Rosemont, Ill. -- While the 2017 women's lacrosse season officially began this past Monday when Northwestern downed Canisius 9-7, the first weekend of play begins tomorrow when Michigan travels west to face Oregon and Penn State starts its' season at home against Albany. Competition continues on Sunday when Northwestern makes the short trek to South Bend for a top 10 match-up with Notre Dame. On Monday, Ohio State will open its season in a home contest vs. Vermont.
The Big Ten entered the 2017 season with four teams ranked in the top 20 of the Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll -- No. 2 Maryland, No. 7 Penn State, No. 9 Northwestern and No. 15 Johns Hopkins. This season marks the conference debut for Johns Hopkins, as they join the men's program as a sport affiliate member in the Big Ten.
Big Ten women's lacrosse features teams that have won 25 national championships and 21 of the 35 NCAA Championships, including 10 of the last 12. Maryland claimed seven straight titles from 1995 to 2001, while Northwestern has won seven NCAA titles, highlighted by five consecutive from 2005 to 2009 and most recently in 2012. Penn State has earned five national championships, including NCAA titles in 1987 and 1989.
The 2017 Big Ten Women's Lacrosse Tournament will be hosted by Maryland from May 5-7. The tournament moves to a four-team field for the first time in 2017, with two semifinals on Friday and the tournament final on Sunday.
Michigan at Oregon (Eugene, Ore.), 3 pm ET
No. 7 Penn State vs. Albany (University Park, Pa.), 12 pm ET
No. 9 Northwestern at No. 8 Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.), 1 pm ET
Ohio State vs. Vermont (Columbus, Ohio), 7 pm ET