Jennifer Dominguez improves throughout soccer career to become top goal scorer


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. 

Maddy Arnold

After scoring six goals in three games, junior forward Jennifer Dominguez is at the height of her soccer career with 13 goals so far this season.

Dominguez said she is a new and improved athlete from the one that first walked on the ISU soccer team three years ago.

“I think that when I first walked on, it was just a desire to play,” Dominguez said. “I loved the sport, and I wanted to come back, and I wanted to play, but I didn’t know how much of an impact I could personally make.”

Even from the start of her freshman season, Dominguez was an important part of the team. She started 18 games that year with one goal and four assists.

“When I first started, I think I was still a scrappy, quick player, but definitely out of shape. I think my playing style has changed,” Dominguez said. “I have better vision, [I’m] smarter off the ball and more dynamic now than I was when I first walked on to the team.”

When Dominguez’s second season wrapped up, her statistics improved dramatically in 18 starts. She scored five goals on the season — including three game-winning goals — to go along with one assist.

So far this season, Dominguez’s numbers have skyrocketed from last season. In 17 games, Dominguez has racked up 13 goals with four of those coming as game-winners — netting one-third of every shot she has taken this season.

“The biggest thing about [Dominguez] is she understands positioning in front of the goal,” said ISU coach Wendy Dillinger. “She has a knack for it.”

Although she has continued to improve her statistics through the years, Dominguez said the biggest improvement has come in her mental readiness.

“I think over the past couple years my mentality is a little bit different,” Dominguez said. “I think I have a stronger mental game now than what I had in the past. I feel like that consistency piece is there now, which it wasn’t there before from when I first started playing.”

With all of Dominguez’s points, she is now 11th in the country in goals this season. Among other categories, Dominguez is also leading the Big 12 in goals.

“I feel like this season has kind of been a little bit up-and-down,” Dominguez said. “I think in the last few weekends, the last few weeks, it’s really started to pick up. It’s really started to be consistent.”

With Dominguez’s output this season, her teammates agree that she is an essential part of the offense.

“[Dominguez] is a really big part of the team obviously,” said sophomore forward Ashley Johnson. “She is our top goal scorer, which is major. Key piece to the team.”