Joens, Soares attend WBNA Draft


Tyler Coe

Ashley Joens accepts her “Most Outstanding Player” award after ISU’s Big 12 Championship win over Texas, 61-51. Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO, Mar. 12, 2023.

Ashley Joens and Stephanie Soares flew to New York in hopes of hearing their names called out in the first round of the WNBA Draft.

Fifteen players were invited to the draft, with Joens and Soares being the only Cyclones on the list. Both Cyclones are projected to go in the first round, as their resumes speak for themselves.

Joens was dominant over her five years at Iowa State. She shattered nearly every record in Iowa State history, finishing her illustrious career with 3,060 points, 1,391 rebounds and 255 assists. She was only the 14th player ever, and the second-ever Big 12 player, to reach 3,000 points.

Not only did Joens finish her career as a top-10 scorer in Division 1 women’s basketball history, but she also had a laundry list of other accolades. Joens was a two-time All-American and won the Cheryl Miller Award three years in a row. She was unanimously the best small forward over her final three seasons and finished her career as possibly the greatest Cyclone of all time.

Joens also put on a show in her final season in hopes of improving her draft stock. She did just that as she averaged 21.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

Joens also led Iowa State to a Big 12 Championship win, being named the Most Outstanding Player. Joens is expected to go in the late first round and could crack the top 10.

Similarly to Joens, Soares enters the draft with many achievements to her name. Before playing for Iowa State, Soares attended The Master’s University.

Soares’ dominance in the NAIA rivaled that of Joens. Soares was a two-time NAIA Player of the Year, a three-time All-American and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Soares also left a legacy at The Master’s University, finishing at the top in scoring average (19.0), rebounds (1,308), rebounding average (13.1) and blocked shots (450). She also finished second in points with 1,904 and field goal percentage with 59 percent.

That dominance carried over to Iowa State, as she nearly averaged a double-double with 14.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. She also shot over 50 percent from the field and dominated around the basket.

Soares’ strongest assets came in her defense, as she had 129 rebounds and 39 blocks in just 13 games. Her best games came against West Virginia, where she had 20 rebounds, and Michigan State, where she had 23 points and six blocks.

Soares’ time as a Cyclone was cut short due to a torn ACL taking her out early in the season. However, Soares is still projected to go in the early first round and may come off the board in the first three to five picks.

The WNBA Draft will start at 6 p.m. Monday at Spring Studios New York in Manhattan, New York. The draft will be aired live on ESPN.