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Big Ten East soccer preview

BY JORDAN HANSEN | SEPTEMBER 08, 2014 5:00 AM

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Big Ten soccer play will begin this week, and The Daily Iowan will preview the teams in the eastern half of the conference today. The western teams will appear Tuesday.

Indiana

Last year’s record: 15-7-1 (6-5)
2013 post-season RPI: 30

A season ago, the Hoosiers were one of the better teams in the Big Ten. Senior laden, their experience led them to an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, and they advanced to the second round. This year, the Hoosiers are rebuilding.

Maryland

Last year’s record (ACC): 10-10 (6-7)
2013 post-season RPI: 47

Maryland spent last year as a mid-level ACC team, and this season will not be much different. While the Terps will be competitive, they will be overmatched more often than not as they play in one of the toughest Big Ten schedules.

Michigan

Last year’s record: 18-4-1 (9-1-1)
2013 post-season RPI: 7

Despite not winning last year’s Big Ten Tournament, Michigan was by far the best team in the Big Ten. The Wolverines made it all the way to the NCAA quarterfinals, where they fell to No. 1 seed Virginia, 2-1. While they won’t have quite the season they did last year, expect them to finish in the top three of the Big Ten.

Michigan State

Last year’s record: 9-8-2 (3-8)
2013 post-season RPI: 81

Sparty has a chance to break out this season. Michigan State fell apart down the stretch, going 2-7 in its last nine games of last season. Now healthy, the Spartans could finish in the top half of the Big Ten and certainly shock some people along the way.

Ohio State

Last year’s record: 10-7-3 (4-5-2)
2013 post-season RPI: 55

The Buckeyes advanced to their fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance last season, and that streak should continue this season. While Ohio State is a relatively young team with just four seniors, it brings back sophomore leading goal scorer Nichelle Prince, who very well could find herself on the first-team All-Big Ten list after the season.

Penn State

Last year’s record: 15-7-1 (7-4)
2013 post-season RPI: 9

Speaking of storied programs, Penn State has made it to 19-consecutive NCAA Tournaments, and that incredible run will probably make it to the two-decade mark this season. The Nittany Lions may have lost second-team All-American Maya Hayes, but senior Whitney Church should be able to step in her place as the star of the team.

Rutgers

Last year’s record (AAC): 13-4-2 (5-3-1)
2013 post-season RPI: 32

In addition to switching to a new conference, the Scarlet Knights will also break in a new coach this season. Mike O’Neill will have the reigns of the program after taking over for retired coach Glenn Crooks. Rutgers made it all the way to the AAC final last year, but the conference switch will not be kind. Expect the Scarlet Knights to finish toward to the bottom of the Big Ten.

Follow @JordyHansen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa soccer team.


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