January 19, 2018

Buckeye All-Americans Walts, Wolcott Pursuing Master’s Degrees for Careers after Soccer


Jan. 19, 2018

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COLUMBUS, Ohio Nikki Walts and Morgan Wolcott, two of the nine All-Americans in Ohio State women’s soccer history, just concluded their Buckeye careers in November but have their eyes set on their life after soccer. Walts, who’s pursuing a master’s degree in sport management, is expected to graduate in December while Wolcott, who’s obtaining a master’s in human resource management, will graduate after this spring semester.

The two helped the Buckeyes to a 15-5-1 record and the first outright Big Ten championship in program history in 2017. However, after each garnered first team Scholar All-America honors from the United Soccer Coaches, the two decided to conclude their playing careers, finish their master’s programs in Columbus and enter the real world.

Walts, who obtained her bachelor’s degree in August after just three years, was named Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and first team All-Big Ten in 2017, leading the team and ranking second in the conference with nine assists while starting all 21 matches. The team co-captain and third team All-American also earned second team CoSIDA Academic All-District honors and finished her career fourth on the Ohio State career assists list with 22.

“Graduating in three years opened up the opportunity for me to start my master’s while finishing up my final year of eligibility,” Walts said. “With our team staying over the summer to train, I took advantage of the summer courses Ohio State offered. I chose to stay and graduate instead of going pro because I felt it was necessary for me to have a master’s degree if I want to be successful in my future career.”

Wolcott, a three-time team captain who is looking to go into a generalist role for human resources or another direction in business, helped the Buckeyes to a 0.59 goals-against average and 10 shutouts while starting 18 matches at center back. The Milford, Ohio, native and second team All-American scored two goals and added an assist while being named Big Ten Defender of the Year, first team All-Big Ten and second team CoSIDA Academic All-District.

“After having the opportunity to play for six years, I decided that I was ready to start my career path given all of the opportunities Ohio State has provided me with,” Wolcott added. “I considered playing professionally, but I would really like to finish my last semester of my graduate program and start this new chapter of my life.”

Not only have Walts and Wolcott added to the proud history of Ohio State women’s soccer, they have each provided tremendous examples that having choices and various opportunities after soccer is a core belief of the Buckeyes’ program.