Oct. 31, 2009
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - By clinching their first outright Big Ten Championship last Sunday, the Michigan State Spartans earned the No. 1 seed and an automatic spot of the semifinals in the 2009 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament. The tournament will be held on the Michigan State campus in East Lansing, Mich., with opening round matchups played on Thursday, Nov. 5, semifinals contested on Friday, Nov. 6, and the championship game played on Sunday, Nov. 8. The tournament winner will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships.
The Ohio State Buckeyes clinched the No. 2 seed in the tournament by virtue of a 2-1 victory over Northwestern Saturday afternoon. At 4-2 in the conference, the Buckeyes finished in a tie with Indiana, but a 3-2 win against the Hoosiers on Sept. 27 gave Ohio State the No. 2 seed. The Hoosiers, who defeated Michigan 4-2 on Saturday, will be the No. 3 seed.
The lone team at 3-3 in the conference, three-time defending Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa holds the No. 4 seed in next week's tournament and will face the No. 5 seed Michigan Wolverines in the tournament opener at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday. Michigan finished 2-4 in conference play this year. The two teams faced off on the opening weekend of Big Ten play with Iowa coming away with a 3-2 victory.
To round out the field, Northwestern will be the No. 6 seed and face No. 3 seed Indiana at approximately 3:30 p.m. ET in the final game of the day on Thursday. Penn State will be the No. 7 seed and face No. 2 Ohio State at approximately 1:15 p.m. ET in Thursday's opening day.
The top-seeded Michigan State Spartans will await the winner of the 4/5 matchup between Iowa and Michigan in Friday's first semifinal at 12:15 p.m. ET. The second semifinal will pit the winner of Ohio State-Penn State and Indiana-Northwestern at approximately 2 p.m. ET. The tournament championship game will be held at Noon ET on Sunday, Nov. 8. The semifinals and final will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.