Big Ten Announces Women's Soccer Postseason Honors
Oct. 27, 2017


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