2012 Men's Soccer Season in Review

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The Big Ten enjoyed an extremely successful 2012 men's soccer season, capped by Indiana's record eighth NCAA title. The 2012 conference season was full of drama until the very end, as five teams were in the running for the Big Ten title going into the final weekend of play. Ultimately, Penn State and Northwestern shared the regular season title, while Michigan State captured the Big Ten Tournament crown. 

NCAA Championship Success: Four Big Ten teams - Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern - earned berths to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, the fifth time in the last six years at least four conference squads garnered bids to the tournament. Each of the four Big Ten teams won at least one game in the championships, while the Wildcats advanced to the third round. The tournament was highlighted by a historic run by the Hoosiers, as Indiana captured its record eighth national title and became the first No. 16 seed to win the crown. To read more about the Big Ten in the NCAA Championship, click here and here.

Big Ten Champions: Northwestern and Penn State each won shares of the 2012 Men's Soccer Big Ten Championship after earning 3-1-2 conference records. The Wildcats won the crown for the second consecutive season and the third time in program history, while the Nittany Lions earned their first title since 2005 and third overall. For more on the regular season conference champions, click here.

Big Ten Tournament Titans: Michigan State claimed the 2012 Big Ten Tournament title, knocking off Michigan in the championship match, 2-1, in overtime. The Spartans captured the crown as the No. 5 seed and earned their third title overall. For more on the 2012 Big Ten Tournament and All-Tournament Team, click here.

Conference Postseason Accolades: The conference announced its men's soccer All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners at the Big Ten Tournament banquet. Indiana's Eriq Zavaleta was the unanimous selection for Offensive Player of the Year. Northwestern's Chris Ritter earned the Defensive Player of the Year award, while teammate Joey Calistri was the unanimous choice for Freshman of the Year. Penn State's Bob Warming reeled in Coach of the Year honors. For more on the postseason awards and the complete All-Big Ten teams, click here

In the Final Polls: Indiana and Northwestern earned rankings in the final NSCAA/Continental Tire poll of the season, as the NCAA Champion Hoosiers (16-5-3) sat atop the poll at No. 1 and the Wildcats (13-6-4) clocked in at No. 18. Michigan (11-10-1) and Michigan State (12-10-1) both received votes in the poll. For the complete final poll, click here 

Where We Rank: Four Big Ten student-athletes finished the season ranking in the top 10 nationally in various statistical categories. Michigan's Fabio Villas Boas Pereira was tied for first in the country in total assists (8), while teammate Adam Grinwis was tied for eighth in total saves (100). Indiana's Eriq Zavaleta ranked tied for third in total goals (18), sixth in total points (40) and tied for seventh in goals per game (0.75), while teammate A.J. Corrado ranked sixth in total assists. As a team, Indiana tied for seventh in shutout percentage (0.50) and ranked 10th in team goals against average (0.78). For the complete season's statistics, click here.

National Names: Several conference standouts were awarded nationally for their success on and off the field during the 2012 season. Indiana's Eriq Zavaleta garnered NSCAA All-America status and Soccer America MVP first team recognition, while teammate Femi Hollinger-Janzen and Northwestern's Joey Calistri earned Soccer America freshman team honors. In the classroom, Michigan State's Kevin Cope was named NSCAA Scholar All-America and Penn State's Julian Cardona collected Capital One Academic All-America accolades from CoSIDA. Cardona was also named to the Capital One Academic All-District team, along with Indiana's A.J. Corrado.     

Congrats Coach: 
Indiana head men's soccer coach Todd Yeagley was named the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year by Soccer America. Yeagley led the Hoosiers to their eighth national title and a 16-5-3 record in just his third season at the helm of the program. He becomes the third Big Ten coach to win the honor in the past 10 years.

All-Region Recognition: Eleven men's soccer players were named to the NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Team, as five of the seven conference squads were represented on the list. Indiana's Eriq Zavaleta was awarded first-team honors, while teammates Nikita Kotlov and Caleb Konstanski were second and third team selections, respectively. Joining Kotlov on the second team was Michigan State's Kevin Cope, Northwestern's Nikko Boxall, Tyler Miller and Chris Ritter, Penn State's John Gallagher and Wisconsin's AJ Cochran. Michigan State's Adam Montague and Northwestern's Joey Calistri earned third-team accolades. For the complete All-Great Lakes Region team, click here. 

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