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.
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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No. 4 Penn State (12-2-0, 6-0-0) used three goals in a six-minute span to secure a 5-2 victory over Indiana on Sunday at Jeffrey Field. With the game tied at two, freshman Mallory Weber scored two goals in two minutes to put the Nittany Lions ahead for good. Read the full recap at GoPSUSports.com. Watch our interview with Kristin Hartmann, who announced her retirement, now, and jump inside for more of Sunday’s Olympic video coverage.
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Week 2 of Big Ten competition saw three hard-fought games that needed more than 90 minutes of play to be decided. It showed that there is not much separating each team in the conference and that many games are going to come down to one shot, one save, or one executed set piece. So, no matter the records, easy games are few and far between in the Big Ten with only two games having been decided by more than one goal so far.
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