2010 Big Ten Men's Soccer Season in Review
Dec. 20, 2010
Michigan's first NCAA College Cup appearance capped off the 2010 Big Ten men's soccer season, which saw five conference teams advance to the NCAA round of 16. The 10th-seeded Wolverines competed in its first national semifinal, dropping a 2-1 decision to eventual national champion Akron. Justin Meram scored his tournament-leading fifth goal in the second minute of the match, but the third-seeded Zips notched two unanswered to earn the win.
Michigan was joined by four other Big Ten squads in the national tournament as Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State each received at-large berths after the Wolverines earned the conference's automatic bid. Four of the five qualifying teams received byes into the second round, while Michigan State won its opening-round match to earn a spot in the next round. All five teams earned wins in the second round to move on to the round of 16, with Michigan picking up two more wins to advance to the semifinals.
Four Big Ten players were named All-Americans, led by Indiana forward and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Will Bruin, who earned first-team honors. Michigan forward Soony Saad, the conference Freshman of the Year, joined Penn State midfielder Matheus Braga and forward Corey Hertzog on the second team.
The conference contingent of All-Americans was also responsible for several single-season conference records, as Hertzog tied the record for goals (20), Braga set the mark for assists (17) and Saad eclipsed the previous record in shots (152). The Big Ten boasted three of the most prolific scorers in the country, as Hertzog (46 points; 20 goals), Saad (43 points; 19 goals) and Bruin (41 points; 18 goals) each finished in the top three of each category nationally.
Indiana earned its 12th Big Ten title after compiling a 4-1-1 conference record. Hoosier head coach Todd Yeagley took home conference Coach of the Year honors, joining Bruin, Saad and Ohio State defender and Defensive Player of the Year David Tiemstra among the individual award winners.
Michigan won its first Big Ten Tournament title, outscoring its opponents 7-2 over three matches to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship. Saad received Offensive Player of the Tournament honors, while Wolverine goalkeeper Chris Blais took home Defensive Player of the Tournament accolades.