Nov. 14, 2010
[ONE // three-way tie in football race]
The seventh weekend of Big Ten play saw Ohio State and Wisconsin improve to 5-1 in conference play to move into a first-place tie with Michigan State with just two weekends left in the regular season. While the Spartans had a bye on Saturday, the Badgers exploded for 83 points in a victory over Indiana, the third-most points by a team in a Big Ten game and the most points scored by a conference team in a Big Ten contest since 1950. Later in the day, the Buckeyes rallied from a 14-3 halftime deficit for a 38-14 victory over Penn State. In other conference action, Northwestern knocked off Iowa, 21-17, Michigan earned a 27-16 triumph at Purdue and Minnesota picked up its first conference win with a 38-34 victory at Illinois. For full recaps on each Big Ten contest on Nov. 13, click on this link.
[TWO // an indiana icon]
Indiana's Mark Spitz was named Tuesday as Big Ten Icon No. 11. The countdown of Big Ten Icons, presented by Discover, continues at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 16, with a profile on the Hoosier. The California native won nine Olympic gold medals, eight individual NCAA championships and helped Indiana to four straight NCAA team titles. Spitz was honored World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1972.
[THREE // hail to the victors]
No. 3 Michigan earned a 4-1 win over No. 4 Penn State to claim its first Big Ten Men’s Soccer Tournament title on Sunday afternoon. The Wolverines jumped out to a 2-0 lead early on, with Offensive Player of the Tournament Soony Saad scoring in the fourth minute and Justin Meram adding another goal in the 13th. Meram scored his second of the afternoon in the 30th minute to push Michigan's lead to 3-0. Drew Cost tallied Penn State's lone goal of the contest in the 43rd minute to leave the score at 3-1 entering halftime. The Wolverines notched their fourth goal on a Hamoody Saad penalty kick in the 52nd minute. The win gives Michigan the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. U-M’s Chris Blais was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Tournament as well as an All-Tournament Team selection. Joining him and Saad were Indiana’s Rich Balchan and Will Bruin, Michigan’s Hamoody and Soony Saad, Michigan State’s Domenic Barone, Northwestern’s Matt Eliason, Ohio State’s Sam Scales, Penn State’s Corey Hertzog and Matheus Braga, and Wisconsin’s Chris Prince and Paul Yonga. Click here for a complete look at the 2010 Big Ten Tournament action.
[FOUR // handing out the hardware]
In addition to the All-Tournament honors, the postseason accolades in men’s soccer were handed out this week at the Big Ten Tournament banquet on Thursday evening. Indiana's Will Bruin took home Offensive Player of the Year accolades, while Ohio State's David Tiemstra earned the Defensive Player of the Year award and Michigan's Soony Saad received Freshman of the Year honors. Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley reeled in the Coach of the Year award. Bruin earned recognition as the conference's top offensive player after racking up 33 points on 15 goals and three assists in 17 matches this season. Tiemstra anchored an Ohio State defensive crew that allowed a conference-low 12 goals in 17 matches this season, including just five in the teams six Big Ten matches. Saad received recognition as the league’s top newcomer after leading the Big Ten in shots (112) and points (34) and finishing tied for first in the conference and second in the country in goals (15) in 17 matches. Yeagley earned the first Coach of the Year award of his career after guiding Indiana to the Big Ten title. The conference office also recognized seven Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. View all Sportsmanship Award honorees as well as the complete list of All-Big Ten and All-Freshman Team selections by clicking here.
[FIVE // women’s soccer awards also handed out]
The Big Ten also announced its 2010 women's soccer All-Conference teams and individual award winners on Wednesday, with conference co-champion Ohio State collecting three of the four individual honors. Buckeye junior Paige Maxwell was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, with teammate Cassie Dickerson earning Defensive Player of the Year honors. Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo took home Freshman of the Year accolades, while Ohio State head coach Lori Walker received the Coach of the Year award. Maxwell finished the regular season with 21 points on 10 goals and one assist in 18 matches. Dickerson helped lead a Buckeye defensive squad that allowed just 12 goals in 19 matches prior to NCAA play. DiBernardo earned top billing among newcomers after finishing in the conference's top 10 in every major category, leading the way in points (27) and goals (11). Walker led Ohio State to a share of its first Big Ten title, compiling a 14-4-1 overall record and an 8-2-0 mark in conference play en route to her second Big Ten Coach of the Year honor. The conference office also recognized 11 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. View all Sportsmanship Award honorees as well as the complete list of All-Big Ten and All-Freshman Team selections by clicking here.
[SIX // women’s soccer staying busy in ncaa action]
After six Big Ten women’s soccer teams – Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin – earned bids to the NCAA Tournament, two squads remain after advancing past both the first and second round this past week. Following a 4-2 victory over Creighton, Minnesota surprised No. 4 Texas A&M, 2-0, to earn a spot in the round of 16. No. 3 Ohio State has not had an easy task in its first two contests. The Buckeyes got by Saint Francis in the first round with a 1-0 overtime win and then out-shot Dayton 4-2 in penalty kicks on Sunday. Penn State defeated in-state foe Pennsylvania 1-0 in the first round, but fell 2-1 to No. 3 West Virginia on Sunday. Speaking of in-state battles, Wisconsin moved past UW-Milwaukee 2-1 to open NCAA play, but lost to No. 3 Marquette in penalty kicks (5-4) following a 2-2 tie. In other tournament openers, Michigan fell to No. 3 Oklahoma State, 2-1, and Illinois dropped a 3-1 decision to Southern California. Click here to see complete results of Big Ten teams in NCAA women’s soccer action.
[SEVEN // ohio state field hockey advances to ncaa semifinal]
Four Big Ten teams – Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State – were selected this past week to the NCAA Field Hockey Championship, and after a week of opening rounds, the Buckeyes are the lone conference team remaining. OSU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship with a 2-1 thrilling OT victory over Albany and then earned a spot in the semifinal of the NCAA Tournament after defeating Syracuse 3-2 in overtime. The victory marked Ohio State's first trip to the NCAA semifinals in program history. In other tournament action, the Wolverines saw their season come to an end on Saturday following a competitive 1-0 loss to Old Dominion, Michigan State dropped a 3-2 OT contest to third-seeded Virginia, and Penn State fell 2-1 in overtime to fourth-seeded Syracuse.
[EIGHT // eight teams, nine individuals advance to ncaa cross country championships]
The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee announced Sunday the team and individual qualifiers for the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships. On the men’s side, four teams and three individuals advanced out of regional competition, while four women’s squads and six female runners earned trips to the Championships, which take place Nov. 22 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located in Terre Haute, Ind. Congratulations to automatic qualifiers Indiana and Wisconsin, as well as at-large selections Minnesota and Penn State on the men’s side. Earning trips based on individual performance are Michigan’s Craig Foryes and Michigan State’s Patriuck Grosskopf out of the Great Lakes Region, as well as Iowa’s Jeff Thode from the Midwest Region. On the women’s side, Michigan and Michigan State were automatic qualifiers from the Great Lakes Region, while Minnesota and Penn State were picked as at-large teams. Earning individual bids were Ohio State’s Meredith Wagner and Ellen Birmingham and Wisconsin’s Emily Sisson and Caitlin Comfort in the Great Lakes Region, as well as Iowa’s Betsy Floor and Northwestern’s Audrey Huth from the Midwest.
[NINE // basketball seasons begin, recruits sign on dotted line]
Both the Big Ten men’s and women’s basketball seasons began this past week with Illinois leading the way on the men’s side, while five women’s squads captured wins in their first two games. The Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin women’s teams are 2-0 to start the year, followed by Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue at 1-0. Minnesota is 1-1 on the young campaign and Illinois is 0-1. On the men’s side, the Fighting Illini are 3-0, followed by Indiana at 2-0, and Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin at 1-0. Iowa dropped its opener on Sunday. Also this week, several nationally-recruited standouts signed their national letters of intent to Big Ten schools. To see a recap of signing day, click here.
[TEN // wrestling squads and wrestlers ranked]
Nine Big Ten wrestling teams appear in the latest NWCA/USA Today and InterMat rankings, with four squads earning top-10 status in both polls. Minnesota leads the way at No. 4 in the NWCA/USA Today poll, followed by No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Iowa, No. 10 Illinois, No. 12 Ohio State, No. 18 Michigan, No. 20 Northwestern and No. 21 Purdue. Wisconsin earns top billing among Big Ten teams in the InterMat poll, checking in at No. 4. Minnesota is not far behind at No. 6 and is followed by No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Iowa, No. 12 Illinois, No. 13 Michigan, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 18 Northwestern and No. 20 Purdue. Fifty-two Big Ten wrestlers also earned top-20 status in their respective weight classes in InterMat's individual rankings. Iowa 125-pounder Matt McDonough and Wisconsin 165-pounder Andrew Howe lead the way, taking the No. 1 ranking in each of their classes.
[ELEVEN // a tribute to all veterans]
Finally this week, we pause to salute all of our veterans who have served our country in all ranks of the armed forces. As the nation celebrated Veterans Day on Thursday, several Big Ten schools took time this week to honor our veterans with a variety of ceremonies both on the hardwood and gridiron. This past week both ESPN College GameDay and the Big Ten Network took time to feature current 25-year-old sophomore football player Kevin Bush of Indiana. The Hoosiers defensive end dreamed of playing football at Indiana, but after going through high school without a scholarship offer, Bush opted to play at Toledo and then enlisted in the Army. Following stints in Korea and Iraq, Bush returned home to fulfill a dream. And that story was told incredibly well by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi and BTN’s Mike Hall. Check out both of these videos for a fitting tribute to one Hoosier veteran and all those who serve. Bush has also been featured on the conference’s public service announcement, “Faces of the Big Ten,” which can be seen here.