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Both Penn State Soccer Teams Earn High Praise In Preseason Big Ten Poll

Once again, Penn State’s soccer teams are expected to be forces in the Big Ten, according to the annual preseason Big Ten polls.

Last week, the women’s poll pegged the Nittany Lions at No. 1, which is consistent with every single poll since 2003.

The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten regular-season title last spring before losing in the semifinals to Iowa. The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 7 in this year’s poll.

Penn State is followed by No. 2 Rutgers and No. 3 Ohio State, two squads expected to feature in the title race this year. Rutgers, the team that defeated the Nittany Lions in last spring’s opening match, also landed former Penn State midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri for her last year.

Kerry Abello, Sam Coffey, and Ally Schlegel were named Penn State’s players to watch. A big omission is winger Payton Linnehan, who is off to a flying start with four goals in two games, including a memorably quick hat trick on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Jeff Cook’s men’s program is projected to once again be the runner-up to powerhouse Indiana in the Big Ten. The top three — Michigan is projected to finish No. 3 — should surprise no one, as these programs finished in this exact order the past two campaigns.

Unlike their female counterparts, Cook’s Nittany Lions are up and coming in the Big Ten.

Despite the relative inexperience — Penn State has finished second in the past two campaigns but was out of the title chase in many earlier years — the Hoosiers will be wary of Penn State’s credentials this season, especially considering the impressive attack on display last spring makes a complete return.

The Big Ten highlighted captain Pierre Reedy and forwards Danny Bloyou and Peter Mangione as players to watch this year.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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