We are past the midway point of the Pac-12 season after another weekend of action that included six games. Here is a recap of what went down around the conference, along with a look at this weekend’s pairings and the updated standings.
Cal completed its first sweep of the Los Angeles schools since 1996 by routing USC 3-0 on Friday. The Bears also became just the second team to beat USC this season—Bay Area rival Stanford being the other—and the first to shut out the Trojans.
One reason for Cal’s improvement? Angelina Anderson. The freshman goalkeeper made six saves against USC and is currently tied with Stanford’s Katie Meyer for the Pac-12 lead in save percentage (.857).
If there is a silver lining for USC, it’s that reigning Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year Kaylie Collins played the second half, her first appearance since suffering an injury in the first week of the season.
What. A. Beaut. 😉 pic.twitter.com/kLdkCo9sxT— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWSoc) October 18, 2019
Offenses go to die in Salt Lake City. The Utes posted their sixth shutout in seven home games Friday against Arizona, but they were unable to find the back of the net in the 0-0 draw.
With 14 goals all season, the Utes are by far the lowest-scoring team in the conference. Luck wasn’t on their side Friday either, with two headers ringing off the post.
Pac-12 saves leader Carly Nelson added five more to her ledger, while Arizona freshman Hope Hisey recorded a career-high nine saves on the other end.
Utah welcomes Cal and Stanford this weekend. If anyone can score in Salt Lake City it is the Cardinal, who boast the nation’s top offense.
Coming off three consecutive road games, Arizona hosts the Oregon schools this weekend, a critical homestand for its NCAA Tournament hopes.
It has been tough sledding for the Buffaloes ever since they opened conference play with a win at Arizona. They finally returned to the win column Saturday with a 2-1 triumph over the Sun Devils, snapping a three-game losing streak and four-game winless streak.
It was a memorable day for CU junior Gabbi Chapa, who scored her first career goal less than two minutes into the match—then assisted on Tessa Barton’s goal in the 49th minute to give the Buffs a 2-0 lead.
ASU, one of two teams without a Pac-12 victory, made things interesting with a goal from Dai Williams in the 78th minute, but the Buffs were able to hang on for their 10th win of the season.
Their reward? A date with Stanford on Thursday.
Can't ask for a better start! 1st career goal for Gabbi Chappa! pic.twitter.com/ULyKIPp5nV— Colorado Buffaloes Soccer (@CUBuffsSoccer) October 19, 2019
The Cardinal’s bid for a perfect Pac-12 season received a massive boost Saturday in the form of a 1-0 win over UCLA. A long header from Maya Doms in the 18th minute was the difference, as the Cardinal recorded their fifth straight clean sheet.
Colorado, Utah, Arizona State, Arizona and Cal—in that order—are all that stand in Stanford’s way of an 11-0 conference season. If nothing else, the Cardinal are a virtual lock to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
As for the Bruins, they have some work to do down the stretch. They are just 3-3 in conference play, good for fifth place. They have not finished lower than fourth since 2015.
Washington State snaps scoreless streak
The Cougars ended their scoring slump Saturday with a 1-0 win over Oregon. Before that, WSU had netted just one goal in its previous four games, though not for a lack of chances.
The Cougars fired 45 shots against Arizona and Arizona State a couple weeks ago, only to come up empty-handed.
The Cougars have only conceded two goals in their five Pac-12 games against non-Stanford opponents, explaining how they are in fourth place despite that cold stretch of offense.
By beating Oregon State on Friday, the Huskies reached the five-win mark in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2015. That just so happens to be the last time they reached the NCAA Tournament. (See where I’m going here?)
All five of those wins have been decided by one goal, including a 2-1 victory over the Beavers in Corvallis, UW’s third straight win. The Huskies scored twice in the first half courtesy of Ameera Hussen and Kennedy Smith before Oregon State’s McKenzie Weinert netted her eighth goal of the season in the 59th minute.
With USC falling short in Berkeley, the Huskies claimed sole possession of second place in the Pac-12.
Oregon State needs some positive results in Arizona this weekend if it wants to solidify its postseason chances.
This week’s pairings
Oregon State/Oregon at Arizona State/Arizona
Stanford/Cal at Colorado/Utah
Washington/Washington State at UCLA/USC
Standings through Sunday
Stanford — 13-1, 6-0
Washington — 9-3-2, 5-1
USC — 11-2-1, 4-2
Washington State — 10-3-1, 3-2-1
UCLA — 9-4-1, 3-3
California — 10-3-2, 2-2-2
Colorado — 10-4-1, 2-3-1
Arizona — 8-4-1, 2-3-1
Utah — 6-5-4, 1-2-3
Oregon State — 9-3-2, 1-3-2
Arizona State — 6-6-3, 0-4-2
Oregon — 4-5-5, 0-4-2