Penn State, which has won 15 of the last 16 Big Ten Conference titles, has been selected as the women’s conference preseason favorite by the league’s coaches Monday.
The Nittany Lions (15-7-1 overall, 7-4 Big Ten) had its string of 15 consecutive league crowns snapped last season. Coach Erica Walsh returns eight starters this season as the Nittany Lions look to extend their run of 19 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Wisconsin, led by former Penn State coach Paula Wilkins, is picked second in the poll. New conference member Maryland, defending league champ Nebraska and Michigan round out the Top 5.
Penn State midfielder Emily Hurd, forward Mallory Weber and forward/midfielder Raquel Rodriguez are listed among the conference’s preseason players to watch.
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The Nittany Lions open their regular season on August 22 with a 7:30 p.m. matchup against West Virginia at Jeffrey Field.