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2013 Big Ten Field Hockey Season in Review

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The Big Ten enjoyed a successful 2013 field hockey season highlighted by two teams earning bids to the NCAA Field Hockey Championship. Northwestern and Penn State were crowned Big Ten co-Champions and Michigan State won the Big Ten Tournament title.

NCAA Bound: Two Big Ten teams competed in the NCAA Field Hockey Championships, as Michigan State and Penn State earned berths in the field. The Spartans participated in a play-in game and upset second-seeded Syracuse in the first round, before falling in the quarterfinals to eventual national champion Connecticut. The Nittany Lions lost a heartbreaker to Princeton in the opening round. For more on the NCAA Tournament, click HERE.

We Are The Champions: Northwestern and Penn State ended the regular season with matching 5-1 conference marks to finish the year as Big Ten co-Champions. The crown marked the second in a row for the Nittany Lions and seventh overall. The Big Ten Championship was the sixth for the Wildcats and first since 1994. For the complete releases, click HERE and HERE.

Tournament Titans: Third-seeded Michigan State claimed the Big Ten Tournament Championship on Sunday, Nov. 10th. The Spartans defeated fifth-seeded Iowa, 3-2, in the title match. The crown marked Michigan State's fourth Big Ten Tournament title and first since 2009. Spartan Abby Barker was tabbed Tournament MVP. For more on the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament, click HERE.

Where We Rank: Four Big Ten field hockey teams appeared in the final Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches Poll. Penn State came in at No. 9, followed by No. 17 Northwestern, No. 19 Iowa and No. 20 Michigan State. For the complete poll, click HERE.

And The Awards Go To: The Big Ten Conference announced its 2013 field hockey All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners on Nov. 7, with Iowa, Michigan Northwestern and Penn State collecting individual honors. Wolverine Rachael Mack was tabbed Player of the Year, and was a unanimous selection for Offensive Player of the Year. Nittany Lion Brittany Grzywacz was a unanimous pick for Defensive Player of the Year. Hawkeye Stephanie Norlander picked up Freshman of the Year accolades and Wildcat head coach Tracey Fuchs earned Coach of the Year recognition. For the complete release, click HERE.

All-America Honors: Nine Big Ten field hockey players were tabbed 2013 Longstreth/NFHCA All-Americans. Big Ten Player of the Year Rachael Mack of Michigan was tabbed a first-team selection, while Iowa's Natalie Cafone, Northwestern's Nikki Parsley, and Penn State's Laura Gebhart and Brittany Grzywacz were second-team picks. Indiana's Audra Heilman, Iowa's Dani Hemeon, Michigan State's Abby Barker and Northwestern's Tara Puffenberger claimed third-team honors. For more on the Longstreth/NFHCA All-Americans, click HERE.

Regional Recognition: Twenty-one Big Ten field hockey players were named to the 2013 Longstreth/NFHCA All-Region Teams. Thirteen student-athletes were tabbed first-team selections, led by Big Ten co-champions Northwestern and Penn State with three honorees each. The full list of conference players named to the All-Region Teams can be found HERE.

Best in the West: Michigan's Rachael Mack was named the 2013 Longstreth/NFHCA West Region Player of the Year. The Wolverine captain posted a career-high 21 goals, six assists and 48 points to lead the Big Ten and rank third nationally with a 1.05 goal-per-game average. She posted two hat tricks and netted seven game-winning goals this season. For the full release, click HERE.

Final National Stats: Numerous Big Ten standouts appeared among the top 25 of the final NCAA statistical leaders of 2013, including eight in the top 10. Iowa's Natalie Cafone led the nation in points per game, while Michigan's Rachael Mack was third. Penn State's Laura Gebhart finished third in assists per game.  Below is a complete list of Big Ten student-athletes in the top 25, which includes eight in the top 10. For the complete lists, click HERE.

Head of the Class: Following the conclusion of the fall season, the Big Ten recognized a total of 869 fall sports student-athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team, which included 74 field hockey players. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. At least 20 student-athletes maintained unblemished cumulative GPAs, including field hockey players Hannah Boyer of Indiana and Haley Kerstetter of Penn State. For the complete Academic All-Big Ten release, click here.

The 2013 NSCAA/NCAA Division I Women's All-America Teams were announced, with four Big Ten women's soccer players earning accolades. Michigan's Nkem Ezurike received a first-team nod, while Nebraska's Ari Romero, Michigan's Meghan Toohey and Penn State's Maya Hayes were second-team All-Americans.

Romero started all 23 games and helped the Cornhuskers claim the Big Ten Championship and the Big Ten Tournament title. She was named the Defensive Player of the Tournament and was selected to the All-Tournament Team. The Big Ten Defender of the Year helped Nebraska finish its season with a 19-4-1 record.

Ezurike ranked third in the Big Ten with 38 points, including a team-high 14 goals and 10 assists, and was a first-team All-Big Ten choice. Toohey scored six goals and added four assists, earning All-Big Ten first team plaudits. The Wolverines reached the "Elite Eight" of the NCAA Tournament and finished with an 18-4-1 mark.

Hayes, a first-team All-Big Ten selection, earned All-America honors for the third time in her career. She ranked second in the Big Ten after concluding the season with 19 goals and six assists. She helped the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in goals (60), assists (55), shots (419) and points (175). Penn State advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished its season with a 15-7-1 mark.


Sunday's Result

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NCAA Championship Second Round
MICHIGAN STATE def. #15 Kentucky, 3-1

Sunday's Schedule

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NCAA Championship Second Round
MICHIGAN STATE vs. #15 Kentucky - 4 p.m. ET (Lexington, Ky.)

Saturday's Results

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NCAA Championship First Round
MICHIGAN STATE def. Ohio, 3-0

NCAA Championship Second Round
#13 ILLINOIS def. Marquette, 3-1
#10 MINNESOTA def. Colorado, 3-2
#8 NEBRASKA def. Oregon, 3-0
#2 PENN STATE def. Utah, 3-0
PURDUE def. #4 Missouri, 3-1
#12 WISCONSIN def. California, 3-0

Saturday's Schedule

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NCAA Championship First Round
MICHIGAN STATE vs. Ohio - 2:30 p.m. (Lexington, Ky.)

NCAA Championship Second Round
#13 ILLINOIS vs. Marquette - 8 p.m. (Champaign, Ill.)
#10 MINNESOTA vs. Colorado - 8 p.m. (Minneapolis, Minn.)
#8 NEBRASKA vs. Oregon - 8 p.m. (Lincoln, Neb.)
#2 PENN STATE vs. Utah - 7:30 p.m.
PURDUE vs. #4 Missouri - 8:30 p.m. (Columbia, Mo.)
#12 WISCONSIN vs. California - 7 p.m. (Madison, Wis.)

All times are ET

Friday's Results

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NCAA Championship First Round
PURDUE def. Central Arkansas, 3-0
#2 PENN STATE def. LIU Brooklyn, 3-0
#13 ILLINOIS def. Morehead State, 3-0
LSU def. MICHIGAN, 3-2
#10 MINNESOTA def. Radford, 3-0
#8 NEBRASKA def. Fairfield, 3-0
#12 WISCONSIN def. Milwaukee, 3-0

Friday's Schedule

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NCAA Championship First Round
Ohio vs. MICHIGAN STATE - 5 p.m. (Lexington, Ky.)
Central Arkansas vs. PURDUE - 5:30 p.m. (Columbia, Mo.)
LIU Brooklyn vs. #2 PENN STATE - 7:30 p.m. (University Park, Pa.)
Morehead State at #13 ILLINOIS - 8 p.m. (Champaign, Ill.)
LSU vs. MICHIGAN - 8 p.m. (Seattle, Wash.)
Radford vs. #10 MINNESOTA - 8 p.m. (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Fairfield vs. #8 NEBRASKA - 8 p.m. (Lincoln, Neb.)
Milwaukee vs. #12 WISCONSIN - 8:30 p.m. (Madison, Wis,)

All times are ET

Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun was named a finalist for the 2013 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award, which honors the nation's top defensive end. Calhoun, the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, registered a team-high seven sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hurries through the end of the regular season. He has forced two fumbles, recovered four and returned two of those for touchdowns. Calhoun also added a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown, giving him three scores this season.

This year's winner will be announced Wednesday, Dec. 11. Two Big Ten standouts have won the Hendricks Award - Michigan's LaMarr Woodley in 2006 and Illinois' Whitney Mercilus in 2011.

Weekly Award Wrap-Up

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Seventeen Big Ten student-athletes in six different sports collected awards from the conference office during the week of Dec. 2nd. Below is the complete list of honorees.

Men's Basketball
Player of the Week -Rayvonte Rice, ILL
Freshman of the Week - Zak Irvin, MICH

Women's Basketball
Player & Freshman of the Week - Nia Coffey, NU
Player of the Week Honor Roll - Melissa Dixon, IOWA; Rachel Banham, MINN; Taylor Wurtz, WIS

Offensive Player of the Week - Tre Roberson, IND
Defensive Player of the Week - Christian Kirksey, IOWA
Special Teams Player of the Week - Jeff Budzien, NU
Freshman of the Week - Christian Hackenberg, PSU

First Star - Seth Ambroz, MINN
Second Star - JT Compher, MICH
Third Star - Mac Bennett, MICH

Player of the Week - Lauren Wicinski, MSU
Defensive Player & Freshman of the Week - Hannah Tapp, MINN
Setter of the Week - Micha Hancock, PSU

Wrestler of the Week - Scott Schiller, MINN