NCAA women’s soccer is set to kick off later this month, and an Ohio State player will be one of the top players to watch nationally when she takes the field against Louisville for the Buckeyes’ season opener Aug. 22 in Columbus. Junior Izzy Rodriguez was named to the watch list for the Mac Hermann Trophy honoring the most outstanding male and female soccer players in the country. While there is still a lot of soccer to be played before the winners are announced in January, Rodriguez is still recognized as one of the top players in the Big Ten and in the country and will be one of the key leaders for the Buckeyes as they start play in a few weeks.
Rodriguez has started 39 of her 40 career games, including all 21 as a freshman. Last season, she recorded four goals—tied for best on the team—and two assists. For her efforts, she achieved first team All-Big Ten recognition during her sophomore campaign. Rodriguez was also a member of the U.S. U-20 Women’s World Cup team that competed in France last year, and a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
Rodriguez and the rest of the Buckeyes will also have the advantage of a stable coaching regime, as head coach Lori Walker-Hock signed a contract extension through the 2021-22 season. Walker-Hock, a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2001, 2010, 2017), has been at the helm of Ohio State for the past 22 seasons. In the past 17 years alone, Walker-Hock has taken the Buckeyes to 13 NCAA Tournaments—including in each of the last four seasons. She has also led Ohio State to an appearance in the College Cup in 2010. In the Big Ten, Walter-Hock took her teams to conference regular season titles twice (2010, 2017) and conference tournament titles three times (2002, 2004, 2012).
It may be one of the smaller graduation ceremonies, but 22 current and former student athletes from 12 athletic programs received their degrees Sunday at Ohio State’s summer commencement. In all, 231 student athletes received their degrees throughout this academic year.
Among the graduates this past weekend were Eric Brunner and Marrita Porter, captains of the men’s soccer and women’s basketball teams, respectively, and Dakota Johnson of the men’s ice hockey team who recently signed a contract with the St. Louis Blues.
In addition, Stephany Thielemann, a three-time synchronized swimming national champion, took home her degree in psychology, while Mossimo Chavez, a first team All-American swimmer, earned his sport industry degree.
As Olympic sports committees start to consider their rosters for the 2020 games in Tokyo, several current Buckeyes find themselves in the mix for chances to make the cut for the elite national swimming team with their performances over the weekend.
In all, 17 athletes from Ohio State participated in the Phillips 66 National Championships in Palo Alto, California. Six of these swimmers finished day one with times good enough to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials next June in Omaha, Nebraska. This group included:
- Katie Trace (200m butterfly)
- Alex Dillman (200m butterfly)
- Noah Lense (200m butterfly)
- Andrew Loy (100m freestyle)
- Ruslan Gaziev (100m freestyle)
- Paul DeLakis (100m freestyle)
Best of luck to these athletes—and many more—as they continue their quest for Tokyo 2020!
Missed the latest podcast?
Another episode of Outside the Shoe dropped on Friday. The podcast focuses on Ohio State sports that aren’t football or men’s basketball. This week, the focus is on the rowing team.
To listen to the pod, you can click the link here or click on the embed below. If you like the show, the embed allows you to subscribe and/or download.
Michigan football might get attention for taking its team overseas on highly-publicized spring break trips, but Ohio State gives its own student athletes similar, though more under-the-radar, international experiences.
The men’s lacrosse team, for example, is preparing for an upcoming trip to Portugal later this month. The itinerary for the weeklong trip is well-rounded, featuring a mix of community service, social activities and, of course, lacrosse. The team is scheduled to play two games versus the England National Team. In addition, players are participating in community service initiatives aiming to “grow the game” of lacrosse worldwide. Finally, the team will have a chance to enjoy other experiences, like surfing, before heading back for the fall.