25th season Awaits Buckeyes in 2017 Buckeyes kick off regular season at Arizona State Aug. 18

The Ohio State women’s soccer team’s 25th season kicked off with the opening of preseason camp Tuesday. The Buckeyes will look to continue to build on their success of seven NCAA Tournaments in the last eight years heading into the 2017 season.

Head coach Lori Walker-Hock enters her 21st season at the helm of the Buckeyes

Walker-Hock has established that Ohio State will contend in the Big Ten and nationally on an annual basis. The North Carolina graduate and two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year has led the Buckeyes to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 15 years, including an NCAA College Cup trip in 2010.

The Buckeyes welcome some new (and old) faces to the coaching staff

Walker-Hock has surrounded herself with a pair of first-year assistants in Brian Jankowski, an Ohio native who previously spent five seasons as an assistant at Dayton, and Michael Needham, who was head coach at Rhode Island for the last six seasons. Director of operations Duncan Johnston is back for his third season with the Buckeyes and former Buckeye first team All-American and three-time team captain Cassie Dickerson (2008-10) is back as volunteer assistant coach and director of player development.

Senior Nikki Walts has started 63 career matches, scoring 11 goals and dishing out 13 assists

Despite the loss of six starters, including 2016 All-Big Ten selections and NWSL Draft picks Lindsay Agnew and Nichelle Prince, the Buckeyes return five starters who accounted for 93 starts a season ago. Second team All-Big Ten picks Nikki Walts and Morgan Wolcott combined for seven goals and five assists while starting all 21 matches a year ago, while Sammy Edwards ranked second on the team with six goals in 11 starts in 2016. Haley Walker-Robinson was a stalwart on the Buckeyes’ back line, starting every game as a freshman last season and Sarah Roberts made 19 starts in the midfield.

The Buckeyes welcome a talented group of 13 newcomers to the program for the 2017 season
"The Class of 2017 is special and is finally ready to wear scarlet and gray," Walker-Hock said. "This class is the culmination of deep connections over many long years. Each player has unique ties to our program, The Ohio State University and each other. Overall, this is a group of players that loves to attack in a variety of different ways. These players bring a rich skillset and high soccer IQ thanks to outstanding club environments and youth coaches. These young players will have great leadership and a returning team that will show them the ropes. We have high expectations for several 2017's to contribute immediately."
Ohio State will play eight regular-season contests against 2016 NCAA Tournament teams

The 18-match schedule kicks off Aug. 18 at Arizona State with the home opener Aug. 26 against Buffalo. The Buckeyes’ 11-game home slate is highlighted by a match against ACC power Notre Dame Sept. 8 and contests against Big Ten foes Northwestern Sept. 17, Penn State Sept. 30 and Michigan Oct. 8.

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