Penn State Women’s Soccer Ranked No. 1 In Big Ten Preseason Poll

Just two days away from its season opener against North Carolina, Penn State women’s soccer was named the Big Ten favorite once again.

The conference announced its preseason rankings Tuesday, and the Nittany Lions lead the pack, followed by Northwestern, Rutgers, Michigan State, and Wisconsin in the top five. Erica Dambach’s team has ranked No. 1 in every Big Ten preseason poll since 2003, further solidifying its conference dominance.

Meanwhile, Penn State is ranked No. 10 nationally in the United Soccer Coaches’ preseason poll.

Ahead of the team’s 30th campaign, the Nittany Lions scooped up three college soccer veterans from the transfer portal in Rebecca Cooke, Rowan Lapi, and Michela Agresti, and claimed the No. 9 recruiting class in the nation.

“It’s an honor for our program to be recognized as the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten,” Dambach said in a release. “I have the utmost respect for all the coaches and student-athletes in this league, and I truly think that this conference is the strongest top-to-bottom across all of college soccer. Our players have been hard at work getting ready for the upcoming season, and I know that they will channel this recognition from our league’s coaches to push themselves even harder to ultimately meet our objectives for the year.” 

Penn State finished its 2022 season in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament with a loss to No. 11 Virginia. The blue and white closed out their most recent outing with a 15-5-3 overall record, a 5-3-2 showing in the conference, and a Big Ten Tournament victory. However, the Nittany Lions locked in a low No. 6 ranking in the final Big Ten standings, falling behind Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Ohio State. Still, the team finished the 2022 season ranked No. 13 nationally.

Dambach and Co. will begin the 2023 season at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 17, at Jeffrey Field against No. 2 North Carolina. From there, the Nittany Lions will face 16 more opponents and host nine other home matches in Happy Valley.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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