Melin and Catrell close in on final games at Iowa


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Iowa soccer seniors Ashley Catrell and Alex Melin have donned the Black and Gold countless times during their time at Iowa.

But on Oct. 27, when the Hawkeyes face Ohio State, wearing an Iowa uniform will take on a whole new meaning. The game will be Senior Night and one of the last times Melin and Catrell will play as members of the Iowa Hawkeyes.

“It’s a smaller class,” Iowa head coach Ron Rainey said. “But as far as what they have done for the program, it’s immense.”

While their time with the Hawkeyes is limited, their effect on the program will be felt long after they leave Iowa.

“There’s definitely going to be some high emotions the next couple of games, especially with this weekend being our Senior Night,” Catrell said. “Honestly, I think it’s going to be really good, and I think my teammates are pushing for wins for our last couple of games.”

Melin and Catrell leave Iowa as the two winningest players in program history. The two seniors currently have won 45 games during their four years at Iowa — they still have three games left in the regular season.

“I’m obviously sad. But I still want to go out with a bang, and I think our team still has that in them,” Melin said. “I think we can still do big things.”

Despite being the only two seniors on the team, Melin and Catrell’s time as Hawkeyes have been quite different.

Melin played from the get-go as a freshman. While at Iowa, she has started every game. The Verona, Wis., native has been the anchor of some of the most dominant defenses in Hawkeye history — including the 2012 squad that set the shutout record with 10 in a season.

On the other hand, Catrell saw limited playing time in her first two seasons at Iowa. The Hawkeye forward didn’t earn her first career start until her junior year. Once in the starting lineup, she made the most of it and has started every game since.

But as with any college athlete, their senior seasons took on a whole new meaning.

“I didn’t think it really would,” Catrell said. “But this season is definitely up very high for me.”

Their final seasons were much of the same if not better. Iowa currently stands at 11-4-1 with an opportunity to become the winningest team in program history. Most of this can be accredited to the play of Melin and Catrell.

The senior duo are tied for the team lead with 4 goals scored apiece. Both Catrell and Melin have scored 2 game-winning goals as well.

“It’s something that I think our younger players can look up to, or for recruits to aspire to be if they’ve seen Iowa soccer over the last four years,” Rainey said. “We just want to have a really good weekend for them and for the program.”

While the two have not had similar paths to get to this point, they echoed each other when asked what they would miss the most.

“I think just being with all the girls and playing in these big games where we can come up against some good teams,” Melin said.

“I’m going to miss all these girls,” Catrell said. “I’ll miss the highs after wins and the lows after losses. Just being part of a team is what I’m going to miss the most.”

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