Women's Soccer Kicks Off This Weekend
Aug. 17, 2017

All 14 Big Ten schools will start their 2017 women’s soccer seasons on Friday, as the conference kicks off its 24th season of women’s soccer competition with four schools (Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Rutgers) appearing in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Top 25 poll, while three (Northwestern, Penn State, Rutgers) are ranked in the opening Soccer America Top 25 poll, including No. 3 Penn State.

The Nittany Lions, who earned a share of last year’s Big Ten title, will open their season with a Top 25 match-up against No. 8/12 BYU at 7 p.m. (ET) Friday.

Eight other Big Ten women’s soccer games on Friday will be televised on linear or digital networks, including a quartet of strong intersectional contests. Illinois will play host to Missouri and Michigan will entertain Washington, with both games televised live on BTN Plus and BTN2Go. Meanwhile, defending Big Ten Champion and Big Ten Tournament champion (and No. 19) Minnesota heads to Washington State and Ohio State visits Arizona State in games that will air live on the Pac-12 Networks.

Michigan State will be the first Big Ten program in action Friday with a 3 p.m. (ET) home game against Niagara. The Spartans are among 11 conference teams that will play at home at least once this weekend, the lone exceptions being Iowa (which is at VCU Friday and at Richmond Sunday), No. 22 Nebraska (which plays at No. NR/23 Kansas and Tulsa in the Rock Chalk Invitational this weekend) and Ohio State (which also visits BYU on Monday).

Rounding out Friday’s opening day schedule, No. 23/20 Northwestern looks to build on last year’s share of the Big Ten title and a trip to the third round of the NCAA Tournament when it hosts Chicagoland rival DePaul, while Indiana welcomes Cal Poly to town for the start of the Hoosier Challenge Cup, and Maryland is at home to face Drexel. In addition, Purdue hosts Kent State, No. 21/22 Rutgers is at home to face Loyola Marymount and Wisconsin entertains Kentucky.

Last season, Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State shared the Big Ten Championship before the Golden Gophers won the Big Ten Tournament crown. Earlier this week, PSU earned the top spot in the conference’s 2017 preseason poll, as voted on by the Big Ten coaches.

The 14 conference schools will battle during the next 11 weeks to claim the 2017 Big Ten Championship and position themselves for a berth in the Big Ten Tournament. The top eight teams will advance to the conference tournament, which begins Oct. 29 with quarterfinal games on the campuses of the four highest seeds. The Big Ten Tournament culminates Nov. 3 and 5 with the semifinals and championship game at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.

Here’s a look at the Big Ten women’s soccer schedule this weekend:

Aug. 18, 2017 at Michigan State 2, Niagara 0 East Lansing, MI RECAP
Iowa at VCU Richmond, VA Cancelled (weather)
at Maryland 2, Drexel 1 College Park, MD RECAP
at #NR/3 Penn State 3, #8/12 BYU 1 University Park, PA RECAP
at Purdue 2, Kent State 1 (BTN Plus) West Lafayette, IN RECAP
at #21/22 Rutgers 3, Loyola Marymount 0 (BTN Plus) Piscataway, NJ RECAP
at Indiana 3, Cal Poly 1 (BTN Plus)
(Hoosier Challenge Cup)
Bloomington, IN RECAP
Ohio State 2, at Arizona State 1 (OT) (Pac-12 Networks) Tempe, AZ RECAP
Missouri 3, at Illinois 1 (BTN Plus) Champaign, IL RECAP
at Michigan 2, Washington 0 (BTN Plus) Ann Arbor, MI RECAP
#22/NR Nebraska 3, at #NR/23 Kansas 0
(Rock Chalk Invitational)
Lawrence, KS RECAP
at #23/20 Northwestern 1, DePaul 0 (BTN Plus) Evanston, IL RECAP
at Wisconsin 1, Kentucky 0 Madison, WI RECAP
#19/NR Minnesota 0, at Washington State 0 (2OT) (Pac-12 Networks) Pullman, WA RECAP
Aug. 20, 2017 #22/NR Nebraska 3, Tulsa 1
(Rock Chalk Invitational)
Lawrence, KS RECAP
Iowa 5, at Richmond 1 Richmond, VA RECAP
Washington 4, at Michigan State 0 East Lansing, MI RECAP
at #NR/3 Penn State 3, Hofstra 0 University Park, PA RECAP
#13/18 Clemson 1, at Indiana 0 (BTN Plus)
(Hoosier Challenge Cup)
Bloomington, IN RECAP
at Illinois 2, DePaul 1 (BTN Plus) Champaign, IL RECAP
at Michigan 4, Idaho State 0 (BTN Plus) Ann Arbor, MI RECAP
#23/20 Northwestern 3, at Illinois State 0 (ESPN3/WatchESPN) Normal, IL RECAP
at #21/22 Rutgers 4, Monmouth 0 (BTN Plus) Piscataway, NJ RECAP
#2/1 Stanford 5, Wisconsin 0 Milwaukee, WI RECAP
at Maryland 3, Navy 0 College Park, MD RECAP
Aug. 21, 2017 Loyola Marymount 2, at Purdue 1 (BTN Plus) West Lafayette, IN RECAP
Ohio State 0, at #8/12 BYU 0 (2OT) (BYUtv) Provo, UT RECAP
at #19/NR Minnesota 3, North Dakota State 0 Minneapolis, MN RECAP

NOTE: Rankings from United Soccer Coaches/Soccer America preseason polls (NR - not ranked)