Pac-12 Women's Soccer kicks off 2022 season on Thursday
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Women’s Soccer regular season begins on Thursday, August 18. A total of 21 matches are scheduled throughout the weekend, with 12 taking place on opening day.
Among a number of big matches to begin the season on Thursday, No. 20 Washington State travels to Ann Arbor to take on No. 9 Michigan at 4 p.m. PT, No. 15 USC is matched up with Purdue, which is receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll, at 4 p.m. PT, and California will face 2021 Big West Tournament Champion UC Irvine at 7 p.m. PT.
All 12 schools are slated to begin their regular seasons on Thursday, August 18, with Colorado opening the action at 3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MT against Weber State. Seven of the 12 regular-season openers will be televised on Pac-12 Networks and 12 total matches will be televised throughout the weekend. You can find detailed broadcasting information here.
For the 14th time overall, and seventh in the last eight, Stanford found itself at the top of coaches’ preseason poll with 116 points and six first-place votes. Two-time defending Pac-12 champion UCLA picked up the second-place spot with 112 points and four first-place votes. Washington State earned its highest ranking in program history, cracking the top-three with 100 points and two first-place votes. The top half of the Conference was rounded out by USC (88 points), Colorado (79) and California (70).
The top four of the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches’ poll also found themselves in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason poll and the Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Poll. The United Soccer Coaches ranking comes in with UCLA at No. 13, USC at No. 15, Washington State at No. 20 and Stanford at No. 21.
The Pac-12’s four ranked teams are second only to the ACC. Top Drawer Soccer puts UCLA at No. 6, with USC (No. 18), Washington State (No. 19) and Stanford (No. 20) following behind. The Pac-12 is second to the ACC’s seven top-25 teams in the TDS poll.
United Soccer Coaches released positional lists of 2022 NCAA Division I Players to Watch and 12 from the Conference were named. Lauren Brzykcy of UCLA, Nadia Cooper of Washington State and Leah Freeman of Oregon have all been voted as goalkeepers to watch; Mykiaa Minnis (Washington State), Lilly Reale (UCLA) and Hannah Sharts (Colorado) were voted defenders to watch; 2021 Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year Croix Bethune (USC), Maya Doms (Stanford) and Sydney Studer (Washington State) were voted midfielders to watch; and Nicole Douglas (ASU), who topped the NCAA in goals in 2021, Reilyn Turner (UCLA) and Summer Yates (Washington) were voted forwards to watch.
The 2022 Hermann Trophy Watch List is set to be announced on Thursday at the start of the regular season. Last season, the Pac-12 had six players on the watch list, including 2022 returners Lauren Brzykcy (UCLA) and Summer Yates (Washington).
31 of the 43 players awarded 2021 All-Conference honors are back this season (9 - First Team, 7 - Second Team, 9 - Third Team), including the entirety of the All-Freshman Team. The returners include 2021 Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year Croix Bethune (USC) and 2021 Pac-12 Goalkeeper and Freshman of the Year Nadia Cooper (Washington State).
Four Pac-12 schools, Stanford, UCLA, Washington State and USC, made the NCAA Tournament in 2021, the 24th consecutive season the Pac-12 sent at least that many schools to the postseason.
More Pac-12 Women's Soccer
- 7 Pac-12 women's soccer non-conference matches to watch in 2022 — Ryan Kelapire, Pac-12.com (August 16)
- Everything you need to know about the Pac-12's women's soccer teams for 2022 - Ryan Kelapire, Pac-12.com (August 12)
- 1 player to know on each Pac-12 women's soccer team in 2022 — Ryan Kelapire, Pac-12.com (June 29)