By JACK BACON
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Freshman Macy Enneking has been a steady hand in goal for the University of Iowa soccer team since making her collegiate debut against Rutgers on March 18.
In five games and more than 412 minutes, the Hilliard, Ohio, native has surrendered just two goals, while making 22 saves and posting a .917 save percentage. She has led Iowa to two shutout victories and she was tabbed as the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on March 22.
“My coaches and teammates have been my rock,” says Enneking. “Throughout all this, the backline has done an amazing job of keeping shots down. My backline and goalkeeper coach (Blair Quinn) have prepared me for the quick transition into being a starter.”
Enneking graduated from Hilliard Bradley High School early and joined the Hawkeye roster in January, 2020. She says that extra time with the program helped prepare her for this moment.
“Having a preseason and getting those hopes up of having a fall season, then getting them dashed by COVID-19 and moving to the spring was hard,” Enneking said. “It’s funny because I’ve been here for over a year now and we are just now getting to see the field. It feels like I have trained a lot for this; I’m ready for it.”
Like much of current team, the goalkeeper position shows promise, but lacks experience. Redshirt sophomore Monica Wilhelm has started seven games in goal. Enneking says competition has helped sharpen the unit.
“Being a goalkeeper, you have to see and watch the field, and I think that makes goalkeepers probably one of the smarter soccer players,” said Enneking. “That makes the transition easier when it comes to college competition. We have a lot of young goalkeepers, but I think all of us are pushing each other to be the best we can be, which has prepared us for these moments.”
Iowa posted victories over Maryland and Purdue with Enneking in goal. The spark she has provided the team in recent weeks is the start of a journey she has worked for her entire life.
“I started soccer when I was really young, and I just knew right away that I wanted to be the goalkeeper,” said Enneking. “I thought it was the coolest position and that it was one of the most important ones.
“Growing up through this, I have found that I play the best under pressure. I have a lot of amazing support systems and through that I was able to find great teams to take me under their wing and escort me through my soccer career.”
The Hawkeyes will compete in the Big Ten Regional Weekend on Thursday at Illinois at Demirjian Park in Champaign, Illinois. The prevailing team will face the winner of the Nebraska-Minnesota game for a spot in the 2021 Big Ten Tournament.