Four Big Ten Teams to Participate in the 2007 NCAA Field Hockey Championship
Nov. 7, 2007
The Big Ten will have four representatives in the 2007 NCAA Field Hockey Championship as Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State participate in this year's 16-team tournament. This is the eighth time out of the last nine seasons that the Big Ten has sent three or more teams to the NCAA Championship, and the second time in three years that the conference will have four teams in the tournament (2005 and 2007). The national semifinials will be held on Nov. 16 and 18 in College Park, Md. hosted by the University of Maryland.
With its second consecutive Big Ten Tournament Championship, Iowa (17-3) earned the conference's automatic NCAA berth. This is the 19th time that the Hawkeyes have qualified for the NCAA Championship, and the third time in the last four years (2004, 2006 and 2007). Iowa, ranked fifth in the latest STX/NFHCA National Coaches Poll, will battle No. 11 Boston University (17-5) in the opening round. The Hawkeyes enter the tournament with an all-time record of 24-19 in NCAA Championship play and own an 8-2 mark in first round action. Iowa has made 10 trips to the national semifinals and was crowned national champions in 1986.
After earning a Big Ten Championship this season, No. 6 Michigan (15-6) will face off against No. 15 Ohio (18-4) in the first round of the tournament. The Wolverines will play host to the first and second round games in Ann Arbor, Mich. This is the eighth tournament appearance for Michigan in program history, highlighted by a national championship run in 2001. This will be the first time in four years that the two schools have squared off. They last met on Sept. 12, 2003 in Ann Arbor in a 6-0 shutout by the Wolverines. The Wolverines own a 7-0 record all-time against Ohio.
The high-powered offense of No. 8 Michigan State (16-5) will play No. 2 Wake Forest (14-5) in the first round on Saturday in Ann Arbor. The Spartans earn their fifth selection to the NCAA Championship, and the first since 2004. Michigan State is 6-4 all-time in the tournament, highlighted by a trip to the semifinal round in 2004, before falling to Duke. MSU will try to avenge an earlier 2-0 loss to the Demon Deacons on Sept. 30 at Wake. The Demon Deacons have won seven of eight all-time meetings between the schools and are the only team to hold the Spartans scoreless this year.
The No. 9 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (13-7) will make their 24th NCAA Tournament appearance with a game against No. 18 Virginia in the first round. The Nittany Lions defeated the Cavaliers, 3-1, on Aug. 26 in their second game of the 2007 season. Penn State is 11-3 all-time against Virginia. This is Penn State's third straight NCAA appearance and the fifth in the last six years.