COLUMBUS, Ohio Over the course of the last three seasons the Ohio State coaches have watched the careers of two 35-goal scorers and a 27-goal scorer end, so it is not surprising that the six members of the 2009 recruiting class, announced today by head coach Lori Walker, is heavy with talented players who work hard to put the ball into the net.

The class includes four forwards, a combination midfielder/forward and a defender. And despite its lack of size the past two classes included 13 and 12 student-athletes, respectively Walker is pleased that the group adequately addresses the team’s needs.

“We’ve only signed three true forwards in the last two years,” Walker said, “so we are pleased to be adding four forwards to the roster, in addition to getting another combo-forward and a defender.”

The class includes two local players Kendyl Reed, from Worthington and Kellen Shields, from Dublin, two from the state of Pennsylvania Kayla Eckman, from Freeport and Alyssa Walker, from Pittsburgh, and two Canadians Tiffany Cameron, from Mississauga, Ontario and Lauren Granberg, from Edmonton, Alberta. Cameron, Eckman, Granberg and Shields are forwards, Reed is the combo midfielder/forward and Walker is a defender.

Interestingly, each of the three pairs of student-athletes has played together extensively. Reed and Shields have been teammates for the Ohio Premier club team. Eckman and Walker are teammates with the Pennsylvania club team Beadling. And Cameron and Granberg have been teammates on the Canadian U17 National Team.

Only time will tell if anyone from this class reaches the lofty goal totals that Lisa Grubb, Lara Dickenmann and Lisa Collison concluded their careers with, but Walker and staff will be thrilled if some of them do, and in the short term steps in next year to provide quality minutes for a team that will, no doubt, have a Big Ten championship and a return trip to the NCAA tournament as its goals.

2009 Ohio State Women’s Soccer Recruiting Class

F Tiffany Cameron Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Canadian U17 Team; Erin Mills Soccer Club

Tiffany has significant international experience that includes playing in four matches last fall at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, held in Auckland, New Zealand … she started all four matches for the Canadian U17 team and helped the team to the quarterfinal round … she also played in the CONCACAF U17 championships in 2008 in Trinidad and Tobago and led the bronze-medal winning Canadian team in scoring … Tiffany won a bronze medal with Ontario at the 2007 U16 Girls National All-Star Championship, an event where she won the Top Scorer award … she was runner-up in 2007 for the Canadian Soccer Association Junior Player of the Year Award and she finished third that year in the Fan’s Choice of Top Female Soccer Player in Canada Award … she attended St. Joseph’s Secondary School where she played basketball for three years and soccer for one year … played club soccer for Erin Mills … a fan of anything athletic, including rollerblading, playing street hockey and volleyball, Tiffany is the daughter of Yvonne Brown and Steve Hunte … she has an older sister.

Coach Lori Walker: “Tiffany is an athletic, speedy and dynamic forward with good goal-scoring ability.  She attacks with real purpose and has a special ability to slip balls through defenses.  We hope these characteristics and her youth national team experience will enable her to make a significant contribution in 2009.”

F Kayla Eckman Freeport, Pa.
U.S. U17 Training Camp; Beadling Soccer Club

Ranked as the 29th-best senior by the ESPN/Rise soccer rankings, Kayla was a scoring machine at Freeport Area Senior H.S. … finished career with a school-record 135 goals and was named one of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League’s most dominant offensive players … scored the only goal for the U.S. U16 team in a 2007 game against Germany at the Home Depot Center during one of two national team training camps she attended … helped club team Beadling to the ODP regional semifinals twice and to the state cup championship twice … captained Beadling teams four years … part of the ODP national pool for two years … played four years of high school soccer and was all-state as a senior … lead Freeport to two state cup championships and was all-section four years and all WPIAL three years … played in the MARACANA, in Brazil, in 2007 as part of her Region 1 ODP team … swims, snowboards, reads and writes poetry in her spare time … a member of the National Honor Society, Kayla is the daughter of Mary Kay and Kelly Eckman … she has one younger sibling, Cheyenne. 

Coach Lori Walker: “Kayla is a hard-working forward whose strengths include her work-rate, playing with her back to the goal, combining and finishing. We are excited she will be coming in early this spring. It will only help her adjustment and impact next fall.”

F Lauren Granberg Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Canadian U-17 Team; Alberta Provincial Team

Lauren has extensive international experience … she played internationally with the Canadian U17 Team last fall at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, held in Auckland, New Zealand … she started all four matches for Canada and helped the team to the quarterfinal round … she played for Alberta’s Provincial Team Internazional four years and won a bronze medal at the 2008 Provincial Games and a silver at the 2007 games … team was gold medalist at the 2007 U16 Western Canadian Games … served as a captain on three provincial teams … team also was EIYSA League champion in 2007 and 2008 and was Edmonton champion in 2007 … attended Archbishop Jordan High School and played basketball as well as volleyball, captaining both teams … loves to play any sport and to work out … Lauren is the daughter of Joanne and Jeff Granberg … she has a brother, Ryan, and a sister, Cassandra. 

Coach Lori Walker: “Lauren was a late but fantastic addition to this class. She is naturally a forward but she has played as a center back for the Canadian Youth National Team.  Her athletic tools, 1v1 attacking, and goal-scoring ability will add a different dimension to our attack.”

M/F Kendyl Reed Worthington, Ohio
Ohio Premier; Worthington Kilbourne High School

Kendyl came through the strong central Ohio club program Ohio Premier and played scholastically at Worthington Kilbourne High School … she helped Ohio Premier to the 2008 state cup Final Four … member of the 2007 Ohio South state team and attended a 2007 ODP Regional camp … Kendyl was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas 2008 all- Region IV (central) team and was named first-team all-Ohio by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association … also named all-Ohio Capital Conference (and its player of the year) two times and all-Central Ohio by the Columbus Dispatch … was a second-team all-state pick by the OSSCA in 2007 as a junior … a Worthingon scholar-athlete all four years in high school, Kendyl enjoys listening to music, watching movies, dancing and drawing away from the athletic fields … she is the daughter of Diane and Tom Reed … she has two siblings: Krysten and Kamryn. 

Coach Lori Walker: “We feel we have found a unique player/student-athlete in Kendyl. She is fit, hard-working, and skillful.  Her speed, quickness, and versatility will help strengthen our lineup as well as provide it with some additional depth.”

F Kellen Shields Dublin, Ohio
Ohio Premier; Dublin Jerome High School
Kellen helped the strong Ohio Premier club team to the 2007 OSYSA state cup finals and to three additional state cup semifinal appearances, as well as the 2006 USYSA Region 2 championships … she was also a member of the ODP South state team for three years (2003-05) … Kellen also played four years of soccer at Dublin Jerome, earning first-team all-Ohio Capital Conference honors as a junior and senior, second team honors as a sophomore and honorable mention honors as a freshman … team captain as a senior in 2008 … OCC player of the year in 2008 and team Most Valuable Player … Jerome was OCC champion three years (2006-07-08) … Kellen is the daughter of Laura and Mark Shields … she has a sister, Carrie, and a brother, Kevin … Carrie played soccer collegiately at Marquette and Miami (Ohio).

Coach Lori Walker: “Kellen is as good a back-to-goal player that I have seen in a long time. She combines with others really well and has a lethal shot. She will bring a relentless work ethic and a spark to our front line.”

D Alyssa Walker Pittsburgh, Pa.
Beadling Soccer Club; Upper St. Clair High School

Alyssa, a member of the 2008 ODP Region 1 team, was a captain for her Beadling Soccer Club teams for seven years, during which time she helped lead Beadling to the ODP regional semifinals twice and to the state cup championship twice … she also helped lead Beadling teams to six Pennsylvania West USYSA state championships and into an international tournament in Italy in 2007 … named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas 2008 all- Region II (east) team as a high school senior and junior, Alyssa was named first-team Pennsylvania all-state after anchoring the Upper St. Clair defense … named all- Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League two times and  all-area by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Tribune Review in 2007 and 2008 … Alyssa has spent a great deal of time in a volunteer capacity and she was a founding member of Athletes Taking Action (school program where athletes mentor younger athletes) … she is the daughter of Amy and Luke Walker … she has a sister, Lindsay, and two brothers, Ben and Luke. 

Coach Lori Walker: “Aly brings a lot to the table for our team. She is a very athletic, hard-nosed, and competitive defender. We are excited to see where she might fit in the mix among our defending group.”