Keeper position up for grabs


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With Big Ten soccer play around the corner, the Hawkeyes still have an important question to answer about their starting lineup.

Who is going to be the goalkeeper?

Last season, it was not much of a question; then-sophomore Hannah Clark had the position nailed down early in the season and was very successful throughout the year.

This year, there has been a much more visible competition for the spot, and senior Kiley Beck has started five of Iowa’s six games.

“I think it’s a healthy thing; we come out here every day, and we push each other — we each know when we can do better, and we make it known,” Beck said. “Individually, what I’ve learned over the past three and a half years now is you have to worry about yourself and be the best you can be.”

Through six games, Beck has allowed just 2 goals and registered three shutouts while compiling 11 saves.

However, the 2 goals that she allowed came in a loss to Iowa State, one of the better teams that Iowa has played so far.

That, along with Clark’s dominant play last year, will play heavily into the coaches’ decision as to who will be named the starter for the Big Ten opener against Illinois and beyond.

“This year I think Kiley came in with more confidence; it’s her senior year and she earned it — Hannah came in good as well,” assistant coach Julie Hanley said. “Kiley jumped out and earned it, and I think Hannah is getting back to where she was last year as well.”

While Beck and Clark seem to be the frontrunners for the position, freshman Tina Cardamone is not far behind the pair.

Cardamone has not seen any competitive action so far in her young college career, but Hanley was quick to lump her in with the other two keepers on the squad.

“They’re all three extremely hard workers, and they’re all really supportive of each other; I think it’s a good mix,” Hanley said. “Tina obviously in her first year so she’s kind of learning from Hannah and Kiley, but all three of them —day in and day out— they’re a hard working group.

“They’re all really coachable, which makes my job a lot easier.”

Easier to work with maybe, but it makes picking one of them to be the starter that much more difficult.

At the end of the day however, one does have to start and the other two will have to watch and wait for their chance.

“We’re all just trying to get game time, and I’m guessing that goes through everyone’s mind, so we’re just pushing each other to get there,” Clark said. “The main thing is making sure we all get better, and it’ll help with the team, too.

“Whoever plays, plays and we’re going to encourage her.”

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

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