Nov. 10, 2010
All seven Big Ten men's soccer teams are set to make the trek to University Park, Pa., this weekend to square off for conference supremacy at the 2010 Big Ten Tournament. The opening round of the tournament will take place on Thursday, with the semifinals being played on Friday and the title match following on Sunday.
Indiana enters the tournament as the top seed after earning its 12th Big Ten title, completing the regular season at 4-1-1 in conference play. The Hoosiers earned the conference's No. 1 seed for the 14th time, receiving a bye into Friday's semifinals. Will Bruin leads the offensive charge for Indiana, scoring 15 goals in 17 matches this season, good for the second-most in the country.
Ohio State heads to University Park looking to repeat as Big Ten Tournament Champions after taking the crown in 2009. The Buckeyes claimed the tournament's No. 2 seed after finishing the Big Ten season 4-2-0, giving up a conference-low five goals in six matches. Ohio State will take on No. 7 Wisconsin in the opening round of the tournament at 12:30 p.m. ET. The Badgers are led offensively by freshman Chris Prince, who finished the regular season in the conference's top 10 in points (15) and goals (7). Ohio State came out on top in the teams' regular-season matchup, taking a 1-0 decision on Oct. 31.
Boasting the highest-scoring offense in the Big Ten, Michigan enters the weekend as the No. 3 seed in the tournament after going 4-2-0 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines scored 37 goals in 18 matches this season, including 15 from freshman Soony Saad. Michigan will square off with intrastate rival and No. 6 seed Michigan State in the tournament's first match at 10 a.m. ET. The Spartans also lay claim to plenty of offensive firepower, finishing in the top three in points (105), goals (36) and assists (33) in the Big Ten. Michigan earned a 3-2 overtime win over Michigan State in the teams' meeting on Oct. 30.
The final match of the opening round features Penn State versus Northwestern at 3 p.m. ET. Corey Hertzog, who finished among the top three in the Big Ten in shots (96), points (32) and goals (14), leads the offensive charge for the fourth-seeded hosts. Northwestern enters the tournament as the No. 5 seed and is led by Oliver Kupe, who finished the regular season with 10 goals, good for fourth in the conference. The Nittany Lions and Wildcats played to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 17.
Friday's semifinals will pit the Michigan-Michigan State winner against the Ohio State-Wisconsin winner at 1 p.m. ET, with Indiana taking on the winner of Penn State-Northwestern at 3:30 p.m. ET. The championship game will take place on Sunday at Noon ET, with the winner earning the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. The semifinal and championship games will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.