Conference play is here in the Pac-12. The Conference of Champions gets things started with a Top 5 matchup this week when Southern California hosts Stanford.
This match has all sorts of implications on a national stage, but when it comes to the Pac-12 both of these teams are vying for a crucial win in a conference that currently has five teams in the Top 25, with three of them being in the Top 10 (Stanford, USC and UCLA).
Stanford will travel down to Los Angeles Saturday, September 28 to take on the Trojans. Both teams have high expectations as USC remains unbeaten, with the only blemish on their record being a tie versus Baylor. Their strong season includes wins against defending national champs then-No. 5 Florida State and Florida.
The quest for a 5th straight Pac-12 🏆 begins Saturday when we take on USC in Los Angeles!!! 🌲⚽️ #NextStartsNow #GoStanford pic.twitter.com/vbhRXqW6ed— Stanford Women's Soccer (@StanfordWSoccer) September 23, 2019
Stanford also has a pair of signature wins, as they knocked off then-No. 6 Penn State to start the season and a formerly ranked No. 11 West Virginia team. The Cardinal’s lone loss came against Pepperdine.
|TALE OF THE TAPE||
|No. 2||Ranking||No. 3|
17th season at Stanford
303-52-29 all-time at Virginia
6th season at USC
85-21-13 all-time at USC
|Lost in the semi-finals||2018 NCAA tournament||Lost in the round of 16|
|28||NCAA tournament appearances||17|
|Catarina Macario, 14||Returning goal scorer from 2018||Penelope Hocking, 14|
|Catarina Macario, 8||Returning assists leader from 2018||Savannah DeMelo, 10|
|vs. Washington State,
8:00 p.m. PT
Thursday, Oct. 3
|Next match||at Arizona State,
7:00 p.m. PT
Thursday, Oct. 3
LATEST RANKINGS: BYU joins the top 5 party, Oklahoma State rises
Stanford versus USC features quite the battle up front. The Cardinal are led by defending MAC Hermann trophy winner Catarina Macario. Notching 14 goals and 8 assists throughout the entire season last year, Macario might just put herself to shame this go-around. The junior forward has already put up 10 goals and 6 assists on the season, nearly matching her 2018 totals.
As for the Trojans, their offense is led by the dynamic duo of Penelope Hocking and Tara McKeown. The two have combined for two-thirds of USC’s goals this season with 7 apiece. McKeown is also second in the conference in points with 19, behind you know who -- Catarina Macario.
Outside of Macario, slowing down the rest of Stanford's offense will be a challenge all in itself. The Cardinal lead the Pac-12 in goals (31), assists (35) and points (97). The Trojans will have to dig deep and be as stout as possible on defense. USC has recorded 4 shutouts on the year, against Hawaii, San Francisco, Northern Arizona and Nebraska.
Following their battle with the Trojans, Stanford hosts of pair of Washington teams the following two matches, No. 21 Washington State on October 3 and Washington on October 6. As for USC, they'll travel to Arizona to take on Arizona State on October 3 and Arizona on October 6.
Stanford-Southern California women's soccer: How to watch, follow live
Stanford versus USC will take place in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, September 28 at 1 pm PT. You can watch the game live on a couple of Pac-12 Networks -- Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Bay Area. You can also follow the game live via Stanford's and USC's women's soccer Twitter accounts.
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Stanford-Southern California women's soccer history
The Stanford-USC matchup has been all Cardinal since they started playing each other in 1996. Stanford leads the all-time series 15-3-1, including beating the Trojans the past two times they have met. Last year the Cardinal knocked off USC 1-0, and in 2017 Stanford won 3-1. The last time the Trojans prevailed was in 2016 when they shutout Stanford 3-0.
|Nov. 1, 1996||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford, 1-0|
|Oct. 24, 1999||Stanford, CA||Stanford, 3-2|
|Oct. 29, 2000||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford, 4-2|
|Apr. 20, 2002||Stanford, CA||Stanford, 2-0|
|Oct. 11, 2002||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford, 2-0|
|Oct. 19, 2003||Stanford, CA||Stanford, 2-0|
|Oct. 24, 2004||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford, 1-0|
|Oct. 28, 2005||Stanford, CA||USC, 1-0|
|Oct. 6, 2006||Los Angeles, CA||Tie, 0-0|
|Nov. 2, 2008||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford, 3-1|
|Oct. 16, 2009||Stanford, CA||Stanford, 4-0|
|Oct. 8, 2010||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford, 2-1|
|Oct. 7, 2011||Stanford, CA||Stanford, 3-0|
|Oct. 13, 2013||Stanford, CA||USC, 1-0|
|Oct. 12, 2014||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford, 1-0|
|Oct. 29, 2015||Stanford, CA||Stanford, 1-0|
|Oct. 6, 2016||Los Angeles, CA||USC, 3-0|
|Oct. 29, 2017||Los Angeles, CA||Stanford, 3-1|
|Sept. 30, 2018||Stanford, CA||Stanford 1-0|