OFFICIAL BIG TEN PRESS RELEASE 

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Penn State and Rutgers tied for first in the 2022 Big Ten Conference women’s soccer preseason poll, as selected by the conference’s 14 head coaches and released Monday. It’s believed to be the first time in conference history two schools have tied for top honors in the preseason women’s soccer balloting.

Penn State, which has won 20 conference titles and advanced to the third round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, has been chosen first in every Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll since 2003. Rutgers claimed its first Big Ten title last season and rode that momentum to the second NCAA College Cup berth in program history.

Rounding out the top five in the team balloting were Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Wolverines won their first Big Ten Tournament championship in 2021 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The Badgers reached the NCAA third round last year and have competed in 10 of the past 13 NCAA tournaments, while the Buckeyes earned their 12th NCAA Tournament bid in the past 15 seasons.

Five Big Ten schools are ranked or receiving votes in the preseason United Soccer Coaches Top 25 poll, led by No. 6 Rutgers, No. 9 Michigan and No. 14 Penn State. Purdue and Wisconsin also received votes in the preseason poll.

Also on Monday, the conference unveiled the 2022 Big Ten Players to Watch List, as selected by the conference coaches. Nearly half (19) of the student-athletes on the 2022 Big Ten Players to Watch List are returning all-conference selections, including two of last season’s individual award recipients — Michigan State’s Lauren Kozal (Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year) and Rutgers’ Riley Tiernan (Big Ten Freshman of the Year).

The Big Ten Players to Watch List features three United Soccer Coaches All-Americans (Kozal and Penn State’s Ally Schlegel and Penelope Hocking, the latter of whom transferred from USC during the offseason), along with 22 Academic All-Big Ten honorees and 10 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars.

The 2022 Big Ten women’s soccer season kicks off Thursday with all 14 conference schools in action, highlighted by five Top 25 matchups, three of which will be on Big Ten campuses — No. 9 Michigan entertains No. 20 Washington State (7 p.m. ET), No. 14 Penn State hosts No. 19 Georgetown (7 p.m. ET), Purdue welcomes No. 15 USC (7 p.m.), Wisconsin visits No. 7 TCU (8 p.m. ET) and Iowa travels to No. 13 UCLA (10 p.m. ET).

The 2022 composite Big Ten women’s soccer schedule can be found online at bigten.org, while the complete 2022 Big Ten Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll and Players to Watch List is as follows:

2022 BIG TEN WOMEN’S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL

1.         (tie) Penn State

(tie) Rutgers

3.         Michigan

4.         Wisconsin

5.         Ohio State

6.         Michigan State

7.         Purdue

8.         Iowa

9.         Minnesota

10.       Indiana

11.       Northwestern

12.       Nebraska

13.       Maryland

14.       Illinois

2022 BIG TEN WOMEN’S SOCCER PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST

Ashley Cathro, R-Sr., D, Illinois

Eileen Murphy, Sr., D, Illinois

Kendra Pasquale, R-Sr., M, Illinois

Jamie Gerstenberg, So., GK, Indiana

Jordyn Levy, So., F, Indiana

Arianna Rose, Fr., D, Indiana

Samantha Cary, Sr., D, Iowa

Kenzie Roling, So., F, Iowa

Hailey Rydberg, Grad., M, Iowa

Malikae Dayes, Grad., F, Maryland

Mikayla Dayes, Grad., F, Maryland

Juliana Lynch, Jr., M, Maryland

Hannah Blake, Sr., M, Michigan

Lily Farkas, Sr., M, Michigan

Avery Kalitta, So., M, Michigan

Ruby Diodati, Grad., D, Michigan State

Lauren Kozal, R-Sr., GK, Michigan State

Samantha White, Grad., D, Michigan State

Sophia Boman, Jr., M, Minnesota

Izzy Brown, Sr., F, Minnesota

Megan Plaschko, Sr., GK, Minnesota

Eleanor Dale, Jr., F, Nebraska

Reagan Raabe, Jr., M, Nebraska

Sarah Weber, So., F, Nebraska

Josie Aulicino, Jr., M, Northwestern

Meg Boade, Jr., F, Northwestern

Aurea del Carmen, Sr., M, Northwestern

Talani Barnett, Grad., D, Ohio State

Kayla Fischer, Grad., F, Ohio State

Sydney Jones, So., D, Ohio State

Penelope Hocking, Grad., F, Penn State

Payton Linnehan, Sr., F, Penn State

Ally Schlegel, R-Sr., F, Penn State

Sydney Duarte, Grad., M, Purdue

Gracie Dunaway, So., F, Purdue

Emily Mathews, Jr., M, Purdue

Sara Brocious, Jr., M, Rutgers

Meagan McClelland, Grad., GK, Rutgers

Riley Tiernan, So., F, Rutgers

Emma Jaskaniec, Sr., M, Wisconsin

Aidan McConnell, So., D, Wisconsin

Natalie Viggiano, Grad., M, Wisconsin