Aug. 26, 2012
[ONE // two at the top]
The Big Ten announced its 2012 men’s soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Players to Watch List on Tuesday, with defending Big Ten Champion Northwestern and 2010 Big Ten Champion Indiana sharing top honors among the seven conference teams. The Wildcats entered the season tied as the conference favorites after winning their first Big Ten title in 2011. The Hoosiers are coming off their 25th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. Northwestern compiled a 4-0-2 record in Big Ten play last season en route to the conference crown, while Indiana finished at 3-1-2. Michigan State checked in at No. 3 in the poll, jumping up two spots from last year’s fifth-place campaign. Ohio State followed at No. 4 after earning a 4-2-0 record in Big Ten action last year. Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan rounded out the poll. In addition, the coaches each selected three players from their own teams to a Players to Watch list. The complete Preseason Coaches’ Poll and 21-player Big Ten Players to Watch List can be found by clicking here.
[TWO // let the men’s soccer season begin]
The Big Ten men’s soccer season got underway this past week with co-Big Ten preseason favorite Indiana capturing wins over St. Louis (2-1) and Cincinnati (3-0). Penn State topped Stetson 3-0, while Wisconsin outlasted Memphis, 4-3. Co-conference favorite Northwestern opened the season with a 1-1 tie against Xavier on Saturday. Elsewhere in the conference, Michigan State tied Valparaiso 0-0 on Friday and dropped a 1-0 double-overtime result to New Hampshire on Sunday. Michigan fell 2-1 to No. 5 South Florida on Saturday, while Ohio State lost 3-2 to Dayton and 2-0 to Illinois-Chicago.
[THREE // women’s soccer season enters week two]
Big Ten women’s soccer completed week two of its respective season with four conference teams posting undefeated marks on the week. Iowa blanked both Loyola Chicago (4-0) and Northern Iowa (3-0), Michigan topped Cal State Fullerton in overtime (2-1) and shut out Detroit (1-0), Ohio State held Northeastern (3-0) and No. 17 Maryland (1-0) scoreless, while No. 20 Wisconsin defeated Loyola Chicago 4-0 in its lone game of the week. Seven Big Ten squads – No. 22 Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and No. 6 Penn State – split their two games, while Purdue dropped a double-overtime heartbreaker to Louisville, 4-3.
[FOUR // thirteen named to top drawer list]
Thirteen Big Ten women's soccer players were recently named to Top Drawer Soccer's Top 100 Upperclassmen list. Nine of the 12 conference schools were represented on the list, including Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The list of Big Ten standouts include Illinois’ Vanessa DiBernardo (No. 10), Iowa’s Cloe Lacasse (22), Michigan’s Nkem Ezurike (95), Michigan State’s Olivia Stander (31) and Annie Steinlage (68), Minnesota’s Taylor Uhl (55) and Cat Parkhill (83), Nebraska’s Jordan Jackson (47), Ohio State’s Danica Wu (63), Penn State’s Christine Nairn (2), Maya Hayes (13) and Taylor Schram (33), and Wisconsin’s Cara Walls (76). The complete list can be found by clicking here.
[FIVE // the ones to watch for in field hockey]
The Big Ten announced its 2012 field hockey Players to Watch List on Wednesday, highlighted by two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Chelsea Armstrong of Northwestern. Each coach selected three players from their own team to the Players to Watch List. Thirteen All-Big Ten selections from last season are on the watch list, including seven first-team honorees—Iowa’s Jessica Barnett, Michigan’s Rachel Mack, Northwestern’s Armstrong and Nikki Parsley and Penn State’s Kelsey Amy, Laura Gebhart and Ayla Halus. The complete list of field hockey players to watch for the 2012 season can be found clicking here.
[SIX // field hockey season begins]
The 2012 Big Ten field hockey season also got underway this past week with the conference posting an 8-6 mark overall. Indiana led the league with two wins, topping Kent State 5-3 on Friday and Vermont 3-0 on Sunday. No. 9 Penn State also notched two victories on the week with a 5-2 rout of No. 3 Old Dominion on Friday, followed by a 3-2 victory over No. 8 Virginia on Sunday. Also earning wins this past week were No. 12 Iowa (No. 13 Wake Forest, 3-2 OT), Michigan State (No. 22 Maine, 3-1), No. 20 Northwestern (Miami-Ohio, 3-0), and No. 15 Ohio State (No. 18 New Hampshire, 1-0). For a complete look at the weekend results, follow this link.
[SEVEN // big ten volleyball opens 2012 campaign]
The opening week of Big Ten volleyball is in the books and the conference is off to an impressive 31-5 record overall. Eight league squads posted unblemished marks, led by Michigan at 4-0, while Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State and Purdue are 3-0. Minnesota and Northwestern are each 2-0. Among the top wins this past week were No. 4 Nebraska’s 3-2 thriller over top-ranked UCLA and No. 9 Purdue’s defeat over No. 21 Northern Iowa, 3-0.
[EIGHT // watch these seniors]
Forty-six Big Ten players were named to the Senior Bowl watch list, it was announced this past week. The Big Ten has the second highest amount of players on the watch list. Nebraska is tied for the lead among all schools with nine players on the list, while Ohio State is one of six schools with eight or more players. The list of Big Ten players named to the Senior Bowl watch list can be found by clicking here.
[NINE // that’s a wrap…and a preview]
The BTN’s Big Ten Football Tour bus has officially been parked for the summer, as 3,035 miles were logged across Big Ten Country over 17 days to get you ready for the 2012 football season. Click here to get a recap of each campus visit the BTN Football crew made, or set your DVRs this Tuesday and Wednesday as the BTN airs its Legends Division (Tuesday) and Leaders Division (Wednesday) Preview Shows at 8 p.m. ET each night. Both are one-hour shows and each one features a deep look at the six teams in each division.
[TEN // six-in-fifty-in-fifty]
ESPN.com is at it again with another popular breakdown for its fans to talk about. As part of the website’s 50 in 50 series, this past week’s feature highlights the nation’s 50 most successful men’s basketball programs over the last 50 years. Six Big Ten teams landed on the list, led by No. 7 Indiana. No. 11 Michigan State followed, along with No. 13 Michigan, No. 15 Ohio State, No. 20 Purdue and No. 33 Illinois.
[ELEVEN // all hail cael]
Penn State wrestling is keeping head coach Cael Sanderson right there in State College, providing him with five more years to continue building the Nittany Lions into a national powerhouse. Sanderson signed a contract extension through the 2017 season this past week. Sanderson now sports an 86-18-2 dual meet mark in his sixth year as a collegiate head coach. He is 43-8-2 after three years at Penn State. In three years as Penn State's mentor, Sanderson has led the Nittany Lions to two-straight conference titles, two straight national titles, collected 14 All-Americans, three national champions, two Gorriaran winners, one NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Wrestler and one Hodge Trophy winner.
[TWELVE // boilermaker remembered for his one small step]
Finally this week, we bid farewell to an American icon and former Purdue Boilermaker, Neil Armstrong. The first person to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969, as commander of Apollo 11, died Saturday at the age of 82. Armstrong earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue in 1955 and was then awarded an honorary doctorate in 1970. Nearly 30 years later, Armstrong donated his papers to Purdue and then lent his name to Purdue’s Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering. The flags on Purdue’s campus will be flown at half-staff this week in honor of the fallen Boilermaker hero.