Oct. 27, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 13 Ohio State women’s soccer team was well-represented on the list of 2017 All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners announced by the conference office Friday. Head coach Lori Walker-Hock was a unanimous choice for Big Ten Coach of the Year while Nikki Walts was named Midfielder of the Year and Morgan Wolcott garnered Defender of the Year laurels.
Forward Sammy Edwards joined Walts and Wolcott as first team All-Big Ten picks while goalkeeper Devon Kerr was a second team All-Big Ten selection and midfielder Sarah Roberts and defender Izzy Rodriguez were third team all-conference honorees. Forward Maddy Lowe joined Rodriguez on the Big Ten All-Freshman team while defender Kylie Knight was the Buckeyes’ Big Ten sportsmanship award selection.
The Big Ten Coach of the Year honor is Walker-Hock’s third in her 21 seasons, previously earning the award in 2001 and 2010. Walker-Hock guided the Buckeyes to the first outright Big Ten championship in program history and second overall after sharing the 2010 title with Penn State. Under Walker-Hock’s guidance, the Buckeyes went 14-3-1 in the regular season, including 9-2-0 in Big Ten play.
Walts, a two-time captain who has started all 18 matches in the midfield, is first on the team, tied for second in the conference and tied for 15th nationally with eight assists. A 2016 second team All-Big Ten pick and member of the 2014 Big Ten All-Freshman team, Walts ranks third on the team with 14 points and tied for third with three goals. Five of Walts’ assists have come on game-winning goals and she scored the Buckeyes’ game-winner in the 101st minute of a 1-0 victory over Michigan State Oct. 6. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native sits fourth on the Ohio State career assists list with 21.
Wolcott, a three-time team captain, has started 17 matches, scoring two goals and adding an assist while helping the Buckeyes to a 0.48 team goals-against average from her center back spot. A second team All-Big Ten pick in 2016, Wolcott has played the full match 14 times, including a season-high 110 minutes in a scoreless draw at BYU Aug. 21.
Edwards, twice named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week in 2017, has started all 18 matches, leading the team and tying for third in the conference with 10 goals and 25 points. Five of Edwards’ goals have been game-winners, tying for second in the conference. The Dublin, Ohio, native is tied for eighth on the Ohio State career goals list with 27 and 10th on the Buckeyes’ career points list with 63.
Kerr has started all 18 matches, ranking second in the conference with a 0.52 goals-against average and nine shutouts. The Barrie, Ontario, native ranks tied for 14th nationally in clean sheets and 17th in goals-against average. Kerr, a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week in 2017, had a streak of six-consecutive clean sheets and helped the Buckeyes not allow a goal for 687:20, the longest streak in program history.
Roberts, from Aliso Viejo, Calif., has played in all 18 matches, making 16 starts, and is tied for third on the team with three goals. Roberts, who also has added two assists from her midfield spot, recorded her first-career two-goal game in a 7-0 win over Illinois Sept. 14.
Rodriguez, a Canton, Mich., native, has started all 18 matches at left back, ranking fourth on the team with four assists. The freshman assisted on a pair of goals in the win against the Illini while assisting on Walts’ game-winner against the Spartans.
Lowe, has played in all 18 matches, starting four. The Webster, N.Y., native assisted on a Riley Bowers goal against Illinois and has seen time both in the Buckeyes’ midfield and at forward.
Knight, a native of Plymouth, Mich., has started all 18 matches at center back. The junior has played the full match 11 times, including a season-high 104 minutes in a 2-1 double-overtime win over No. 20 Notre Dame Sept. 8.
Top-seeded Ohio State hosts eighth-seeded Iowa in a Big Ten quarterfinal at 4 p.m. Sunday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.