Cardinal women tabbed Pac-12 preseason soccer favorite


The preseason third-ranked Stanford women's soccer team opens the year as the Pac-12 coaches favorite to win the conference title.

The Cardinal, which hosts Fresno State in an exhibition match Friday at 7 p.m., received 114 votes, including eight of the 12 first-place votes.

Defending Pac-12 champion UCLA had 111 points, with three first-place nods, followed by USC, which also received a first-place vote, and California tied for third, each with 91 points.

Stanford (20-2-3 last year) advanced to the College Cup for the sixth time in seven years, completing the season as the third-ranked team in the nation.

Stanford opens the regular season on Aug. 21 at Hawaii. The Cardinal home opener is Aug. 28 against Boston College, a frequent NCAA tournament opponent in recent years, and plays its Pac-12 home opener on Oct. 8 against Oregon State.

Among the featured contests on Stanford's home schedule are a Sept. 11 contest against Penn State, the reigning Big 10 regular-season champ, and a Nov. 1 showdown against conference rival and defending champion UCLA.

Stanford has won nine conference championships since 1993, including four during consecutive perfect conference seasons from 2009-12. Stanford's 44-match conference winning streak from 2008-13 is the third-longest in NCAA Division I history.

The Cardinal holds an 87-19-10 conference record since 2003, when coach Paul Ratcliffe took over on The Farm.

Stanford will be featured in 11 Pac-12 Networks broadcasts this season, including nine of its 11 conference matchups.

— Stanford Athletics

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