Battling Bishops Score Soccer Success

From left, siblings Tyler Wall ’11, Travis Wall ’12, and Sarah Wall ’06 are among the nine Battling Bishop alumni to earn spots on the NCAC  30th Anniversary Women’s and Men’s Soccer All-Decade Teams (2003-2012). (Photo courtesy of the Wall family)

From left, siblings Tyler Wall ’11, Travis Wall ’12, and Sarah Wall ’06 are among the nine Battling Bishop alumni to earn spots on the NCAC 30th Anniversary Women’s and Men’s Soccer All-Decade Teams (2003-2012). (Photo courtesy of the Wall family)

Nine members of the Ohio Wesleyan University family have been named to North Coast Athletic Conference 30th Anniversary Women’s and Men’s Soccer All-Decade Teams (2003-2012).

Three of them happen to be in same immediate family as well.

Siblings Sarah Wall ’06, Tyler Wall ’11, and Travis Wall ’12 all made the respective all-decade teams as forwards.

Sarah made First-Team All NCAC four times, including an unprecedented four consecutive Offensive Player of the Year awards from 2002-2005.

Tyler made First-Team All NCAC four times, including Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2009 and 2010.

Travis made First-Team All NCAC three times, including an Offensive Player of the Year award in 2011 to go along with his 2011 Division III Player of the Year award.

While they were all successful athletes, they were “very different” players, says men’s soccer head coach Jay Martin.

Sarah was a very technical player, while Tyler had the more dominant skill set, Martin says. Travis, on the other hand, was the best of the three when it came to the psychological side of the game.

Despite Travis’s advantage in regard to mental toughness, Tyler’s presence on the team during Travis’s first three years sometimes forced Travis to take a backseat, Martin says.

“During [Travis’s] freshman year, it was very hard for him to come and follow in his brother’s footsteps,” Martin says.

Because Tyler had the better skill set initially and was so successful, it was sometimes difficult for Travis to play up to that standard.

After Tyler graduated, though, it was “clearly Travis’s team” and it showed when he won the Division III Player of the Year award.

Sarah did not have to compete with either of her younger brothers during her time at OWU, but she still shined in her own way.

“Her stats really speak for themselves,” says women’s soccer head coach Bob Barnes.

One thing her stats don’t capture, however, is the amount of admiration she received from the entire conference while she was a player.

Before her senior year, Sarah broke two of her vertebrae, and the staff was unsure whether she would come back to play her last season, Barnes recalls.

During her recovery process, representatives from schools across the NCAC came to visit her in the hospital, Barnes says, showing how much her opponents respected her on and off the field.

All three Walls certainly made an impact on the soccer program, but they also are not the only groups of siblings to come through the school.

Martin says the quality of Ohio Wesleyan’s academics and its soccer program help OWU to draw many people from the same family.

“When they’re looking at this school versus [another school], Ohio Wesleyan’s going to have an advantage,” Martin says.

Barnes says the Wall family, in particular, is a very positive group that enabled all three children to thrive at OWU.

“From the parents all the way to the kids, I think there is a lot of support,” Barnes says. “It’s amazing how much of an impact three people can make.”

Other members of the OWU family to make NCAC All-Decade Teams are:

  • Michelle Corbett, forward, 2005-2008
  • Paul Hendricks, goalie, 2009-2012
  • Belle Madison, midfielder, Ohio Wesleyan 2008-2011
  • Ryan Martin, midfielder, 2003-2004
  • Craig Neal, midfielder, 2003-2006
  • Dylan Stone, midfielder, 2008-2011

Congratulations to these accomplished Battling Bishops!

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