Aug. 17, 2010
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - After winning its 12th Big Ten Championship in as many years in 2009, Penn State has been named the preseason favorite for the 2010 season by the conference's head coaches, the Big Ten office announced on Tuesday. Selected as favorites for the eighth consecutive season, the Nittany Lions are followed by Ohio State at No. 2 and Wisconsin at No. 3.
Penn State enters the 2010 season seeking its 13th straight Big Ten title and 16th straight NCAA Tournament appearance after finishing 13-6-2 overall and 8-1-1 in conference play in 2009. The Nittany Lions return 17 letterwinners and six starters from last season's roster, including two first-team All-Big Ten honorees in Danielle Toney and reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Christine Nairn. PSU also boasts a No. 13 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll heading into the season.
After racking up a 14-4-2 overall record and a 7-2-1 mark in Big Ten play last season, Ohio State enters 2010 at No. 2 in the coaches' poll. The Buckeyes, led by 2009 first-team All-Big Ten selection Cassie Dickerson, return nine starters from last season's squad, which finished second in the Big Ten. OSU is receiving votes in the first NSCAA poll of the season.
Wisconsin enters the 2010 season ranked third in the coaches' poll after reaching the Round of 16 in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Badgers return 10 starters from a team that finished 10-6-6 overall and 5-1-4 in the Big Ten, good for a third-place finish. Wisconsin also checks in at No. 20 in the NSCAA preseason poll.
Michigan State and Purdue round out the poll's top five. Complete results of the 2010 Big Ten preseason coaches' poll can be found below.
Additionally, the Big Ten has announced a "Players to Watch" list for the first time, highlighting three student-athletes from each team entering the 2010 season. The complete list can be found in the PDF at the top of the page.
The 2010 Big Ten women's soccer season kicks off this Friday, August 20, with 10 of the conference's 11 teams beginning play.
2010 Big Ten Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
1 Penn State
2 Ohio State
4 Michigan State