WCIA — Illinois soccer was picked to finish last in the Big Ten preseason coaches poll released on Monday. The Illini are coming off a 5-11-1 season under longtime head coach Janet Rayfield. Twenty-four letter winners are returning led by Kendra Pasquale, Ashley Cathro and Eileen Murphy, who were the team’s three selections on the league’s ‘Players to Watch’ release. Penn State and Rutgers tied for the top spot in the poll. Illinois’ season opening match is Thursday at 7 p.m. against Illinois State.

1.         (tie) Penn State
            (tie) Rutgers
3.         Michigan
4.         Wisconsin
5.         Ohio State
6.         Michigan State
7.         Purdue
8.         Iowa
9.         Minnesota
10.       Indiana
11.       Northwestern
12.       Nebraska
13.       Maryland
14.       Illinois
Ashley Cathro, R-Sr., D, Illinois
Eileen Murphy, Sr., D, Illinois
Kendra Pasquale, R-Sr., M, Illinois
Jamie Gerstenberg, So., GK, Indiana
Jordyn Levy, So., F, Indiana
Arianna Rose, Fr., D, Indiana
Samantha Cary, Sr., D, Iowa
Kenzie Roling, So., F, Iowa
Hailey Rydberg, Grad., M, Iowa
Malikae Dayes, Grad., F, Maryland
Mikayla Dayes, Grad., F, Maryland
Juliana Lynch, Jr., M, Maryland
Hannah Blake, Sr., M, Michigan
Lily Farkas, Sr., M, Michigan
Avery Kalitta, So., M, Michigan
Ruby Diodati, Grad., D, Michigan State
Lauren Kozal, R-Sr., GK, Michigan State
Samantha White, Grad., D, Michigan State
Sophia Boman, Jr., M, Minnesota
Izzy Brown, Sr., F, Minnesota
Megan Plaschko, Sr., GK, Minnesota
Eleanor Dale, Jr., F, Nebraska
Reagan Raabe, Jr., M, Nebraska
Sarah Weber, So., F, Nebraska
Josie Aulicino, Jr., M, Northwestern
Meg Boade, Jr., F, Northwestern
Aurea del Carmen, Sr., M, Northwestern
Talani Barnett, Grad., D, Ohio State
Kayla Fischer, Grad., F, Ohio State
Sydney Jones, So., D, Ohio State
Penelope Hocking, Grad., F, Penn State
Payton Linnehan, Sr., F, Penn State
Ally Schlegel, R-Sr., F, Penn State
Sydney Duarte, Grad., M, Purdue
Gracie Dunaway, So., F, Purdue
Emily Mathews, Jr., M, Purdue
Sara Brocious, Jr., M, Rutgers
Meagan McClelland, Grad., GK, Rutgers
Riley Tiernan, So., F, Rutgers
Emma Jaskaniec, Sr., M, Wisconsin
Aidan McConnell, So., D, Wisconsin
Natalie Viggiano, Grad., M, Wisconsin