The Big Ten announced Wednesday its 2013 men’s soccer preseason coaches’ poll and players to watch list, with defending national champion Indiana earning top honors among the seven conference teams. The Hoosiers, who are ranked No. 1 in the NCAA preseason top 25 poll, became the first-ever No. 16 seed to win the national title last season.
No. 5 Michigan State defeated No. 3 Michigan, 2-1, in overtime Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill, to claim the 2012 Men’s Soccer Big Ten Tournament Championship. Seven minutes into the extra frame, Sean Conerty found the back of the net to give the Spartans the win and their third Big Ten Tournament title.
The Big Ten men’s soccer tournament continues today in Evanston, Ill., with two semifinal matchups set for this afternoon. Penn State fell to Michigan State 3-1 in the first semifinal. The second semifinal, Michigan dropped Northwestern 3-0.
For the first time, BTN will provide full coverage of the Big Ten fall championships and tournaments, including live broadcasts during the 2012 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament, Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Soccer Tournaments and delayed coverage of the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships.
As we enter the second half of Big Ten play, a clear hierarchy has been established in the conference. At 3-0 and 2-0 respectively, perennial national power Indiana and defending Big Ten champion Northwestern are firmly in the apex of the Big Ten soccer pyramid. Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State are battling it out in the middle class with a win apiece, while Wisconsin and Ohio State are sitting in the base winless searching for answers.
It’s halftime, if you will, so let’s review. It seems crazy, but we’re halfway through conference play already. So with that being said, I think it’s suitable to sit back and reflect on where each of our seven teams is at this point. See my first-half analysis for every Big Ten team in this post.
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