IU soccer Big Ten favorites

Big Ten coaches named defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Indiana the favorite to win the Big Ten on Wednesday. Midfielders Nikita Kotlov, A.J. Corrado and Dylan Mares were named players to watch in the conference.

Also, Corrado was named one of 30 finalists nationally for the Senior CLASS Award. He was first team All-Big Ten on the field and Academic All-Big Ten and All-District off the field last year.

Here’s the full IU release regarding the Big Ten:

The reigning NCAA Champion Indiana University men’s soccer team was picked as the favorite to win the Big Ten title in a poll of conference coaches, the Big Ten office announced Wednesday.

Following the Hoosiers in the coaches preseason poll were 2012 Big Ten Tournament champion Michigan State, 2012 co-regular season champion Northwestern, Michigan, 2012 co-regular season champion Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

In addition, senior midfielder A.J. Corrado, senior midfielder Nikita Kotlov and junior midfielder Dylan Mares were selected as three Hoosiers to watch in 2013. Corrado led the Big Ten in assists last season with 12, starting all 24 matches for the Hoosiers in 2012.

Kotlov is IU’s leading returning scorer, finishing with nine goals and four assists (22 points) in 23 appearances. He finished the 2012 season tied for second in the Big Ten in points and goals scored and was third in shot attempts.

Mares is entering his first season as a Hoosier after two years at Louisville. Last season he started 18 of 19 matches played for the Cardinals and led the team in goals (seven) and total points (20). As a freshman in 2010 he appeared in 22 matches and was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. Mares missed the 2011 season due to injury.

Indiana returns eight starters from last year’s championship team, including senior captains Jacob Bushue and Harrison Petts. The 2013 season gets underway on Aug. 30 against SMU at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington. The Hoosiers then face No. 9 UCLA on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. ET in a match that will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.

The Hoosiers will face a total of 12 teams in 2013 that made last year’s NCAA Tournament field. UCLA, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 10 Louisville, No. 18 Brown, No. 19 Northwestern and No. 24 Virginia Commonwealth are all NSCAA preseason top-25 teams that Indiana will face this season.

A six-game Big Ten slate kicks off on Sept. 29 when the Hoosiers play host to Ohio State at 3 p.m. ET in a game that will be shown live on the Big Ten Network. Matches vs. Penn State (Oct. 6) and at Michigan (Oct. 26) will also be televised on the Network.

2013 Big Ten Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Indiana
2. Michigan State
3. Northwestern
4. Michigan
5. Penn State
6. Wisconsin
7. Ohio State