Cyclone soccer features goalkeeper battle for starting spot

Blake Schultz

Friday night began the ISU soccer season, but it meant the Cyclones would play their first game with a new goalkeeper since outstanding keeper Ann Gleason graduated.

Coming into this season, the Cyclones had to find a replacement for Gleason, and coach Wendy Dillinger said the team has a lot of confidence in Ashley Costanzo to fill that role.

“The thing Ashley has really improved on over the last two years are the simple saves,” Dillinger said. “She’s very consistent and she’s learned a lot playing behind Ann for three years.”

The senior Costanzo got the nod for Friday’s game, but newcomer Maddie Jobe has been nearly equal since the first practice.

“They have different strengths and different qualities,” Dillinger said. “(Ashley) is great on breakaways; she comes out, she’s tough, solid fearless, plus she’s pretty acrobatic. Maddie is very, very talented and has good experience, and she wants the spot.”

Costanzo held off Drake on Friday night by allowing zero goals while saving six shots. She showed off her acrobatic skills late in the second overtime when she made a diving save on a shot that would’ve given Drake the win if it had gotten by.

“You get through the first half and don’t give up a goal, then you get through the second half and don’t give up a goal and it’s a perfect game for a goalkeeper,” Costanzo said. 

Leading up to the game, Dillinger said the two have been battling in every practice and making each other better. Costanzo had a lot of praise for Jobe’s work ethic and how she has picked everything up right away, and this has pushed Costanzo to perform better.

Before this season, Jobe has never not been a starting keeper for any team she’s been on. One of the biggest things she said she needed to adjust to at the college level was the intensity of the game and how much time would be committed to soccer

“The first few days are definitely hard,” Jobe said. “You come to practice and you come to play soccer. That’s pretty much it.”

Jobe also added that she “wants the starting job, but is here to support whoever wins it.”