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NCAA Aug 15, 2023

UCLA sits atop Pac-12 preseason poll, followed by Stanford, USC and Cal

After bringing home their third National Championship in 2022, the UCLA Bruins have been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2023 Pac-12 Women’s Soccer title.

The Bruins tallied the most votes since 2018 (STANFORD – 121) coming in with 119 overall, with nine first-place bids, their second most in history. The Bruins return 20 members of their National Championship team alongside the 2022 Pac-12 Head Coach of the Year, Margueritte Aozasa.

The reigning Pac-12 Champion, STANFORD, came in a close second with 113 points, including three first-place votes, with USC taking the third-place spot with 94 points. CALIFORNIA saw its highest place since 2018 in the fourth spot with 85 points, with WASHINGTON STATE (76) and ARIZONA (61) rounding out the top-6.

For the first time in conference history, the 7-9 spots were taken by three-way tie between ARIZONA STATE, COLORADO and WASHINGTON, each receiving 53 points. Rounding out the poll was UTAH in 10th (51), OREGON in 11th (19) and OREGON STATE in 12th (15).

The coaches top-three picks were featured in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Top 25 ranking with UCLA taking home the top spot unanimously with 200 points and eight first-place votes. STANFORD checked in at No. 11 with USC coming in at No. 22.

The Pac-12 is returning to the pitch after celebrating its seventh NCAA National Championship, tying for the most of any conference since its first in 2007, and finished the season with three top-25 programs (UCLA, STANFORD, USC). The conference will welcome back 33 of the 48 2022 All-Conference squad performers including the entirety of the All-Freshman team. The league will also see the return of all 12 head coaches, three of which find themselves on the 50 winningest active coaches by percentage in NCAA Division I list (Paul Ratcliffe – 2nd, .871; Danny Sanchez – 24th, .680; Todd Shulenberger – 47th, .627).

The non-conference regular season is set to begin on Thursday, August 17 with USC kicking things off against Michigan at home at 3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MT. All 12 teams are slated to open their seasons that day with six being televised on the Pac-12 Networks. 86 regular season matchups are scheduled to be broadcast across various Pac-12 Networks with more details being available here.

2023 PAC-12 WOMEN’S SOCCER PRESEASON COACHES POLL

Rank School (First Place Votes) Total Points
1. UCLA (9) 119
2. Stanford (3) 113
3. USC 94
4. California 85
5. Washington State 76
6. Arizona 61
7. Arizona State 53
Colorado 53
Washington 53
10. Utah 51
11. Oregon 19
12. Oregon State 15

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