UW Health Sports Medicine 

Breaking down the Big Ten standings

MADISON, Wis. - With just three games left for each team, the Big Ten women's soccer regular season is nearing its conclusion. The conference tournament returns in 2011 after a two-year hiatus, and with Northwestern earning an automatic bid as the host school, seven spots are available for the remaining 11 schools.

Wisconsin is right in the thick of the race, sitting in fifth place with 12 points and a 3-2-3 Big Ten mark. But as you can see below, the standings are very tight down the homestretch.

Team Record  Pct. Pts. Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Opp. Pts.
Penn St. 7-1-0 .875 21 at Michigan St. at Michigan PURDUE 38
Illinois 5-2-1 .688 16 at Northwestern at Nebraska MICHIGAN 26
Michigan St. 5-3-0 .625 15 PENN ST. OHIO ST. at Northwestern 35
Michigan 4-3-1 .562 13 OHIO ST. PENN ST. at Illinois 47
Wisconsin 3-2-3 .562 12 PURDUE INDIANA IOWA 27
Iowa 3-3-2 .500 11 at Nebraska NORTHWESTERN at Wisconsin 25
Minnesota 3-3-2 .500 11 INDIANA PURDUE NEBRASKA 25
Ohio St. 3-4-1 .438 10 at Michigan at Michigan St. INDIANA 34
Purdue 3-4-1 .438 10 at Wisconsin at Minnesota at Penn State 44
Nebraska 3-5-0 .375 9 IOWA ILLINOIS at Minnesota 38
Indiana 2-6-0 .250 6 at Minnesota at Wisconsin at Ohio State 33
Northwestern 1-6-1 .188 4 ILLINOIS at Iowa MICHIGAN ST. 42

Penn State is in first place with 21 points and enjoys a five-point lead over Illinois. However, the No. 2-10 teams in the conference are separated by just seven points. Three points are awarded for a victory, so there is still a lot of movement possible left.

Next to the team's point totals are their remaining three games. The number figure on the far right is the point total of the three opponents. As you can see, Michigan has the toughest finishing stretch as the Wolverines' final opponents have 47 points between them, though they do get two of those games at home.

Conversely, Iowa and Minnesota could have an advantage as their foes combine for only 25 points each. In addition, the Gophers are aided by the fact that they don't have to leave Minneapolis for the rest of the season.

Wisconsin is also in a favorable position. All three of the Badgers' remaining games are at home, and they have the fourth-easiest schedule as Purdue (10), Indiana (6) and Iowa (11) combine for just 27 points.

The final stretch begins Friday night at McClimon Soccer Complex as the Badgers host Purdue at 7 p.m.