Cyclones to address issues in upcoming off-season


Junior Hannah Cade kicks the ball at the Cyclone Sports Complex on Oct. 25. Iowa State University defeated Kansas State 1-0 on senior night.

Sam Stuve

This season, Iowa State’s soccer team will graduate seven seniors, all of whom played significant minutes this season, including three co-captains. Now that the season is over, the Cyclones are trying to fill the holes left by the seniors.

As the Cyclones head into the off-season, the biggest questions for the team are can they stay healthy, and where will their offensive production come from?

The Cyclones lost many players due to injury at some point this season, including starters Riley Behan, Hannah Cade and Kasey Opfer. These injuries went on to plague the team this season, as the Cyclones were not playing at full strength.

In each part of the Cyclones lineup, they will lose a player due to graduation. The midfield will be hit especially hard with graduation, as the Cyclones lose four midfielders, three of whom were starters.

Some players who could fill those starting roles are freshmen Taylor Bee and Kara Privitera, as well as junior Merin Mundt. Bee played in all 20 games this season, six of which were starts, and scored a goal this season against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Juniors Cade and Opfer were starters for the Cyclones but had to miss time due to injury.

Cade, who took a break in the middle of the season due to a foot injury, wasn’t completely ready to be inserted back into the starting lineup this season. Cade led the team in assists before she injured her foot, but she still finished tied for second on the team in assists.

Opfer dealt with a nagging ankle injuries that forced her to miss a couple of Big 12 Conference games. When healthy, Opfer was a scoring threat for the Cyclones, and she scored two goals this season, coming against the Missouri Tigers and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Privitera played in 17 games, started one game against the Colorado Buffaloes and scored a goal against the Purdue Boilermakers.

Mundt played in all 20 games this season, starting in 10 and making one goal this season against the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos.

The Cyclones will lose two seniors who earned playing time, Brianna Curtis and Emily Steil, the latter of which was a starter last season, one of the team’s top goal scorers and a leader for the team in assists.

Two players who could fill those roles for the Cyclones are sophomores Tavin Hays and Courtney Powell.

Hays played in 13 games this season, including six regular-season conference games, and in the Big 12 tournament against the Baylor Bears.

Powell was a starter in the midfield for most of the season but also played as a forward. She started every game this season at either midfield or forward and was tied for the second most goals on the team, scoring three in total.

Senior defender and co-captain Jordan Enga is the lone starter the Cyclones will lose next season. Enga, who started in all games this season and has had a start in each year of her tenure at Iowa State, played every single minute this season.

With that said, the Cyclones do return three starters on defense next season – redshirt sophomore Marin Daniel, sophomore Mckenna Schultz and sophomore Shealyn Sullivan.

The three of them are a young but experienced group, as they have logged 64 starts in total in the last three seasons combined.

One player who looks to be in a prime position to take the final starting spot on the defense next season is freshman Brooke Miller. Miller saw some action in nine of the Cyclones’ 10 Big 12 games, including a start in the Big 12 tournament against Baylor.

The Cyclones will return three starting defenders as well as sophomore goalkeeper Dayja Schwichtenberg.

However, what remains to be seen is if the team can stay healthy, fill in the voids left by the graduating class and find some more offensive production.