Culhane begins new adventure in familiar city


Courtesy of ISU Athletic Department

Freshman goalkeeper Katie Culhane decided to remain in Ames, the town she lived in for 10 years, to play soccer at Iowa State. 

Jenna Reeves

After living in Ames for 10 years, freshman goalkeeper Katie Culhane has decided to stay for four more.

Culhane played soccer at Ames High School and when her time was up, she didn’t have to look far to see where the next part of her life would go. It was at Iowa State, where she would jump on the ISU soccer team.

As the starting goaltender in high school, Culhane grabbed the school records for minutes, saves, shutouts and save percentage. Culhane was also a two-time All-State selection and four-time All-Conference selection.

She played club soccer with the Iowa Rush in Ankeny, along with now-fellow teammates Ellie Cavanaugh and Jordan Enga.

Growing up and throughout her successful college career, she enjoyed living near Iowa State. 

“I love living in a college town,” Culhane said. “I think it’s a lot of fun to go to football and basketball games with my family.”

When Culhane chose Iowa State after high school, it was for a number of reasons: her love of Ames, both of her parents being alumni, making her a lifelong ISU fan, and her love of the soccer team and the coaches.

Even though Ames is familiar to her, Culhane is still transitioning to life at Iowa State.

She said living in the dorms will be a whole new experience for her even with her parents being only five minutes away.

But excitement for the upcoming year still fills Culhane as she remains positive about her college choice.

“[Ames] is home for me,” Culhane said. “My decision has proved to be a good one so far.”

This year with the Cyclones, Culhane hopes to bring her competitive spirit and find success on the field.

“I’m really hoping to get better and help the team in any way I can,” she said.

One aspect that ISU soccer head coach Tony Minatta drove home at ISU soccer media day on Friday was that chemistry and leadership will be a key focus in the upcoming season. 

Culhane has enjoyed that part of the team even as a newcomer. 

“It’s great,” she said “We’ve been working really hard. Practice has been intense and everybody holds each other accountable for mistakes.”

With eight freshmen joining the team this year, Culhane is part of a group that is fitting in well with the returning players.

“[The freshmen] are new and young but they have brought so much to the team already,” said junior defenseman Madi Ott. 

Ott isn’t the only one who thinks the team is shaping up nicely. Junior Koree Willer thinks the new freshmen paired with the experience from last year make the sky the limit for this season.

Willer believes to live up to the sky-high limit, it will take an entire team effort.

“At the end of the day, it’s important we have the same goals and expectations for the team, “ Willer said.

Culhane and the rest of the ISU soccer team will start their season on Tuesday with an exhibition game against Notre Dame.