Nov. 8, 2009
[ONE // an interesting weekend on the gridiron]
In a week where Ohio State and Penn State were to take center stage, it was Northwestern that stole the headlines with a 17-10 upset win over previously undefeated Iowa. The victory was the first over a top-10 opponent for the Wildcats since knocking off then-No. 6 Ohio State 33-27 in overtime in 2004. The Buckeyes were dominant Saturday over host Penn State, capturing a 24-7 victory in State College. In other Big Ten action, Purdue slipped past Michigan 38-36 in Ann Arbor, Wisconsin held off Indiana 31-28 and Illinois scored a 35-32 win over Minnesota. In non-conference play, Michigan State topped Western Michigan 49-14.
[TWO // spartans capture big ten field hockey tournament title]
After falling behind early to start Sunday’s championship game of the 2009 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament, the No. 1 seed Michigan State Spartans scored three times before halftime to win its third Big Ten Tournament Championship with a 3-2 victory over third-seeded Indiana. The win gives Michigan State the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship, which opens Nov. 14. Michigan State earned a first-round bye after winning the Big Ten regular-season title and opened play in the Big Ten Tournament with a 5-1 win over No. 4 Iowa in the semifinals. Indiana won twice to get to the tournament final, winning in the quarterfinals with a 4-2 win over No. 6 Northwestern. In the semifinals, the Hoosiers defeated No. 7 Penn State 3-1. Michigan State goalkeeper Elissa Unger claimed Big Ten Tournament MVP honors, finishing the tournament with 14 saves and just three goals against. For a complete look at game results and the All-Tournament team honorees, click here.
[THREE // postseason honors announced in field hockey]
The Big Ten office announced the 2009 All-Big Ten field hockey teams and individual awards Thursday, with 2009 conference champion Michigan State winning two individual honors. Spartan senior Floor Rijpma was a unanimous choice for Offensive Player of the Year while her coach, Rolf van de Kerkhof, was honored as Coach of the Year. Additionally, Ohio State's Berta Queralt was named the conference's Freshman of the Year, and Iowa senior Meghan Beamesderfer was crowned the Defensive Player of the Year. The complete release and a list of first- and second-team members and Sportsmanship Award honorees can be found here.
[FOUR // mead and franek capture league’s top cross country honors]
Minnesota junior Hassan Mead and Penn State senior Bridget Franek have been named men's and women's Big Ten Cross Country Athletes of the Year, conference officials announced Wednesday. Wisconsin's Maverick Darling and Penn State's Nicole Lord earned the nod as Freshmen of the Year; while Badger coach Mick Byrne and Beth Alford-Sullivan of Penn State take home Coach of the Year honors. The conference office also announced today honorees from each of the 21 cross country squads for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. For a complete look at the postseason honors, click here.
[FIVE // nittany lions net another big ten soccer title]
The Penn State women’s soccer team clinched the outright Big Ten title this past weekend, securing a share of their 12-straight championship on Friday and winning the entire thing on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Michigan. With the win, Penn State also earned the conference’s NCAA bid. In its first year without a league tournament, the Big Ten regular-season champion garnered the coveted automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
[SIX // buckeyes win; men’s soccer bracket released]
Ohio State captured its first outright Big Ten regular-season title after defeating Michigan, 1-0, in front of a season-high home crowd at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening. With the win, the Buckeyes earned their first-ever No. 1 seed and an automatic spot in the semifinals in the 2009 Big Ten Men’s Soccer Tournament. The postseason event will be held on the Indiana campus in Bloomington, with opening round matchups slated for Thursday, Nov. 12, semifinals contested on Friday, Nov. 13, and the championship game played on Sunday, Nov. 15. The tournament champion will earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
[SEVEN // now entering the ring…]
The start of the 2009-10 wrestling season began this weekend with four conference schools taking part in the Eastern Michigan Open. Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Purdue all traveled to Ypsilanti, Mich., for the day-long event with several conference grapplers earning weight-class titles. Northwestern’s Brandon Precin earned the win at 125 pounds, while Purdue’s Akif Eren (133), Juan Archuleta (141), Colton Salazar (157), Luke Manuel (174) and Logan Brown (197) all captured gold in their respective classes. Michigan’s Ed Phillips was the winner in the heavyweight division. The first Big Ten duals of the 2009-10 season are set for Jan. 22, with the Big Ten Championships scheduled for March 6-7, in Ann Arbor.
[EIGHT // classic football challenges set in dallas]
The Big Ten is officially heading to Cotton Bowl Stadium. The nation’s newest bowl, the Dallas Football Classic will utilize a unique rotation system involving three major conferences, pitting the Big Ten against the Big 12 and Conference USA through the 2013 regular season. The Big Ten will battle the Big 12 on New Year’s Day 2011 and 2013, while Conference USA will square off against the Big Ten in the 2012 and 2014 editions.
[NINE // hoosier nets big ten tennis championship]
Indiana freshman Josh MacTaggart capped the Big Ten Singles Championship this past Monday, winning the individual title of the 64-man field by defeating Michigan's Chris Madden in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1. MacTaggart lost just two sets in his six matches over the weekend and had just one loss during the fall season. Madden advanced to the final with four wins in straight sets, while his semifinal matchup against Indiana's Santiago Gruter went three sets.
[TEN // lavender gets love from associated press]
Ohio State junior center Jantel Lavender was named to the Associated Press' 2009-10 Preseason Women's All-America basketball team on Tuesday. She is only the second women's player at Ohio State to be named to the five-member preseason squad as Jessica Davenport was the first. Lavender, who finished last season with 20.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, recently was selected as the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year after being selected as the regular-season Player of the Year the past two seasons.
[ELEVEN // excelling in the classroom]
Big Ten student-athletes continue to excel both on the field and in the classroom as 26 conference football players were named to the Academic All-District Teams presented by ESPN The Magazine, including 18 first-team selections. The conference's list of first-team honorees included Illinois' Jon Asamoah, Indiana's Brandon Bugg, Trea Burgess and Ben Chappell, Michigan's Zoltan Mesko, Michigan State's Blair White, Minnesota's Eric Decker and Jeff Tow-Arnett, Northwestern's Doug Bartels, Stefan Demos and Zeke Markshausen, Penn State's Jeremy Boone, Josh Hull, Andrew Pitz and Stefen Wisniewski, Purdue's Joe Holland and Ryan Kerrigan and Wisconsin's Brad Nortman. The Nittany Lions led all Big Ten schools with four first-team Academic All-District honorees, making them one of only six schools nationwide with four or more first-team selections. In addition, seven Big Ten volleyball players were named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Teams, CoSIDA announced Thursday. Illinois led the conference with three selections as Johannah Bangert and Laura DeBruler were both on the District V first team and Hillary Haen was on the second team. Michigan had two selections with Lexi Zimmerman on the District IV first team and Juliana Paz on the second team. Penn State and Purdue each had one selection with the Nittany Lions' Megan Hodge on the District II first team and the Boilermakers' Kristen Arthurs on the District V first team.