Aug. 21, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Seniors Zach Mason and Liam Doyle and junior Tyler Kidwell have been named captains of the 2015 Ohio State men’s soccer team, head coach John Bluem announced Friday. The Buckeyes are set to play their final exhibition of the preseason at 8 p.m. ET tonight against No. 19 Xavier in Fort Wayne, Ind.
“We want our captains to lead the conversations in the locker room and keep the intensity high whether it would be in a game or in training,” Bluem said. “All three guys are going to be great leaders for this team. They are going to push their teammates towards excellence every single day.”
Mason, who is now a two-time captain, has made every start in his Buckeye career with 59 appearances in the OSU midfield the last three years. In his freshman season, the Galena, Ohio, native, made 19 starts and collected a pair of assists with 17 shots, including five on goal. Mason started and played in all 18 games in 2013, registering 1,677 minutes with two assists. Last year, as a first-time captain, Mason helped guide the team back to the NCAA Tournament with 22 starts. He punched the Buckeyes’ ticket into the second round after tallying the final penalty kick in the 15th-round against in-state rival Akron. He was the team’s Sportsmanship Award Winner and is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten selection.
“It’s a great honor to be given the responsibility again to be captain of this team,” Mason said. “Not many guys get to be captain twice and I’m fortunate to have this opportunity. I think we have a group of players that can push themselves towards a championship this season.”
Doyle, a native of Isle of Man, U.K., made an immediate impact in the OSU backfield in his first season in 2014. With 22 starts, Doyle was named a first team All-Big Ten selection and second team NSCAA All-Midwest honoree. In 2,057 minutes played, Doyle posted 12 points on 5 goals and two assists, including three gamewinning goals (tied for third in the Big Ten). A tall, physical player as the team’s anchor to the backline, Doyle has been one of the top Buckeyes to take penalty kicks, registering three last season.
“It’s great to come in and be a captain my senior year and to not only be a leader on this team but for this university,” Doyle said. “I don’t think I will realize the significance of this until years to come but right now it’s a tremendous honor.”
Kidwell, from Dublin, Ohio, has played in 39 games with 37 starts in the OSU backfield. A strong, consistent player for the Scarlet and Gray defense, he was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 17 appearances and 15 starts in 2013. Last year, Kidwell was named to the Wolstein Classic and UNCW Classic All-Tournament Teams with 22 starts. He played every minute in 20 of those games, accumulating 2,056 minutes. Kidwell is an OSU Scholar-Athlete, Academic All-Big Ten honoree and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.
“I am honored that I get the chance to learn from Zach and Liam this year,” Kidwell said. “I’m very excited that the coaches have chosen me to be one of the next captains of this team. It’s a big responsibility and I know it comes with the important task to keep the team in shape. I’m looking forward to this exciting season to come.”
The Buckeyes open the regular season Aug. 28 against Cal State Fullerton to open the tenth-annual Wolstein Classic at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. As always, admission is free.