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Transfer finding transition easy

BY JORDAN HANSEN | SEPTEMBER 02, 2014 5:00 AM

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Being the new player on the team is never easy, but it sure helps when you happen to be a dynamic midfielder and defender who can bring solid game to a team in a transition between coaches looking for some help.

Meet sophomore Natalie Krygier, the Iowa soccer team’s lone transfer and former Connecticut Husky.

After playing in six games her freshman year, she felt that Connecticut was not where she wanted to spend the rest of her college days and looked to transfer.

While it did not take long for the university to release her from the scholarship she had, finding a new team was an entirely different ordeal.

“When I decided to transfer from UConn, I didn’t have any options — because I had to get my form, and it was really last minute,” she said. “Then my club coaches connected me with [Iowa head coach Dave] DiIanni that I had during [Olympic Development Program] when I was younger.”

When DiIanni heard that Krygier was looking for a new program to play for, he was ecstatic. He remembered her from when he had coached her and wanted a chance to develop her skills once again.

Iowa lost a number of seniors from last season as well as several players to injury, so it made quite a bit of sense for him to want her on the team.

That, and that she’s a great player.

“She’s someone who has always loved the game and improved her whole career and is OK being coached,” DiIanni said. “A lot of people want to learn, but do they like to be coached, like to be critiqued, do they like to be challenged?

“Natalie’s certainly that way, and that’s why when I knew she was going to be available, we spoke a lot about trying to bring her here.”

Things fell into place and Krygier signed on with the team.

The results have been good for both the athlete and program in every way possible.

Off the field, her teammates have made her feel at home and made the move as easy as possible on her.

“I wasn’t really sure how the transition would be, but as I transitioned in, the girls were so welcoming and nice — my class only has five girls, and they’re really kind and friendly,” Krygier said. “It’s a lot like a close team atmosphere that I was really excited about.”

It almost goes without saying that in order to truly earn teammates’ respect, there has to be some carryover to the field.

She certainly has that covered.

Krygier has started all four games for Iowa this year and is tied for the team lead in assists with 3. One of those assists came in a 1-0 double-overtime victory against Northern Iowa in her first game as a Hawkeye.

Her prowess has not gone unnoticed by team captain Melanie Pickert, who believes that she has melded well with the rest of the team.

“I don’t think she got to play as much as she is here, so she’s building that confidence and getting into the swing of things,” Pickert said. “She needs to work on her defense, but she’s doing extra workouts, which really says a lot.”

Good things come with time, and while Krygier has not been on campus for long, her mark on the team is noticeable.

That is a positive thing for the athlete, program, and especially DiIanni, who brought her here.

“She’s somebody who’s stepped in, and we have a lot of high expectations for her and sometimes it goes well and sometimes it’s challenging,” DiIanni said. “When it’s challenging, she responds accordingly and wants to be coached and pushed.

“We’re proud of her for that.”

Follow @JordyHansen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa soccer team.


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