Soccer misses Big 12, keeps high hopes for next season


Iowa State’s Jennifer Dominguez works to move the ball toward the goal Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Cyclone Soccer Complex. The Cyclones defeated the Bulldogs 3-0. Dominguez scored two goals in the match. 

Dan Cole

Beginning with promise and potential, the ISU soccer team concluded the 2012 season on a three-game losing streak and failed to make the Big 12 tournament for the fifth consecutive season.

The Cyclones (10-10, 1-7 Big 12) played well in nonconference play, winning eight of their first 12 games. But once conference play began, victory became elusive as the Cyclones won just two of their final six matches.

“The biggest surprise for me is that we didn’t do as well in conference,” said ISU junior forward Jennifer Dominguez. “I think we played some of our best soccer against some of the best teams in the country, and it was just upsetting not to see that translate throughout the Big 12 and to get more wins.”

The Cyclones possessed the talent for a successful season, but were unable to put together a winning formula to carry through each game. Iowa State faced four top-25 opponents this season, losing to each team by just one goal.

A number of key players suffered injuries for the Cyclones near the mid-season point, including senior defender Megan Longobardi, junior goalkeeper Maddie Jobe and senior Amanda Woelfel.

“You could tell, in the stat column, we had a hard time keeping the ball out of the net,” said ISU coach Wendy Dillinger. “I think that’s just because we had some significant contributors out during that conference schedule in the back line for us.”

The season did contain a number of positive achievements for Iowa State, though, including some historic numbers.

Dominguez earned the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year honor, leading the conference in goals with 14 and in points with 28. Her 14 goals are the second-most in a season in program history.

Dominguez and fellow junior Emily Goldstein were both named for the All-Big 12 second team. Goldstein netted four goals this season, tying her for second-best on the team.

She also recorded one assist and started 17 of 20 games for the Cyclones.

“It was a good season,” Goldstein said. “It was disappointing that we didn’t make it into the Big 12 tournament, but we accomplished a lot of things that we wanted to this year, saw a lot of improvement and did things on the field that we don’t see a lot of teams do.”

The Cyclones roster boasted 18 players that earned Academic All-Big 12 honors this season, the most to be honored on one team in both the Big 12 and in program history. Junior Jessica Stewart topped the honorees with a 4.0 GPA.

The majority of this season’s key contributors are going to be seniors next season, which is setting the expectations for 2013 at a demanding height.

“My expectations are a complete turnaround.” Goldstein said. “We need to go to the Big 12 tournament and possibly place well, if not win it, and then try to get to NCAAs. That’s what I want to do for my senior year.”

Besides Dominguez and Goldstein, next year’s seniors will include Brittany Morgan (five assists in 2012), Erin Green (one goal, two assists), Jessica Stewart (two goals, three assists), Meredith Skitt (two goals, three assists), Theresa Kucera (two goals, most minutes played), and goalkeeper Maddie Jobe (7-7 record in 2012).

“I think knowing that it’s their senior year — that it’s their last chance — is going to be a ton of motivation for them,” Dillinger said.

The Cyclones will begin offseason activities in a couple of weeks in preparation for spring games and the 2013 season.