2009 Big Ten Men's Soccer Season in Review

Dec. 17, 2009

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The 2009 men's soccer season came to a close on Sunday, Dec. 13 with Virginia winning the NCAA Championship. The Big Ten fielded five teams in the NCAA tournament in Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State. For the second straight year, the Hoosiers and the Wildcats were the last Big Ten teams standing in the bracket, advancing to the round of 16 before being eliminated.

Penn State senior forward Jason Yeisley was named the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award honoree in men's soccer for 2009. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Yeisley excelled in his senior season, leading Penn State to an undefeated regular season home record, a second place finish in the Big Ten, the Big Ten Tournament title game, and a berth in the NCAA Championship. A two-time First Team All-Big Ten forward, Yeisley was selected as the 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, capping off a four-year career that included 24 goals and 16 assists (64 points) in 63 career games.

Northwestern's Mark Blades represented the Big Ten among this year's NSCAA/adidas All-America honorees, earning second-team honors. The 2009 Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year becomes the first Wildcat in program history to garner All-America distinction on multiple occasions. A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Blades capped his stellar career in Evanston, Ill., as a member of the all-time winningest class at Northwestern and the first to earn a berth to the NCAA tournament all four years.

Indiana's title run came to a halt with a 1-0 loss to No. 5 seed North Carolina in the third round. The Hoosiers eliminated Louisville (2-0) and No. 12 Butler (1-0) to advance. Northwestern saw its season end early after dropping a 1-0 decision to eighth-seeded Tulsa. In the previous round, the Wildcats ousted Notre Dame by a convincing 3-1 mark.

The five NCAA selections marked the second highest total in conference annals (six in 2004). Of those teams, four Big Ten programs earned  first-round byes by virtue of their national seeds in the tournament while Indiana was chosen to host first- and second-round competition.

Big Ten Champion Ohio State led the conference contingent, entering this year's national event as the No. 4 seed. The Buckeyes captured the 2009 Big Ten Tournament title with a 1-0 win over Penn State just days after claiming its first-ever outright conference regular-season crown.