Indiana Named Preseason Favorite by Conference Coaches

Aug. 12, 2009

PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Indiana has been selected as the favorite to win the Big Ten men’s soccer title for the seventh-straight season, the conference office announced Wednesday. Northwestern came in second while Michigan State rounded out the top three in the poll, which was voted on by the Big Ten coaches.

The runner-up for the 2008 Big Ten crown, Indiana owns a conference-record 12 titles. The Hoosiers have also earned NCAA Championship bids in each of the last 22 seasons, advancing to the quarterfinals last year.  Former two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2006 and 2007) Mike Freitag welcomes back 2008 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Will Bruin, who netted five goals in his debut season to best all other conference freshmen. The Hoosiers finished 2008 with an overall record of 14-7-3, including a 3-3-0 mark in conference play, and were recently ranked
No. 7 in the NSCAA/adidas Preseason National poll.

Northwestern earned the second slot in the coaches’ poll for the third-straight year after advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship in 2008. The Wildcats are coming off their fourth NCAA appearance in the past five years, finishing the season with a 15-5-3 overall mark.  NU head coach Tim Lenahan welcomes back All-Big Ten first-team forward Matt Eliason and All-America third-team defender Mark Blades. The Wildcats sit at No. 9 in the NSCAA/adidas Preseason National rankings.

Fresh off its storybook season which included the program’s first-ever regular season title and second Big Ten Tournament crown, Michigan State garners the No. 3 spot in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Former MSU soccer standout Damon Rensing enters his first season at the helm of the Spartan program after assisting the legendary Joe Baum who piloted the Green and White for 32 seasons. Rensing inherits three starters from a team that finished the year 13-5-2 and reached the second round in the NCAA Championship after receiving its highest-ever seed at No. 4. The Spartans were recently ranked No. 20 in the NSCAA/adidas Preseason National poll.

Rounding out the coaches’ poll, Ohio State was selected to finish fourth while Penn State and Wisconsin tied for the No. 5 spot. Michigan completed the field in seventh place. Full results of the coaches’ poll can be found below.

The 2009 Big Ten men’s soccer season kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 1, with Michigan and Penn State in action, while four other teams are set to open the fall slate in front of home crowds on Friday, Sept. 4. 

2009 Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

1 Indiana
2 Northwestern
3 Michigan State
4 Ohio State
T5 Penn State
T5 Wisconsin
7 Michigan