The Big Ten enjoyed a successful 2013 women's soccer season that concluded with a conference record eight Big Ten teams earning bids to the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska earned both the regular season crown and the Big Ten Tournament title.
NCAA Tournament: A conference record eight Big Ten women's soccer teams competed in the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State all earned berths to the national tournament, breaking the previous record of six Big Ten teams. Five teams played in second round games, while the Wolverines and Illini advanced to the third round. Illinois fell to Boston College, 4-1, in the third round, while third-seeded Michigan advanced to the "Elite Eight" after defeating Notre Dame. In the quarterfinal round, top-seeded Virginia defeated Michigan, 2-1. For more details on the Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament, click here.
Regular-Season Crown: Nebraska clinched the outright Big Ten Championship with a 3-1 victory over Indiana on Nov. 1, marking the first Big Ten title in Cornhusker history. Nebraska earned the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Women's Soccer Tournament. For the full release, click here.
Big Ten Tournament Title: The top-seeded Nebraska women's soccer team won its first Big Ten Tournament Championship in school history after defeating No. 7 Iowa in the championship match. With the victory, the Cornhuskers earned the Big Ten's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska also captured the Big Ten Championship, becoming the first No. 1 seed to win both the conference championship and tournament title since Penn State in 2008. For more coverage of the Big Ten Tournament, click here.
Where We Rank: Three Big Ten women's soccer teams appeared in the final NSCAA/NCAA Coaches' Poll: No. 6 Michigan, No. 13 Nebraska and No. 25 Illinois. Indiana and Penn State also received votes in the final top 25 poll.
End-of-Year Awards: The Big Ten Conference announced the 2013 women's soccer All-Big Ten teams and individual honors on Nov. 5, with Big Ten Champion Nebraska earning three accolades. The Cornhuskers' Jordan Jackson was named Midfielder of the Year, Ari Romero was selected as Defender of the Year and John Walker claimed Coach of the Year honors. Illinois' Jannelle Flaws was named Forward of the Year, while Minnesota's Tarah Hobbs was tabbed Goalkeeper of the Year. Wisconsin's Rose Lavelle was named Freshman of the Year. For a complete listing of postseason honors and the All-Big Ten teams, click here.
All-America Accolades: Four Big Ten women's soccer players earned NSCAA/NCAA All-America Team accolades. Michigan's Nkem Ezurike received a first-team nod, while Nebraska's Big Ten Defender of the Year Ari Romero, Michigan's Meghan Toohey and Penn State's Maya Hayes were second-team All-Americans. For more information on the Big Ten's representation on the All-America teams, click here.
Regional Recognition: Twenty-four Big Ten women's soccer players were named to the NCAA Division I Women's All-Great Lakes Region team, including 10 on the first team, nine on the second team and five on the third team. Penn State had five players named to the All-Great Lakes Region team, Michigan and Nebraska had four student-athletes earn recognition and three Iowa student-athletes earned spots on the teams. For more information on the All-Region teams, click here.
Final National Stats: Numerous Big Ten players appeared among the leaders in the final statistics during the 2013 season. Illinois' Jannelle Flaws scored 23 goals in the season, tying for first in the nation. Wisconsin's Kinley McNicoll's 13 assists and Michigan's Taylor Bucklin's goals-against average of .476 both rank eighth in the country. For complete national rankings, 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 153 women's soccer 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 women's soccer players Sarah Mazur of Iowa, Katie Kraeutner from Nebraska and Nandi Mehta of Northwestern. For the complete Academic All-Big Ten release, click here.