2014 Soccer Preview
AMES, Iowa- The Iowa State soccer team is set to begin a new era under first-year head coach Tony Minatta this season. Last year proved to be one of the best seasons in school history, but Minatta believes there are even brighter days in the future of the program.
Iowa State returns a plethora of young talent teamed up with six seniors, which should provide the Cyclones with plenty of weapons. This year’s senior class includes two players in Lindsay Frank and Margaret Powers who missed last season due to injury, and Andrea Swanson, a goalkeeper who transferred in from Drake University.
Coach Minatta believes that the true spine of the team will run from the goalkeeper through the center back positions to the midfielders and forwards. The Cyclones return key players at each spot giving the team a true backbone to rely on.
The forward position looks to be a strong one for the Cyclones with the return of Koree Willer and Hayley Womack. The duo combined for five goals and eight assists last season and will look to do more damage this year. Joining the them will be sophomore Adalie Schmidt, who dealt with injuries last season and freshmen Kaley Nieters and Maribell Morales.
“Hayley Womack is very confident, driven and very competitive,” Minatta said. “She’s an individual that we’re expecting to see big things out of. She could very well be the fastest player in the Big 12. Koree Willer is another player who’s going into her sophomore year. We talked about that we want to see more out of her with the goals and assists. Adalie Schmidt is coming in looking to stake her claim. Maribell Morales and Kaley Nieters coming in are going to push to either start or play at the forward position. That gives us two goal scorers and two very accomplished youth players.”
The midfielder position is Iowa State’s most experienced position on the field returning Haley Albert, Lauren Roeling and Alyssa Williamson, who all saw significant minutes last season. Additionally, seniors Margaret Powers and Lindsay Frank will both take the field this season after missing last year with injuries. Haley Murphy and Lynsey Ng also return for their sophomore years and Laura Friedrich, Stella Maris Strohman and Macy Vrabel join as incoming freshmen.
“Haley Albert was arguably our best player in the spring,” Minatta said. “She’s very consistent, very good on the ball and very strong. Lauren Roeling is coming back off of a spring where she struggled a little bit, but we’re expecting her to come back in and be at the form that she was in the previous fall. Then you have Lindsay Frank who is going to push to play at either center back or holding mid. Margaret Powers has been playing a lot of soccer. She’s really fit and a fifth year senior who wants prove something. She wants to take the team to a higher level than what her actual class took it. For her it’s not just getting to the Big 12 tournament, but winning some games. Alyssa Williamson will look at time at attacking mid as well. She’s a very experienced, very solid and very consistent player.”
Iowa State’s defense looks to be strong with the return of Kourtney Camy and Madi Ott, two sophomores who put together impressive freshman campaigns. The unit also returns some senior leadership from Maggie Bruckman. Sophomore Danielle Moore and freshman Sasha Stinson will also be in the hunt for significant playing time.
“As far as centerbacks go, Madi Ott and Kourtney Camy returning is great for us,” Minatta said. “Those two played center back for what was the best finish in the program since 2007. Maggie Bruckman has stepped up huge and she is a senior so she has a lot of experience and is really hungry to prove something. Danielle Moore is the other outside back who really showed that she’s capable of playing that position in the spring. Where she’s at now we’re really excited about. Sasha Stinson will either push to start or for playing time.”
Iowa State will sport a new face in goal this year after the departure of Maddie Jobe. Senior Andrea Swanson joins the Cyclones after transferring from Drake University. The senior is joined by incoming freshmen Lindsey Hendon and Emily O’Grady.
“Andrea Swanson transferring back from Drake and getting her to be able to play was huge," Minatta said. "She’s going to get pushed. We have two freshmen coming in who are very accomplished club and high school level players. They have not shown that yet here, obviously, because they have not been here, but they’re definitely going to push her there."
The team began practice on Aug. 6, and will play an exhibition game against Nebraska Omaha on August 15 before kicking off the regular season on a road trip to Mississippi State on August 22. Follow Iowa State soccer’s twitter account @cycloneSCR or the Iowa State Soccer Facebook page for more information on the team.