's a rundown of all 12 teams in the order in which they placed in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll.

No. 21 Stanford Cardinal

  • 2021 season in review: The Cardinal finished in fourth place after going 13-6-1 overall and 7-3-1 in conference play in head coach Paul Ratcliffe's 19th season. Stanford fell to Santa Clara, an eventual national semifinalist, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: vs. No. 14 Penn State (Sept. 1), at Northwestern (Sept. 8), at No. 5 Santa Clara (Sept. 18)
  • 1 player to know: Senior midfielder Maya Doms is back after leading the Cardinal with 11 goals last season, the sixth-most in the Pac-12. She was recently named to the United Soccer Coaches Midfielders to Watch list.
  • 1 key stat: Stanford netted 46 goals last season, the second-most in the conference, and returns 63 percent of its scoring.
  • 1 key fact: A national powerhouse, the Cardinal have reached the NCAA Tournament in 23 of the last 24 seasons and have won two of the last five College Cups (2019 and 2017).

No. 13 UCLA Bruins

    • 2021 season in review: The Bruins won the 2021 Pac-12 championship — their second straight conference title — by going 8-0-3 in their 11 conference games. They earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and were undefeated before falling to UC Irvine in the first round.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: at No. 5 Santa Clara (Aug. 28), at No. 2 Duke (Sept. 1), at No. 10 North Carolina (Sept. 4), at No. 17 Pepperdine (Sept. 18).
    • 1 player to know: Junior forward Reilyn Turner netted 10 goals last season, the second-most on the team and tied for seventh-most in the Pac-12. This offseason, she became the first student-athlete to sign a Name, Image and Likeness deal with Nike.
    • 1 key stat: Thanks to some stellar play from goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, the Bruins only allowed 12 goals in 2021, the fewest in the Pac-12.
    • 1 key fact: Margueritte Aozasa, a former Stanford assistant, is entering her first season as the Bruins' head coach, taking over a program that has made the NCAA Tournament virtually every year and won a national championship in 2013.

    No. 20 Washington State Cougars

    • 2021 season in review: The Cougars went 14-3-4 in 2021, tying for the second-most wins in program history. Their seven Pac-12 wins — good for third in the conference — tied the most in program history. WSU reached the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years, beating Montana in the first round before falling to No. 3-seeded Tennessee in the second round in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: at No. 9 Michigan (Aug. 18).
    • 1 player to know: Nadia Cooper returns after winning the Pac-12 Freshman and Goalkeeper of the Year awards last season, the first WSU player to win both in the same season. She posted seven shutouts in 15 starts, allowing just 10 total goals and setting the program record for consecutive shutout minutes (523:56).
    • 1 key stat: Boasting one of the stingiest defenses in the country, Washington State led the Pac-12 with 13 shutouts last season.
    • 1 key fact: The Cougars are ranked third in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, the highest selection in program history.

    No. 15 USC Trojans

    • 2021 season in review: The Trojans finished second in the Pac-12 to their crosstown rivals, a conference title race that came down to the final match of the regular season when the Bruins beat USC 3-1 in Westwood. USC rebounded by routing Grand Canyon 6-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing a heartbreaker to Penn State in penalty kicks in the second round.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: at Purdue (Aug. 18), vs. No. 7 TCU (Sept. 1), vs. Nebraska (Sept. 11).
    • 1 player to know: All-American Croix Bethune was the 2021 Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year last season, powering the Trojans' attack with a team-high 16 goals and 10 assists. Her 42 points were the second-most in the Pac-12 and fourth-most in the nation.
    • 1 key stat: USC scored 56 goals last season, 10 more than any other Pac-12 team. 
    • 1 key fact: Like UCLA, the Trojans are entering a new era. Jane Alukonis, a former UCLA assistant, is entering her first season as head coach.

    Colorado Buffaloes

    • 2021 season in review: The Buffaloes went 8-7-4 overall and 3-4-4 in the Pac-12, good for a seventh-place finish.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: at No. 3 BYU (Aug. 29), at No. 9 Michigan (Sept. 8), at Michigan State (Sept. 11).
    • 1 player to know: Fifth-year senior and team captain Hannah Sharts is one of just 35 players on the United Soccer Coaches Defenders to Watch List. She has started in all 58 games in which she has appeared for the Buffaloes, tallying five assists and seven goals, four of which were game-winners.
    • 1 key stat: The Buffaloes returners' accounted for 23 of the team's 31 goals last season. Shyra James, now a junior, led the team with nine.
    • 1 key fact: Colorado's 2022 recruiting class was ranked No. 8 in the country by TopDrawerSoccer. It includes eight freshmen and two Division I transfers. 

    California Golden Bears

    • 2021 season in review: One of the youngest teams in the country, the Golden Bears went 8-7-3 overall and 4-6-1 in the Pac-12, to finish in eighth place in the conference in head coach Neil McGuire's 15th season.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: at No. 17 Pepperdine (Sept. 4), at No. 5 Santa Clara (Sept. 11)
    • 1 player to know: Fifth-year defender Sydney Collins has been the Bears' team captain the past two seasons and led them in assists last year (4) while starting in all 19 games. The Oregon native was called up to the U.S. Women's National Team Under-23 team in February and started all three matches of the Portland Thorns Preseason Tournament in her home state.
    • 1 key stat: Cal returns 14 of the 15 players who scored points last year, and 20 of the 25 who started games.
    • 1 key fact: The Bears' 2021 recruits were ranked No. 1 in the country by TopDrawerSoccer and several played on the international stage this offseason. They are now entering their second year at Cal, likely a reason the Pac-12's coaches predicted the Bears will finish higher in the conference standings this season.

    Washington Huskies

    • 2021 season in review: The Huskies went 6-8-4 overall and 4-4-3 in the Pac-12 in their second season under Nicole Van Dyke, tied with Oregon for fifth place.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: vs. Texas Tech (Sept. 1)
    • 1 player to know: Summer Yates returns for a fifth season after leading Washington's balanced attack with five goals and five assists last year. She made the All-Pac-12 First Team.
    • 1 key stat: Including Yates, the Huskies return seven starters and all of them are seniors, fifth-years or graduate students.
    • 1 key fact: Washington has finished in the top five of the Pac-12 for three straight years.

    Oregon Ducks

    • 2021 season in review: The Ducks went 9-4-3 overall and 4-4-3 in the Pac-12, tied with Washington for fifth place, in head coach Graeme Abel's second season. It marked the first time Oregon posted back-to-back winning seasons in program history.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: vs. Texas (Sept. 1), at No. 5 Santa Clara (Sept. 8)
    • 1 player to know: Junior Leah Freeman was one of just 12 goalkeepers to make the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Watch List (joining Cooper and Brzykcy). She led the Pac-12 in shutouts last season with a school-record nine, while ranking third in goals-against average (0.87) and save percentage (.839).
    • 1 key stat: Oregon's 86 points (29 goals, 28 assists) last season were the second-most in program history, only behind the 2001 team (93).
    • 1 key fact: The Ducks are pursuing their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

    Utah Utes

    • 2021 season in review: The Utes went 6-10-4 overall and 1-7-3 in the Pac-12, finishing last in head coach Hideki Nakada's first season.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: vs. Alabama (Sept. 4), at No. 3 BYU (Sept. 17)
    • 1 player to know: Senior midfielder Courtney Brown, formerly Courtney Talbot, led Utah with a career-high five goals last season, including the equalizer in a draw against then-No. 3 UCLA.
    • 1 key stat: The Utes have won 58.9 percent of their home games since 2016. They play at state-of-the-art Ute Field, which opened in August 2019 and has boasted crowds as large as 1,562.
    • 1 key fact: Utah has 13 newcomers, including seven freshmen and six transfers, five of whom come from major-conference schools.

    Arizona State Sun Devils

    • 2021 season in review: The Sun Devils went 10-8-2 overall and 2-7-2 in the Pac-12, finishing in 10th place in head coach Graham Winkworth's fifth season at Arizona State.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: vs. No. 17 Pepperdine (Sept. 8).
    • 1 player to know: Senior forward Nicole Douglas led the nation in scoring with 19 goals, breaking ASU's single-season record. The London native has 46 career goals, four shy of Stacey Tullock's all-time record.
    • 1 key stat: ASU finished fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring last season, netting 42 goals in 20 games.
    • 1 key fact: The Sun Devils have posted double-digit win totals in two (2018 and 2021) of the last four seasons. That does not include the 9-6-2 record in 2020 that earned them an NCAA Tournament berth.

    Oregon State Beavers

    • 2021 season in review: The Beavers went 11-7-1 overall and 3-7-1 in the Pac-12 in head coach Lauren Sinacola's first season, a ninth-place finish. The 11 wins tied the program's most since 2011.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: at No. 4 Virginia (Sept. 8)
    • 1 player to know: McKenna Martinez returns after a fantastic freshman season in which she led the Beavers with 12 goals, tied for third-most in the Pac-12.
    • 1 key stat: The Beavers had the fifth-best goal differential (+10) in the Pac-12 last season.
    • 1 key fact: Oregon State added two SEC transfers — Reese Moffatt from LSU and Ava Beneditti from Arkansas — who started and/or played key roles for NCAA Tournament teams last season. 

    Arizona Wildcats

    • 2021 season in review: The Wildcats went 5-13 overall and 2-9 in the Pac-12 in head coach Becca Moros' first season.
    • 2022 non-conference matches to watch: vs. Iowa State (Aug. 18), at Texas Tech (Aug. 21), at Nebraska (Aug. 25), vs. No. 17 Pepperdine (Sept. 11).
    • 1 player to know: Senior Hope Hisey led the Pac-12 with 102 saves last season, 20 more than the next goalkeeper.
    • 1 key stat: Arizona has to replace 80 percent of its scoring from last season.
    • 1 key fact: The Wildcats finished .500 or better every year from 2013 to 2020.