I have not seen much on the forum about the Soccer program so thought I would share some thoughts.
Drove to Lincoln last Friday to watch the women play NU in the last game of the season. It was wet and cold. The folks at the parking gate saw our ISU stuff and told us, "Please go easy on us, please no tri-fec-ta." I laughed, they didn't.
We came away from the game encouraged by the progress the soccer program is making. The women seem to be getting it. We lost the contest 2-1 in overtime. But they could have easily packed up and went home losing 5-0. They fought to the end and were so close, as they were in many games this year, so close.
There are a couple seniors who will be missed, our goal keeper for one, as she is amazing. These young women have been true cyclones and willing to work hard with little results over the years. However, the younger players are the energy of the team. We have some exciting and talented freshman and sophomores. There is a expectation of an upgrade in pure speed in our recruits next year. Several will be expected to log considerable playing time as true freshmen. Speed is the name of this game.
I am very pleased with the coaches. Dillinger brings a quiet strength and focus to the team that feels very similar to VB program. Very similar. Her assistants appear more than capable and willing to push aside the old ISU soccer expectations. As a group the coaches appear to be excellent teachers as well as valued mentors. Coach Dillinger brings a history of excellent game day management which keeps our program close in almost all the games this year. She rarely gets blown out. It just doesn't happen in her program. If you watched them play, you know that a base of a strong defense is being built with this team. The offense will come.
From the improvement I have personally witnessed, I believe the Soccer team will make the Big 12 playoffs next season, they will continue to increase in speed and athletic ability with new recruits, and they will increase attendance and local interest in a huge sport that is gaining in popularity in Iowa. Sky is the limit for this program. They have everything in place. Very similar to WBB and WVB, just a few years behind in the growth stages. They are taking baby steps, they have to walk before they can run, but they are now on the path.
When I asked one of the girls after the game what is next, she smiled and excitedly replied, "We start lifting on Monday to get ready for next year," as if that was the most exciting thing to be doing in the whole world. We do not have to be ashamed of, or afraid for, this program, they are Cyclones.
Re: Women's Soccer
We are definitely showing improvement in the program. Sadly I didn't make it over to Ames for any of the games, but I was sure to read every article and posting online.
We will lose quite a bit, but those seniors taught the younger athletes that their hard work is starting to pay off.
I'm excited for the next season.