Heading into the 2019 season, the Iowa State soccer team will be without their its team captains from last season — defenders Riley Behan and Jordan Enga and midfielder Emily Steil — due to them graduating.
Last season, Iowa State finished 4-14-2 (2-6-1 Big 12) which earned the team eighth place out of ten and got them a spot in the Big 12 tournament, which only eight teams make it to.
“We struggled with a lot of injuries last year, but they were able to keep the team together, and we made a run at the end of last season that got us into the Big 12 tournament,” Iowa State coach Tony Minatta said. “[The 2019 team captains] want to get back there this year and they understand what it takes to get there.”
Redshirt junior defender Carly Langhurst, redshirt junior defender/midfielder Marin Daniel and junior forward Tavin Hays have been selected to fill the co-captain roles this season and will lead a team that features 19 underclassmen.
The Cyclones have 31 players on their roster: two seniors, eight juniors (two redshirt and six true juniors), seven sophomores (one redshirt and six true sophomores) and 11 freshmen (three redshirt and eight true freshmen).
In the offseason, the players have had time to hone their craft and build team chemistry.
“This offseason has been a lot different than in the past because of the chemistry that we have and the freshmen that have came in,” Langhurst said.
For some teams having a young roster can be beneficial to a teams attitude and effort.
“The captains this year have done a great job so far because the team came in so fit and ready to go, and that’s a huge testament to their [the captains] leadership,” Minatta said. “It’s basically been them leading the team all summer because we [the coaching staff] have no contact with the team.”
Last season, Langhurst was sidelined for the entire season with an injury. In the 2017 season, Langhurst played in nine games and started five as a defender but missed eight games due to a leg injury.
Daniel played and started in all 20 games as a defender and earned all-tournament honors at the Boilermaker Challenge Cup.
Hays played in 12 games last season as a midfielder and a forward, tallying nearly 200 minutes.
Even with the team having three co-captains, the team has some other younger leaders that are stepping up according to senior midfielder Hannah Cade.
“I think that Taylor Bee is doing a really good job of stepping up,” Cade said.
Bee is a sophomore defender who played in all 20 games, started in five games last season and scored a game-winning goal against Iowa last season.
Iowa State will have two exhibition games this season, both of which are next week.
On Wednesday, the Cyclones will head to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on the Northern Iowa Panthers at 6 p.m.
Iowa State’s other exhibition game will be against the Drake Bulldogs at Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames at 7:30 p.m. on Aug 17.