Outstanding student-athletes will be honored at 46th annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner
Class includes three forwards, four forward/midfielders, three midfielders, two defenders and a goalkeeper
First camp begins June 10
Tiffany Cameron, Megan Fuller and Lauren Granberg named All-Ohio
Junior started all 22 matches for the Buckeyes this season
E-mail Coach Walker
2001, 2010 Big Ten Coach of the Year
2002 Big Ten Tournament Outstanding Coach
2009 NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year
Entering her 21st season at the helm of Ohio State women’s soccer, head coach Lori Walker 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, most recently in 2016 when Ohio State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.
Walker surrounds Ohio State’s student-athletes with innovative and driven teachers that include first-year assistants 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.
Walker has 22 years of experience as a Division I head coach with two years as head coach at the University of Kansas - she was the first coach in KU history - preceding her 20 completed seasons at Ohio State. Walker has a 239-178-41 record as a head coach, including a 226-155-40 record at Ohio State. She has guided 14 teams to 10-or-more-wins seasons and has coached four teams that set single season wins records, including the 2004 Ohio State team that won a school-record 19 games.
The 2001 and 2010 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Walker has also been honored as the Big Ten Tournament’s outstanding coach (2002) and NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year (2009). Ohio State has advanced to play in five Big Ten Tournament championship games (1998, 2002, ‘04, ‘07, ‘12) under Walker, winning the championship in 2002, 2004 and again in 2012.
Walker has guided Ohio State to the NCAA Tournament 10 times: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. The 2004 team advanced to the national quarterfinals at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with NCAA wins over Bowling Green, Detroit and Tennessee before a 1-0 loss to UCLA ended the 19-4-3 campaign. The Scarlet and Gray shattered numerous program standards that year, including most goals (62), assists (63), shutouts (13) and goals-against average of 0.67. The season included a nine-match win streak and a 13-game unbeaten run. The team was 15-1-1 at home.
In 2007, Ohio State won its first 10 games at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to establish another program first before finishing 10-2 at home, a record that included wins over NCAA Tournament teams San Diego, Pepperdine, Illinois and Indiana. The team advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship game with a win over Indiana and a penalty-kick shootout decision over Penn State. The season was highlighted by an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2008, Ohio State won six consecutive matches to position it for its 13th Big Ten Tournament appearance. The team qualified for the tournament with the help of a stunning, 1-0, win at Penn State that snapped the Nittany Lions’ 67-game Big Ten unbeaten streak at Jeffrey Field and dating to 1995.
The Buckeyes finished second in the Big Ten Conference for their best finish ever and reached their fifth NCAA Tournament in 2009 while Walker was named NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year. Their 14-3-2 regular season record marked the best in school history. The seven wins Ohio State posted in Big Ten play were a program best and the four total losses tied for the fewest in school history. The Buckeyes gave up just 13 goals, four fewer than any other season and were 4-0-1 against ranked opponents.
In 2010, Walker led the Buckeyes to the first Big Ten championship and College Cup in program history en route to Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. The Buckeyes knocked off St. Francis (Pa.) in overtime in the first round, advanced on penalty kicks against Dayton in the second round and defeated Virginia and Georgetown to advance to the NCAA semifinals before falling to eventual national champion Notre Dame. The Scarlet and Gray finished the season with a 17-5-2 record, tallying the second-most wins in school history, and ranked fourth in the final NSCAA rankings, another program best.
Walker guided the Buckeyes to their second consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2011 after posting a 12-9-2 record, including NCAA upsets of Tennessee and No. 15 Milwaukee. The trip to the NCAA Tournament marked Ohio State’s fourth appearance in the last five seasons.
In 2012, the Buckeyes posted a 16-4-2 record en route to a fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Ohio State got hot down the stretch, tying a program record with nine-straight wins in October and November which included the Buckeyes’ third Big Ten Tournament championship with a 2-1 victory over Illinois.
Ohio State went 10-7-3 in 2013, making the NCAA Tournament for a fifth-consecutive season. Megan Fuller and Nichelle Prince were named second team All-Big Ten while Prince, and Alexis Degler were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
In 2015, the Buckeyes advanced to their third NCAA Sweet 16 in the last six seasons, tallying a 13-7-3 record, 5-4-2 in conference play. Devon Kerr and Sarah Roberts were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team while Lindsay Agnew garnered All-Big Ten Tournament team laurels.
Last season, Ohio State once again advanced to the NCAA Tournament, behind quality campaigns from second team All-Big Ten selections Agnew, Prince, Nikki Walts and Morgan Wolcott. Agnew went on to earn NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region and CoSIDA second team All-America honors before being selected by the Washington Spirit with the 19th overall pick in the second round of the NWSL Draft. In addition, Prince was later selected with the 28th pick in the third round by the Houston Dash.
In addition to the on-field success, Walker’s Buckeyes have thrived in the classroom. As a team, Ohio State has earned the NSCAA College Women’s Team Academic Award eight times in the past nine years. To qualify for the award, a team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to be eligible. Individually, 27 different student-athletes have garnered Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar laurels during Walker’s tenure to go along 13 CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
Prior to taking over at Ohio State for the 1997 season, Walker spent two seasons at Kansas, where she started the program and compiled a 13-23-1 record in two seasons coaching a team of predominantly freshmen and sophomores.
Walker’s coaching career began at the University of Maryland in 1992 under former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs. In three years at Maryland, the team’s goalkeepers and defense, coached by Walker, set records for save percentage, saves, fewest goals allowed and goals-against average. Active in the development of youth soccer, Walker has served as a Region II Staff Coach for the U.S. Soccer Federation Olympic Development Program since the summer of 1996. At Maryland, she served three years as a club coach in the town of Columbia, Md., as well as a head coach for the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association ODP.
Walker is a 1994 graduate of North Carolina. She was a member of four Tar Heel national championship teams, three ACC championship teams and lost only one match in her four-year collegiate career. She was the starting goalkeeper in 1989 and ended her playing career in 1991 with a career goals-against average of 0.41, allowing only 10 goals in 2,206 minutes of play. Walker holds a share of the NCAA tournament record with an amazing 0.00 GAA. She also excelled in the classroom and was named to the ACC academic honor roll three times.
Walker holds an “A” license and a National Youth License from the U.S. Soccer Federation, as well as a Premier diploma from the NSCAA. She is an active member of the NSCAA and former member of the NSCAA Women’s Committee.
A native of Albany, N.Y., Walker was a high school All-American at Guilderland Central High School. She earned letters in soccer, basketball and volleyball. Her hobbies cycling, paddle boarding and boating.
Humphrey Highlights | Sammy Edwards