ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the 2017 All-Big Ten Women’s Soccer Teams and individual honors Friday, with Big Ten champion Ohio State earning three individual accolades. The Buckeyes’ Nikki Walts was selected as the Midfielder of the Year, Morgan Wolcott collected Defender of the Year honors and Lori Walker-Hock was a unanimous choice for Coach of the Year plaudits. Purdue’s Maddy Williams was named Forward of the Year, while Rutgers’ Casey Murphy was chosen Goalkeeper of the Year, and teammate Amirah Ali was the Freshman of the Year.
Williams is Purdue’s first women’s soccer individual honoree since 2007. She leads the conference in goals (school-record 14), goals per game (0.78), points (school-record 36), points per game (2.00), game-winning goals (school-record 6), shots (74), shots per game (4.11 this season. She is also tied for second in the Big Ten in assists (8) and assists per game (0.44). A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and Purdue’s record holder for career goals (38) and multi-goal games (9), Williams was a three-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week selection this season.
Walts is the first Buckeye chosen as Midfielder of the Year and the first Ohio State student to earn individual honors since 2010, when OSU’s Paige Maxwell and Cassie Dickerson were the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. Walts is tied for second in the Big Ten with eight assists and 0.44 assists per game this season. During conference play, she tied for third in the Big Ten with five assists and tied for fourth with 0.45 assists per game. Walts, who ranks fourth in OSU history with 21 career assists, is a two-time All-Big Ten selection, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten choice and was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2017.
Wolcott is the first OSU student to earn the Big Ten’s top individual defensive honor since Dickerson’s award in 2010. Wolcott is one of the leaders of a Buckeyes’ defense that ranks second in the Big Ten for fewest goals allowed (9), lowest goals-against average (0.48) and total shutouts (10). She is also a four-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten and a two-time All-Big Ten honoree.
Murphy earns her second Goalkeeper of the Year honor in three seasons, returning to Big Ten action this year after sitting out the 2016 campaign while representing the United States at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. Murphy has been the anchor for Rutgers’ defense this season, which leads the Big Ten and ranks second in nation with a 0.26 GAA, .778 shutout percentage and .921 save percentage. Murphy herself leads the nation with 14 shutouts, while ranking is third in the NCAA in goals-against average (0.26) and save percentage (.921). She was a five-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week selection this season and has received that award 10 times during her career, which has seen her rise to third in Big Ten history with 43 shutouts. Murphy is a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and garnered Academic All-Big Ten plaudits in 2015.
Ali follows teammate Nicole Whitley as the second Scarlet Knights’ freshman in as many seasons to earn the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award. She has five goals and four assists this season, and during conference play, she ranked ninth in Big Ten with three assists and 0.27 assists per game. She also shared Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on Sept. 5.
Walker-Hock collects her third Big Ten Coach of the Year award and first since 2010 after leading Ohio State to its second Big Ten Championship and first since that 2010 season, when the Buckeyes shared the title with Penn State. Ohio State has posted a 9-2-0 conference record and is 14-3-1 overall, earning two wins and a draw in four matchups against top-25 opponents this season. The Buckeyes have been ranked or receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll all year long, rising as high as No. 12 in the rankings on Oct. 10 (they are currently 13th), and OSU has been among the top 20 on the NCAA RPI chart for much of the season, presently standing at No. 16 as one of six Big Ten schools in the top 50.
Williams, Walts, Wolcott and Murphy earned spots on the All-Big Ten First Team and were joined by Minnesota’s Sydney Squires, Nebraska’s Sinclaire Miramontez, Northwestern’s Kayla Sharples and Marisa Viggiano, Ohio State’s Sammy Edwards, Penn State’s Emily Ogle and Wisconsin’s Victoria Pickett.
The complete All-Big Ten teams, including the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, are listed below.
The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The students chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of honorees can also be found below.
The Big Ten Tournament opens with four quarterfinal games hosted by Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State and Rutgers on Sunday. The tournament semifinals and championship match will be held Nov. 3 and Nov. 5, respectively, at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., with all three matches on championship weekend, as well as Sunday’s quarterfinal between Minnesota and Wisconsin, televised live on BTN and BTN2Go. The first semifinal match on Nov. 3 will be broadcast live on BTN2Go and debut on the linear network that same day at 9:30 p.m. (ET).
This year’s Big Ten Tournament champion will earn the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Follow all the Big Ten Tournament action at bigten.org and on Twitter @B1GSoccer.
|2017 BIG TEN WOMEN'S SOCCER HONORS & AWARDS
INDIVIDUAL AWARD RECIPIENTS
|Coach of the Year||LORI WALKER-HOCK, Ohio State|
|Forward of the Year||Maddy Williams, Sr., Purdue|
|Midfielder of the Year||Nikki Walts, Sr., Ohio State|
|Defender of the Year||Morgan Wolcott, Sr., Ohio State|
|Goalkeeper of the Year||Casey Murphy, Jr., Rutgers|
|Freshman of the Year||Amirah Ali, Rutgers|
|ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM|
|Forward||Sydney Squires, Minnesota|
|Sammy Edwards, Ohio State|
|Maddy Williams, Purdue|
|Midfield||Marisa Viggiano, Northwestern|
|Nikki Walts, Ohio State|
|Emily Ogle, Penn State|
|Victoria Pickett, Wisconsin|
|Defense||Sinclaire Miramontez, Nebraska|
|Kayla Sharples, Northwestern|
|Morgan Wolcott, Ohio State|
|Goalkeeper||Casey Murphy, Rutgers|
|ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM|
|Forward||Jamie Cheslik, Michigan State|
|Megan Schafer, Penn State|
|Dani Rhodes, Wisconsin|
|Midfield||Sarah Stratigakis, Michigan|
|Molly Fiedler, Minnesota|
|Haley Hanson, Nebraska|
|Defense||Taylor Timko, Michigan|
|Tori Burnett, Minnesota|
|Kaleigh Riehl, Penn State|
|Chantelle Swaby, Rutgers|
|Goalkeeper||Devon Kerr, Ohio State|
|ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM*|
|Forward||Reilly Martin, Michigan|
|April Bockin, Minnesota|
|Meg Brandt, Nebraska|
|Amirah Ali, Rutgers|
|Midfield||Natalie Winters, Iowa|
|Sarah Roberts, Ohio State|
|Charlotte Williams, Penn State|
|Defense||Hannah Davison, Northwestern|
|Izzy Rodriguez, Ohio State|
|Vanessa Korolas, Purdue|
|Goalkeeper||Rachel Egyed, Maryland|
|Sarah Jackson, Michigan|
|Aubrei Corder, Nebraska|
|BIG TEN ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM|
|Forward||Maddy Lowe, Ohio State|
|Frankie Tagliaferri, Penn State|
|Amirah Ali, Rutgers|
|Lauren Rice, Wisconsin|
|Midfield||Sarah Stratigakis, Michigan|
|Regan Steigleder, Northwestern|
|Cameron Murtha, Wisconsin|
|Defense||IZZY RODRIGUEZ, Ohio State|
|Sarah Clark, Purdue|
|Sammy Kleedtke, Wisconsin|
|Goalkeeper||Katie Luce, Purdue|
|SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES|
|Illinois||Darci Dietrich, Sr.|
|Indiana||Caroline Dreher, Jr.|
|Iowa||Rachele Armand, Sr.|
|Maryland||Rachel Egyed, Jr.|
|Michigan||Alyssa Dillon, Sr.|
|Michigan State||Jamie Cheslik, Sr.|
|Minnesota||Kellie McGahn, Sr.|
|Nebraska||Emilee Cincotta, Sr.|
|Northwestern||Lauren Clem, Sr.|
|Ohio State||Kylie Knight, Jr.|
|Penn State||Laura Suero, So.|
|Purdue||Vanessa Korolas, Sr.|
|Rutgers||Christy Monroy, Sr.|
|Wisconsin||Becca Harrison, Sr.|
Unanimous selections listed in ALL CAPS
* - additional honorees due to ties in voting