Everything you need to know about the Pac-12's men's soccer teams for 2022
Multiple Pac-12 squads enter the 2022 NCAA men’s soccer season with national ambitions. Oregon State and Washington both made it the furthest they’ve ever gone at the NCAA Tournament last year while tourney regulars Stanford and UCLA hope to get back to the podium where they belong.
Before matches get under way, here is a quick refresher on each Pac-12 men’s soccer squad in the order in which they appear in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll.
No. 3 Washington Huskies
- 2021 in review: The Huskies made it all the way to the NCAA Tournament Championship match, falling to Clemson, after going 18-2-2 (6-1-2) and coming in 2nd place in the Pac-12. It was the most successful season in Washington men's soccer history, the best in an already excellent 10-year tenure for head coach Jamie Clark.
- Non-conference matches to watch: vs. Seattle University (Sept. 20), at Grand Canyon (Sept. 24)
- 1 player to know: A redshirt senior, Lukas Meek will use his last season of eligibility to try to push Washington over to top and earn its first ever NCAA Championship. Meek ranked fourth in the Pac-12 last year in points-per-game (1.08) and figures to be featured even more prominently this season with the departure of mega-scorer Dylan Teves.
- 1 key stat: Washington’s save percentage of 80.2 percent last season was best in the Pac-12 and seventh-best in Division I.
- 1 key fact: Washington returns 28 players from last season's team, including All-Pac-12 selections Meek, Kalani Kossa-Rienzi, Nick Scardina and Christian Soto.
No. 5 Oregon State Beavers
- 2021 in review: Under the guidance of head coach Terry Boss, the Beavers earned their first-ever Pac-12 title after a dominant 14-2-4 (7-1-2) season. Oregon State fell to eventual NCAA Champion Clemson in the NCAA quarterfinals.
- Non-conference matches to watch: vs. Seattle (August 19), at UC Santa Barbara (Sept. 9), at Denver (Sept. 20), vs. Portland (Oct. 15).
- 1 player to know: Joran Gerbert, the reigning Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Freshman of the Year, started every game as a true freshman for the Beavers and will look to break out in his sophomore campaign.
- 1 key stat: The Beavers’ 20 conference goals last season were good for tops in the Pac-12.
- 1 key fact: Oregon State’s run to the 2021 NCAA Quarterfinals was the deepest run the Beavers have made in program history. They had previously never made it out of the round of 32.
No. 23 UCLA Bruins
- 2021 in review: In their third season under head coach Ryan Jorden, the Bruins claimed third place in the Pac-12 with a 11-7-1 (5-4-1) record before falling to Duke in the second round of the NCAA tourney.
- Non-conference matches to watch: vs. Virginia Tech (Aug. 28), vs. Grand Canyon (Sept. 5), at Portland (Sept. 10)
- 1 player to know: Tommy Silva co-led the Bruins in goals (six) and was tied for second in points (16) last season en route to an All-Pac-12 second team selection. Now a junior, Silva will help try to guide the Bruins to their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
1 key stat: The Bruins led the Pac-12 with a .168 shot percentage, a good omen if the team can be a little more aggressive this season.
1 key fact: UCLA is the only school in the country with two student-athletes on the United Soccer Coaches Players to Watch Defenders Preseason Watch List, with Nicolas Blassou and Pietro Grassi both making the cut.
- 2021 in review: After winning the Pac-12 crown in six out of the previous seven years, the Cardinal went 6-6-6 (2-4-4 in the Pac-12) for a fourth-place conference finish.
- Non-conference matches to watch: vs. Villanova (Aug. 25), at Santa Barbara (Sept. 24)
- 1 player to know: An all-Pac-12 defender, Keegan Hughes will be critical for a Stanford backline that may need to buoy the offense early in the season. The Cardinal has to replace its top three scorers from last year.
- 1 key stat: Stanford averaged 7.3 conference wins from 2015-2020 before plummeting to two last season. Fans in Palo Alto will be looking for a bounce-back year from the Cardinal in 2022.
- 1 key fact: The Cardinal is one of just two teams to ever three-peat as NCAA Champions, having accomplished the feat between 2015-2017.
San Diego State Aztecs
- 2021 in review: It was a tail of two halves for the Aztecs, who went undefeated (6-0-2) in non-conference play for second-year head coach Ryan Hopkins but finished fifth in the Pac-12 with a 2-7 record.
- Non-conference matches to watch: at Creighton (Sept. 5), vs. Denver (Sept. 11), vs. UC San Diego (Sept. 24), vs. San Diego (Oct. 15)
- 1 player to know: Jason Castro, the junior goalkeeper earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors last year after converting 61 saves with a stellar 84% save rate.
- 1 key stat: Zero non-conference losses. San Diego State dominated its non-conference schedule last season, going 6-0-2, but had a tougher time against Pac-12 teams. The Aztecs will look to have similar early season success in 2022 but maintain it when conference play begins.
- 1 key fact: According to Top Drawer Soccer, the Aztecs' newcomers represent the top recruiting class in NCAA men’s soccer. Four transfers will join 11 freshmen, six of which are ranked in Top Drawer Soccer's Top 150.
California Golden Bears
- 2021 in review: The Golden Bears will hope to put 2021 fully in the rearview mirror after finishing at the bottom in the conference with a 3-9-3 (1-6-1) record. Decorated head coach Kevin Grimes retired following the trying season.
- Non-conference matches to watch: vs. Villanova (Aug. 28), vs. Saint Mary’s (Sept. 25)
- 1 player to know: Incoming freshman goalkeeper Marco Brougher is one of seven high school recruits who will be joining the Golden Bears for the 2022 season. A San Francisco Bay Area native from Los Altos Hills, Brougher is a 6-4 goalkeeper who has trained with the Oakland Roots Academy and was a team captain at the De Anza Emmanuel JohnsonForce Academy.
- 1 key stat: California scored just 4 conference goals, a figure that will need to drastically improve if it hopes to climb the Pac-12 standings this season.
- 1 key fact: Leonard Griffin was named the new California head coach and will be tasked with turning the program around. Griffin is coming off a stellar season as Grand Canyon’s head coach in which he led the Antelopes to a 15-4-1 record and an NCAA Tournament berth.