Nov. 13, 2007
IOWA CITY, IA – The 2007 season for the University of Iowa soccer team was one full of memories and firsts. For Head Coach Ron Rainey, the season marks just one more step in the right direction for a program that continues to rebuild.
“We have to be real excited about the steps we took this season,” Iowa’s second-year coach said. “We made a lot of progression this season to be in the top eight in the conference, but now we have to work that much harder to be where we want to be, and that is at the top of the Big Ten.”
The Hawkeyes, who ended their season last Thursday with a 3-1 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal, finished the season with an 8-8-4 record, including a 4-6-0 mark in conference play. In just Rainey’s second season, the Hawkeyes made their mark with a few impressive milestones:
? Iowa’s record in 2007 marks the first time since 2002 that the Hawkeyes have finished with a record of .500 or better. The four conference wins this season are also the most since 2001.
? With the November 2 win against Minnesota, the Hawkeyes clinched their first Big Ten Tournament berth since 2001.
? The Hawkeyes won six-straight matches earlier this season for the first time in school history. Iowa also had an eight-match unbeaten streak, from September 9 to October 7, which is also a school record.
? Senior Kelsie Full became the first player in school history to be named to the 2007 Big Ten Women’s Soccer All-Tournament Team.
? Freshman goalkeeper Stephanie Swanson was named Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts in Iowa’s tournament-clinching victory over Minnesota. Swanson became the first player to receive the award since Britta Vogele in 2002.
? After a five-year absence, the Hawkeyes re-appeared in the weekly polls from SoccerBuzz Magazine. Iowa debuted at No. 12 in the Great Lakes region following a 1-0 win over Michigan September 30 and ended the season at No. 11.
? The Hawkeyes appeared on the Big Ten Network for the first time this season October 28 at Northwestern.
? The Hawkeyes were 5-2-1 this season at the UI Soccer Complex, which is the best mark at home since 2002.
A big part of the success this season can be attributed to the leadership of nine Hawkeye seniors. In addition to Full, fellow seniors Lindsey Boldt, Abby Gierke, Claire Goldenberg, Melisa Kaetterhenry, Kim Lewis, Megan Love, Ashley Schlueter, and Sarah Stephenson will leave Iowa City having left their mark on a program that is clearly on the upswing.
“It was great to see how they approached the season,” Rainey said. “They’ve been through a lot of ups-and-downs in their four years, but I think they are proud of the way they ended their careers.”
Four of the Iowa’s top five leaders in points will return next season, including midfielders Kelsey Shaw (2 G, 2 A), Alexandria Seydel (1 G, 4 A), Stephanie Hyink (3 G, 1 A), and Jackie Kaeding (3 G, 1 A). The future also looks good for members of the 2007 freshman class who saw significant playing time, including goalkeepers Kali Feiereisel and Stephanie Swanson, defenders Mandy Heimann and Jenna Aleo, and forwards Victoria Bachand, Amanda Martin, and Keli McLaughlin.
With National Signing Day in February, Rainey and his staff will spend the coming months putting the final touches on Iowa’s 2008 recruiting class. Though the 2007 season just ended, Rainey cannot wait to get back out on the field in 2008.
“It will be a fun and important spring,” Rainey said. “Our players here will have to step up and the players coming in will have to step up. The goal for our team is to beat the teams above us and keep the teams we have beaten below us. The 2007 season was a nice step, but at the end of the day, that’s all it is – just another step.”
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