ATHENS, Ohio– The Ohio soccer team has added two graduate transfers to the roster for the 2018 season, head coach Aaron Rodgers announced today (Aug. 3). Maria Collica comes to Ohio after a career at Butler, while Michelle Rockey comes to Athens after time at Oregon.
"We are very excited to welcome Maria and Michelle," Rodgers said. "It is wonderful to add two experienced players from excellent programs. They have both already competed at such a high level. They have already settled right in and you can tell that their experience will definitely add to our group."
Collica, a defender from Solon, Ohio, is the older sister of freshman Morgan Collica, and perusing her master's degree in Exercise Physiology. Collica finished her career at Butler with 53 games played and 47 starts. She scored two goals and registered eight assists for 12 total points. She registered 16 shots, with nine of them on goal for a .563 shots on goal percentage, while also recording two games-winning goals in her career.
"I know Ohio is a really good soccer team and a really good school, and my sister committed here and that was another big reason I came," Collica said. "After meeting the team and talking with the coaches, it just felt like a really good fit for me."
Collica did not play during the 2017 season due to a medical redshirt. However, in 2016, Collica started in all 12 games she played in for the season, finishing the season with one goal and four assists. She was named BIG EAST Defensive player of the week following back to back Bulldog shutouts against IUPUI and Evansville in which the defensive held their opponents to only three shots on goal. Her lone goal of the season in a 2-0 victory over Villanova (9/24).
"We've always been exactly four years apart so we've never been able to play for the same team," Collica said on the opportunity to play with her younger sister, Morgan. "This summer we've been able to train together and I thought it was a great opportunity to actually play together."
Rockey, a defender from Woodland Hills, Calif. is perusing her MBA/MSA in Sports Administration at Ohio.
"I really wanted to try something new and break out of my comfort zone," Rockey said about her decision to come to Ohio. "I wanted something different from the west coast and Ohio fell into my lap. It was an awesome opportunity to get one of the best degrees that I could get in the Sports Administration program, while also getting to play soccer, so I'm lucky I get to do both of them."
Rockey finished her career at Oregon with 37 games played, 34 starts, 15 shots with six on goal for a .400 shots on goal percentage. She also recorded one assist for one point in her time with the Ducks. During her senior season, she played in all 17 games for the Ducks during her senior season. She tallied 12 shots, including a season-high four shots, two on goal, against Cal Poly (Sept. 3) and Oregon State (Nov. 2). She earned one shot against Kansas State (Aug. 20) Idaho (Sept. 8), Montana (Sept. 15), and Arizona State (Oct. 13), and finished the season with a .417 shots on goal percentage. Rockey also earned Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention.
"Aaron (Rodgers) is great, really motivating and great to play for and even though it's only day two," Rockey said. "I've had a lot of fun, and the team itself has welcomed me with open arms."
Rockey, Collica and the Bobcats take on Youngstown State on Friday, Aug. 10 in an exhibition match. First touch is set for 1 p.m. at Chessa Field. The regular season begins a week later on Friday, Aug. 17, when the Bobcats head to Pittsburgh for a matchup with the Panthers.