Q&A with Ashley Catrell

Sept. 17, 2012

Junior Ashley Catrell has played an instrumental part of the University of Iowa soccer team’s offensive attack in 2012, scoring seven goals and adding two assists through 10 games. The Overland Park, Kan., native has helped guide the Hawkeyes to a 9-1 start.

Q: How does it feel to have the team open with back-to-back seasons on extended winning streaks?

Catrell: It’s great for the team to open with wins like this because it gives us something to be confident about in our next match and throughout the season.

Q: In the past three seasons the Hawkeyes are a combined 6-0 against Iowa State and Northern Iowa with a scoring advantage of 22-2. How does it feel to be part of the dominant in-state soccer power?

Catrell: It has been really nice. We get competitive against the other state schools, and they are always very intense matches. It’s rewarding to win matches like that, and it’s enjoyable to be the No. 1 team in the state again.

Q: How has the nonconference portion of the schedule prepared you for Big Ten play?

Catrell: It has prepared us well. I think our confidence is pretty high, and we’re getting better after each game. This New York trip is going to give us two more matches that will prepare us for Big Ten play, and we’re hoping for two more wins and to just keep getting ready for the conference.

Q: How much confidence does it give the team to roll through the nonconference portion of the schedule in such dominating fashion? Catrell: A lot. I think we’re all really confident right now. At the same time, we have to keep taking things one day at a time and focus on improving each match and each practice.

Q: What things does the team need to focus on improving before beginning Big Ten Conference play on Sept. 16?

Catrell: I think the significant thing is to keep improving our speed of play. That’s a very important aspect, because once you’re in Big Ten matches, the speed of play goes way up, and if you aren’t ready for that you’re not going to win.

Q: What things did you do to maximize the increased playing time this season?

Catrell: I’ve been working very hard. I had a good summer, and I was conditioning all the time. In the preseason, I wanted to prove that I belonged and that I should be a starter. I also had a lot of support from my teammates, because I think they wanted me to start, and that support was very helpful.

Q: You lead the team in shot-on-goal percentage (.655). What is key to making the most of your attempts?

Catrell: As a forward, it’s very important to be placing your shots on goal and keeping the ball in play. We never stop working on that. I know that I’ve been working a lot, and that’s been a big help.

Q: Once you see your teammates bringing the ball up field and toward the attacking third, what is going through your mind and what are you looking to do?

Catrell: The most important thing is to get open. I’m trying to get open and get the ball at my feet so I can turn and take defenders on and get on goal. If my teammates are coming down the end line, I’m getting in the box looking to score. It all comes down to getting open.

Q: You scored 12 points combined in your first two seasons and 16 points after 10 games in 2012. What are some reasons for the improved offensive output?

Catrell: The team has been a big reason. Our offense has been taking runs behind the defense, creating passing lanes and having off-ball movement. Our offense as a whole has been pretty good, and I’m comfortable with my role in it.

Q: They say scoring breeds confidence. Has that been the case for you, and what does it mean for a forward to have that type of confidence?

Catrell: Yes, it makes you more confident, but as a forward, it’s your job to score goals. It is really important for a forward to keep scoring and stay confident, because you don’t want an unconfident player taking five or six shots a game.