Aug. 18, 2008
Indiana has been selected as the favorite to win the Big Ten men’s soccer title for the sixth-straight season, the conference office announced on Monday. Northwestern trailed behind in second while Ohio State came in third in the poll which was voted on by the Big Ten coaches.
Entering the 2008 season, the Hoosiers own a conference-record 12 Big Ten championships. Indiana has also earned NCAA Championship bids in each of the last 21 consecutive seasons, advancing to the second round last year. Two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year Mike Freitag welcomes back four All-Big Ten first-team members from last season, including All-America second-team midfielder Brad Ring. The Hoosiers finished 2007 with an overall record of 13-4-5, including a 4-0-2 mark in conference play, and were recently ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA/adidas Preseason National poll.
Earning the second spot on the coaches ballot is Northwestern. The Wildcats are coming off their third NCAA appearance in the past four years finishing the season with a 12-5-3 overall mark. Head Coach Tim Lenahan welcomes back Big Ten Freshman of the Year Piero Bellizzi who recorded eight assists in his debut season, tying him for third in the conference. The Wildcats sit at No. 20 in the NSCAA/adidas Preseason National Rankings.
Fresh off its best season in school history which included national runner-up honors, Ohio State earns the No. 3 spot in the Big Ten preseason coaches poll. Head Coach John Bluem returns seven starters from a team that went 17-4-5 in 2007. The Buckeyes were recently ranked No. 9 in the NSCAA/adidas Preseason National poll.
Rounding out the field, Michigan was selected to finish fourth while Michigan State earned the No. 5 spot. Wisconsin was placed sixth and Penn State came in seventh. Complete results of the coaches’ poll can be found below.
The 2008 Big Ten men’s soccer season kicks off on Friday, August 29, with all seven conference teams playing in front of their home crowd.
Big Ten Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll
3. Ohio State
5. Michigan State
7. Penn State