This Week in the Big Ten

Penn State volleyball extended its lead to two games in the Big Ten standings, knocking off Minnesota this past week while Nebraska dropped two games to Michigan and Michigan State.

Nov. 4, 2012

[ONE // penn state earns big ten field hockey title]
Congratulations to the No. 1 seeded Penn State field hockey team, which claimed its second consecutive Big Ten Tournament Championship Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 defeat of No. 3 seed Michigan. It is the sixth championship crown for the Nittany Lions (17-3, 5-1 Big Ten), more than any other school in the history of the Big Ten. With the win, the Lions earned the Big Ten's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament.  In addition, 12 individuals were named to the All-Tournament Team, including Indiana's Viki Green and Mariella Grote, Iowa's Jessica Barnett and Karli Johansen, Michigan's Haley Jones and Rachael Mack, Michigan State's Abby Barker, Northwestern's Charlotte Martin, Ohio State's Arielle Cowie, and Penn State's Kelsey Amy, Laura Gebhart, and Ayla Halus.  Amy was also tabbed as the Tournament MVP.  For a complete recap of this past weekend's Big Ten Tournament, click here.

[TWO // northwestern, penn state collect field hockey postseason honors]
The Big Ten announced its 2012 field hockey All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners on Thursday, with Northwestern and Penn State collecting individual honors. The Nittany Lions' took home three individual awards, as Kelsey Amy was named Offensive Player of the Year, Brittany Grzywacz took home Defensive Player of the Year honors and Charlene Morett was named Coach of the Year. The Wildcats' Lisa McCarthy was tabbed Freshman of the Year.  Amy and Grzywacz earned spots on the All-Big Ten first team and were joined by Indiana's Morgan Fleetwood, Iowa's Jessica Barnett and Kathleen McGraw, Michigan's Rachael Mack, Michigan State's Abby Barker, Northwestern's Chelsea Armstrong, Nikki Parsley and Tara Puffenberger, Ohio State's Paula Pastor-Pitarque and Penn State's Laura Gebhart.  The Big Ten also recognized seven Sportsmanship Award honorees.  For a complete look at the postseason honorees, click here.

[THREE // buckeyes crowned soccer champs in bloomington]
Second-seeded Ohio State narrowly defeated fifth-seeded and reigning Big Ten Tournament Champion Illinois, 2-1, on Sunday to claim the Big Ten Tournament title. The crown marks the third in Buckeye history and first since 2004. Ohio State's Tiffany Cameron, the Offensive Player of the Tournament, netted both of the goals for the Buckeyes. The first score came in the 65th minute off of a Megan Scoliere corner kick and Lauren Granberg header, while the second tally came four minutes later off of a through ball from Michela Paradiso.  In addition to Cameron's honor, teammate Jillian McVicker was named the Defensive Player of the Tournament and both Buckeyes joined teammate Lauren Granberg and Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo and Shayla Mutz, Iowa's Jade Grimm, Michigan's Nkem Ezurike, Minnesota's Taylor Uhl, Nebraska's Martiza Hayes, Penn State's Emily Hurd, and Wisconsin's Brianna Stelzer on the All-Tournament Team.  For a complete recap of this past weekend's Big Ten Tournament, click here.

[FOUR // penn state nearly sweeps postseason honors]
The Big Ten announced its 2012 women's soccer All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners on Wednesday, with conference champion Penn State collecting five of the six individual honors. The Nittany Lions' Maya Hayes was named Forward of the Year, Christine Nairn took home Midfielder of the Year honors, Whitney Church claimed Defender of the Year laurels, Raquel Rodriguez garnered the Freshman of the Year award and Erica Walsh earned Coach of the Year accolades. Michigan's Haley Kopmeyer was named Goalkeeper of the Year.  Hayes, Nairn, Church and Kopmeyer earned spots on the All-Big Ten first team and were joined by Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo, Michigan's Nkem Ezurike, Holly Hein, and Shelina Zadorski, Michigan State's Annie Steinlage, Minnesota's Taylor Uhl, and Ohio State's Tiffany Cameron and Danica Wu. The complete All-Big Ten teams, including the All-Freshman Team and the conference's 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees, can be found here.

[FIVE // wildcats, nittany lions share men's soccer title]
Northwestern and Penn State each won shares of the 2012 Big Ten Championship this past weekend after earning 3-1-2 conference records this season. The Wildcats won the crown for the second consecutive season and third time in program history, while the Nittany Lions earn their first title since 2005 and third overall.  Northwestern ended its season on Thursday with a 1-1 draw against No. 22 Indiana, while Penn State wrapped up play on Oct. 28 with a 4-4 tie versus Ohio State. The Nittany Lions will be the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament due to their 1-0 double overtime victory in Evanston on Oct. 21. The Wildcats host this year's tournament and will be the No. 2 seed when the tournament kicks off on Nov. 7.

[SIX // men's soccer tournament bracket announced]
After winning a share of the Big Ten Championship on Saturday, Penn State and Northwestern earned the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, in the 2012 Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament.  Michigan earned the No. 3 seed, followed by No. 4 Indiana, No. 5 Michigan State, No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 7 Ohio State. The tournament will be held on the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Ill., with opening-round matchups on Wednesday, semifinal games on Friday and the championship match on Sunday. The tournament winner will earn the Big Ten's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.  For the first time, BTN will provide full coverage of the tournament, as the quarterfinals will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network, while the semifinals and finals will be available on both BTN and BTN2Go.

[SEVEN // seven soccer standouts named academic all-district]
Seven Big Ten soccer standouts were named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America and announced on Thursday.  Five women, Iowa's Jade Grimm, Michigan's Haley Kopmeyer, Minnesota's Katie Thyken and Allie Phillips and Ohio State's Lauren Granberg were honored regionally, while Indiana's A.J. Corrado and Penn State's Julian Cardona were also recognized on the men's side.  The teams aim to recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. First-team honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.

[EIGHT // the week that was in big ten football]
The sixth-ranked Ohio State football team remained undefeated on the season with a 52-22 outcome over Illinois on Saturday to move to 10-0 overall and 6-0 in conference play.  Penn State stayed one game behind the Buckeyes with a 34-9 victory at Purdue.  In the Legends Division, Nebraska scored a 28-24 thriller against Michigan State to stay atop the division at 4-1 and tied with Michigan, which won 35-13 against Minnesota.  Elsewhere in the conference, Indiana captured its second straight Big Ten win with a 24-21 result over Iowa.

[NINE // half of conference recognized in preseason women's basketball polls]
Six Big Ten squads are ranked or receiving votes in the debut poll of the 2012-13 women's basketball coaches rankings, released on Tuesday, including four teams in the top 25, which is tied for the second-most among all conferences. Penn State appears at No. 8, the same ranking it garnered in the preseason Associated Press over the weekend. Purdue and Nebraska check in it Nos. 18 and 19, with Ohio State appearing at No. 21, while Michigan and Iowa were among other squads also receiving votes. Ohio State and Nebraska were ranked Nos. 18 and 19 in the AP rankings, Purdue was voted No. 21 by the media, and Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa were receiving votes by the AP.

[TEN // big ten trio among the best]
Three Big Ten men's basketball players accounted for half of the Associated Press' 2012-13 Preseason All-America team, which was announced this past week.  Indiana's Cody Zeller was the team's top vote-getter, falling just one vote shy of being a unanimous selection to the All-America team.  Michigan's Trey Burke and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas also joined Zeller on the six-person squad.

[ELEVEN // nine hoops stars with class]
This past week, nine Big Ten basketball players were named candidates for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award, including a nation's best five on the men's side.  Congratulations to Illinois' Brandon Paul, Indiana's Jordan Hulls, Northwestern's Drew Crawford, Penn State's Tim Frazier, and Wisconsin's Jared Berggren.  On the women's side, Iowa's Jaime Printy, Ohio State's Tayler Hill, Penn State's Alex Bentley and Purdue's Drey Mingo were chosen as candidates for the award.  To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

[TWELVE // penn state volleyball lengthens lead in big ten standings]
Penn State volleyball concluded the week by earning a two-game lead in the conference standings at 13-1.  The No. 3 Nittany Lions defeated 10th-ranked Minnesota 3-1 on Friday, dropping the Golden Gophers to second in league play at 11-3.  No. 4 Nebraska was upset 3-2 against Michigan on Friday and was then surprised by the same count against Michigan State on Saturday.  The Huskers, now 10-4 in Big Ten play, sit one game ahead of a two-way tie for fourth between Ohio State and Purdue at 9-5.