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Oct. 30, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Big Ten Women's Soccer Tournament field is set and the No. 12 Penn State Nittany Lions are the top-seeded team. The Nittany Lions will take on host Northwestern at 5:30 p.m. ET at Lakeside Field.
Should Penn State (17-3-0, 10-1-0 Big Ten) advance past Northwestern (2-15-1, 1-9-1 Big Ten), the Lions will face the winner of the Wisconsin-Minnesota match between the No. 4 and 5 seeds in the semifinals on Friday at 4:45 p.m. ET. Wisconsin and Minnesota play at 8:30 p.m. ET. That semifinal will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
On the other side of the bracket, second-seeded Illinois will take on Ohio State, the seven seed at 2:30 p.m. ET, while No. 3-seed Michigan State plays sixth-seeded Iowa at 11:30 a.m. ET. The two teams that advance from those quarterfinals will meet Friday at 2:15 p.m. ET in the semifinals. The championship match is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Field, broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
While Penn State wrapped up its spot atop the Big Ten standings last week, the rest of the field had yet to be sorted out until the final match of the regular season between Ohio State and Indiana on Sunday afternoon. OSU won 3-0 to earn the seven seed and round out the eight-team field.
Tickets are available on site at Lakeside Field. Day passes will be available at $8 per day for adults and $5 for senior citizens, students and children. No all-sessions tickets will be sold and no complimentary passes are allowed for the event.
The Big Ten Tournament, which determines the league's automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament, is back from a two-year hiatus. The last edition was in 2008 when the Nittany Lions claimed their fifth tourney crown in Iowa. Penn State has won two of the past three Big Ten Tournaments (2006). Penn State has earned a berth in every conference tournament since the program's inception, never being seeded worse than third.
The 14-time Big Ten champions have earned their 12th No. 1 seed where the Nittany Lions have a 20-3-3 record as the top seed. Penn State's quarterfinal record stands at 10-2-3 all-time. This will be the third meeting with the Wildcats in the tournament with PSU winning 3-0 (2001) and 3-2 (2006), both in the quarterfinals during campaigns that Penn State won. Earlier this season, Penn State defeated Northwestern, 4-0, in Happy Valley on Sept. 23. PSU has won 15 straight against NU.
Penn State is currently riding an 11-game winning streak dating back to Sept. 20 at Bucknell (4-0), the longest since 2005 (19). If the Nittany Lions beat Northwestern on Wednesday, will match head coach Erica Walsh's single-season high of 18 wins set in 2007 (18-4-2).
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Quarterfinals - Wednesday, Nov. 2
11:30 a.m. - No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 6 Iowa
2:30 p.m. - No. 2 Illinois vs. No. 7 Ohio State
5:30 p.m. - No. 1 PENN STATE vs. Northwestern
8:30 p.m. - No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 5 Minnesota
Semifinals - Friday, Nov. 4
*2:15 p.m. - 2/7 vs. 3/6
*4:45 p.m. - 1/8 vs. 4/5
Final - Sunday, Nov. 6
*4:00 p.m. - Advancing semifinal teams
* - Televised on Big Ten Network
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