(BigTen.org) PARK RIDGE, Ill. – After winning the Big Ten Championship on Friday, Michigan earned the No. 1 seed and an automatic spot in the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament. The tournament will be held on the Penn State campus in State College, Pa. with opening-round matchups played on Thursday, semifinals on Friday and the championship game on Sunday. The tournament winner will earn the Big Ten’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
No. 20 Northwestern got off to another fast start on Friday at Lakeside Field as redshirt freshman Kelsey Thompson scored her first career goal, giving the ‘Cats the early 1-0 lead over the Pacific Tigers just 10 minutes in. Thanks to great ball control and a dominating defensive effort, that score would be all that was needed as NU cruised by Pacific, 5-0. Watch our video highlights of the Northwestern victory now.
The weekend saw several of the conference’s soccer and field hockey teams in action. Iowa battled Ohio State to a 3-0 win in field hockey on Saturday afternoon. Watch the highlights now, along with an interview with Iowa coach Tracey Griesbaum. Moving to soccer, the Illinois and Michigan State women’s teams settled the score in double overtime, with the Illini getting the 1-0 win. Dive inside for highlights of that game, plus much more from around the conference including men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey.
In Thursday morning’s “Big Ten Blast,” Kara Lentz reports on Ohio State losing wide receiver Verlon Reed for the rest of the season after he tore his ACL in last week’s loss to Michigan State. Read about the injury here. Lentz also highlights the conference’s latest Big Ten Field Hockey Players of the Week. Read more about the honorees here. Tonight on BTN, catch “BTN Live” at 8 ET, one hour later than usual. Have you voted in the show’s Week 6 polls? Do so now. After that, at 9 ET, Mike Hall sits down with Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema on “Step Into My Office.” Watch bonus clips from the show.
The Penn State field hockey team moved to 7-3 and 1-0 in the Big Ten after snapping No. 13 Iowa’s six-game winning streak. The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten Conference opener, 3-0, on Sunday over Iowa. After no score in the first half, aggressive plays by Penn State led to three goals in the second half. Watch our video recap of the Penn State victory now.
The University of Iowa field hockey team defeated Missouri State, 10-2, Sunday at Grant Field. The 12th-ranked Hawkeyes move to 7-1 with the victory and extend their winning streak to six games. Iowa has outscored its opponents 32-6 during its win streak. The 10 goals against Missouri State mark the most the Hawkeyes have scored in a game since defeating Saint Louis, 12-0, on Sept. 19, 2009. Watch our video recap of the Iowa victory now.
The Big Ten is no stranger to having itself all over the national field hockey poll. The 2011 season should be no exception — at least according to the NFHCA Preseason Poll. Four Big Ten teams land in the initial poll, led by No. 6 Ohio State.