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Nichelle Prince leading the way for No. 17 OSU women’s soccer team

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Then-sophomore Nichelle Prince (7) fights for a ball during a match Oct. 24, 2014 against Iowa at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Then-sophomore Nichelle Prince (7) fights for a ball during a match Oct. 24, 2014 against Iowa at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Junior forward Nichelle Prince has already made a splash for the No. 17 Ohio State women’s soccer team (3-0-1) in its four opening matches, scoring two goals.

The Ajax, Ontario, native’s junior year is off to an exciting start as she was just named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after her overtime game-winning goal against then-No. 8 Florida on Aug. 23.

The forward said she approached the honor humbly and with confidence moving forward.

“It’s obviously a big honor to be able to be named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and have those titles, but I think it is a lot about how I can contribute to my team and how I can get better every week,” she said.

Prince said she feels as though she carries much more responsibility on and off the field as an upperclassman.

“I’m a junior now, so I think I have a lot more influence on the field, and I just want to make sure that everyone feels a part of the team,” she said. “Hopefully I can spread my knowledge to younger players.”

Prince said she started playing soccer when she was 4 years old.

“The first time I went, my parents were driving me, and I was begging for them to take me home,” she said, “But as soon as I got on the field I loved it and I’ve played ever since.”

As Prince’s career continued through childhood and into her high school years, she then faced the decision of choosing where she would play her collegiate career.

“I could see myself living here for four years and growing up here. It wasn’t all about soccer, it was a lot about the atmosphere,” Prince said about what drew her to OSU.

Prince’s soccer career at OSU has seen its share of ups and downs.

As a freshman, Prince saw action in all 20 games, being named second team All-Big Ten as well as earning a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team. She collected three Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, as well as ranking fifth in the conference for goals and points.

She was unable to duplicate that level of success as a sophomore. Prince started only 10 matches due to a leg injury that kept her out of the season’s first nine contests.

Prince’s teammates are glad to have her back on the pitch.

“Having Nichelle back and fully healthy gives our team a lot of confidence. It’s awesome being able to play up top with her again,” junior forward Lindsay Agnew said.

Prince and the rest of the women’s soccer team are scheduled to be back in action on Thursday as they host Florida International at 7:30 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

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