05 Oct Around the Big Ten | 1 women’s soccer power house makes it out alive while another falls | Penn State Soccer News
The Big Ten was at it again with more fireworks.
Week 3 did not have many major storylines around the conference, but there were some games that leveled things out.
One top team fell this week, while another one stayed undefeated.
Meanwhile, one team is developing as the clear favorite in the Big Ten, while others from the field are still scrambling to emerge as contenders.
With the Big Ten closing in on mid-season, it will be interesting to see what teams make a run for the top seeds in the conference.
Here are the major storylines from the Week 3 action.
Boilermakers run out of steam
After Week 2, Purdue emerged as the dark horse in the Big Ten.
Before Week 3, the Boilermakers were one of the top teams in the conference with a perfect Big Ten record.
However, Week 3 blemished Purdue’s previously undefeated Big Ten record.
On the last day of September, No. 17 Michigan traveled to West Lafayette to take on Purdue.
The Boilermakers were supposed to have an easier game against Michigan, since the Wolverines sat near the middle of the Big Ten table.
However, Michigan gave Purdue anything but a walk in the park.
All the scoring happened in the first half with the Wolverines firing in a goal in the 22nd minute.
The home side did not let that goal take the wind out of its sails, though.
Immediately after the maize and blue’s goal, redshirt senior forward Sarah Griffith leveled the score just after kickoff in the 23rd minute.
The Wolverines’ Sammi Woods fired in a shot in the 32nd minute that would be the last goal scored in the match.
Michigan headed into Purdue and came out with a 2-1 win, placing the first loss on the Boilermakers Big Ten record.
While the loss to Michigan does not completely sink Purdue’s hopes for a Big Ten title, it just solidified Rutgers as the top team in the conference with a 4-0 record.
Purdue will still be a top contender for the regular-season hardware, but the black and old gold will now have an uphill battle if it wants the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
Highest ranked Scarlet Knights
After three weeks of Big Ten action, the field is starting to settle and a clear favorite now emerged in No. 9 Rutgers.
Through three weeks, Rutgers is the only Big Ten team without a conference loss.
This week the Scarlet Knights proved their dominance with 2-1 wins over both Minnesota and Ohio State.
Rutgers would not be undefeated in the Big Ten without its top scorer senior Frankie Tagliaferri.
The Penn State transfer is tied with Griffith for the most goals in the conference with 10 in just 12 games.
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With Tagliaferri leading the offense, the Scarlet Knights have scored the most goals in the league by a large margin.
Rutgers leads the Big Ten with 36 goals, with the next closest team being Purdue, which checks in with 11 less goals with 25.
Not only is the Scarlet Knights’ offense electric, but their defense is also one of the best in the conference.
Rutgers has allowed the fourth-fewest goals in the Big Ten with only nine, and on the season, the Scarlet Knights have also posted seven shutouts.
With its defense and its offense, Rutgers is one of the most complete teams in the Big Ten and with its No. 9 nationally ranking, in the country.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten
The glimpse of light for Penn State righting the ship was immediately brought back to darkness as it suffered its fourth Big Ten loss to Minnesota 4-1 on Sunday.
Michigan State managed to squeak out a tie against Nebraska, 2-2, and slide past Iowa 2-1, keeping the Spartans as the No. 3 ranked team in the Big Ten.
Indiana came out of the week with two draws to Michigan and Ohio State.
No. 18 Wisconsin had one of its worst weeks as it gifted Penn State its first Big Ten win and then lost to Purdue 2-1.
Northwestern had the opposite fortune and finished Week 3 with two wins over Nebraska and Illinois.
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