November 2013

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Seniors Leave Mark On Iowa Soccer By James Allan F or senior women's soccer players Ashley Catrell and Alex Melin, they don't want to think about the Nov. 2 regular season finale against Purdue at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The game will be the regular season finale for a senior duo that has accounted for 45 victories and two Big Ten Tournament appearances the past four seasons for the Hawkeyes. "I am trying not to think about it too much because I don't want to get too emotional," said Catrell, a forward from Overland Park, Kan. "It's going to be one of the last times I probably play competitive soccer. "It's going to be a huge game for me, playing my final game college game at Iowa and on that field. It's going to be hard and tough to deal with, but I am looking forward to giving it my all in my last game." That has been Catrell and Melin's mantra during their four years as Hawkeyes. They arrived as freshman following a nine-win season in 2009. After winning eight games in their inaugural season, the pair helped Iowa to a schoolrecord 13 wins in 2011 and 12 wins in 2012. The Hawkeyes have 12 wins this season (currently 125-1); making it the first time in program history the team has posted double-digit win totals in three straight seasons. "They have done great work driving the program forward," said UI head coach Ron Rainey. "They committed to the program when we didn't have as much success as we have had over the last couple of years record-wise." "We came in as freshmen at the bottom of the Big Ten," said Melin, a midfielder from Verona, Wis., who has started every game of her UI career. "We've made a name for ourselves at Iowa, and now we're a team that can't be overlooked. It has been awesome to see that improvement." Catrell can't measure how much she has grown since becoming a Hawkeye, but she knows it has shaped her into who she is today. She's going to miss everything associated with Iowa soccer. "It has meant a lot to me," she said. "I have grown a lot from my first year coming in as a freshman. Being a part of the program, the team chemistry, and the coaching staff — I am going to miss everything this team has been through and what we've grown to become since my freshman year." Rainey says this senior duo has left their mark on the program, and they'll be difficult pieces to replace moving forward in the spring. "Every year when you lose seniors, you think, 'Yeah, we can slot this person into replace them," he said. "But losing these two players, we'll have to have players step up above and beyond to be able to replace Alex and Ashley. "That's a tribute to their durability and competitive drive during their careers with this program." Iowa faces Purdue in its regular season finale Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The top eight teams in the Big Ten standings advance to the 2013 Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 6-10 in Champaign, Ill. Melin says it has been remarkable to see the team's improvement from 2010 to where the program stands today. 55

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