Penn State is the top choice to win the 2018 Big Ten Conference women’s soccer championship, according to the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll announced on Monday.
The Nittany Lions, who have won 18 Big Ten titles and claimed their seventh Big Ten Tournament championship last year, were selected first in the 2018 Big Ten preseason poll by the conference’s 14 head coaches.
Ohio State, which earned its second Big Ten crown last season, finished second in this year’s preseason poll, while Rutgers, which has reached the Big Ten Tournament title game twice in the last three seasons, was chosen third.
Rounding out the top five in the team balloting were Northwestern and Wisconsin. Both the Wildcats and Badgers reached the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, with Northwestern also advancing to the 2017 Big Ten Tournament title game, the Wildcats’ second appearance in the final and first in 20 years.
The 2018 Big Ten women’s soccer season kicks off Thursday with six conference schools in action, while the remaining Big Ten programs will begin play this weekend.