On the heels of a record-tying eight Big Ten schools earning berths into the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament, the conference tied its season high with seven programs appearing in the final regular season version of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll that was released Tuesday. Three Big Ten schools are ranked in the NSCAA Top 25, while another four programs are receiving votes entering postseason play.
Big Ten Champion and Tournament Champion Minnesota (16-3-3) maintains its highest poll ranking ever at No. 8 for a second consecutive week (and third week this season). The Golden Gophers are seeded No. 4 in the NCAA Tournament’s Palo Alto Regional and will play host to North Carolina State in a first-round match on Saturday.
After gaining a share of its first-ever Big Ten Championship and reaching the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, Northwestern (14-2-4) checks in at No. 21 in this week’s poll. The Wildcats have earned back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths for the first time in program history and will kick off this year’s tournament on Saturday at home against Kent State.
Rutgers (11-4-6) made a spirited run to the Big Ten Tournament championship match and is ranked No. 22 in the latest NSCAA poll. The Scarlet Knights, who advanced to their first NCAA Women’s College Cup last season, will begin their quest for a return to that lofty perch on Saturday with a first-round match at home against Harvard.
Defending NCAA and Big Ten Champion Penn State (11-4-4) was the highest-ranked school among those receiving votes this week. The Nittany Lions will entertain Bucknell in an NCAA Tournament first-round match on Friday.
Nebraska (11-5-4) also received votes in the latest NSCAA poll. The Cornhuskers will start their NCAA Tournament journey on Friday by welcoming South Dakota State to town.
Michigan (10-5-4) advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and also is receiving votes in this week’s coaches poll. The Wolverines are back in the NCAA Tournament after a two-year absence and will play host to Illinois State in a first-round contest on Saturday.
Ohio State (10-6-3) was the other Big Ten school to garner votes in the new NSCAA poll as the Buckeyes embark on their NCAA Tournament run Saturday at home against in-state rival Dayton.
For the complete NSCAA poll, click here.