Super Sophomore Profile - Joanna Haig

Joanna Haig an Inver Grove Heights, Minn., native chose Iowa State of the likes of Tennessee, Boston University, Minnesota, Virginia and Connecticut. She said that after she visited Ames, the college and soccer program sold itself.

"When I came on my visit, I absolutely loved all the girls on the team and everyone was so committed in making this a winning program," Haig said. "I wanted more than anything to be a part of that. I also fell in love with the school itself, its programs and its campus.

 

During her freshman season it was apparent that Iowa State definitely had found a gem. Haig started 19 games in goal and accumulated over 1,500 minutes in her rookie season. In her debut game against Arizona she had eight saves.

 

Haig's eight victories during the regular season were the most for a Cyclone goalkeeper since 1999 and her 1.39 goals-against average ranked second on Iowa State's single-season list.

 

The college soccer world took note of Haig's performance and she was invited to be a member of the Under-20 national team pool, named to the Soccer Buzz Central Region all-freshman team and voted to the Big 12 all-Newcomer team.

 

"I was pretty nervous coming in here as a freshman," Haig said. "I knew there was going to be a lot of competition for the starting keeper spot and I was just hoping to come in here and possibly split time.

 

"As the season went on I gained more confidence and experience, which has helped me a lot this year."

 

Haig said the hardest thing for her as a freshman was to get comfortable playing with the team.

 

"I'm not very good at jumping into new situations without hesitation," she said. "It took me until about mid-way through the season to play to my full potential and be fully acclimated to the new environment.

 

"All the players, especially the defense, helped me increase my communication and confidence in order to contribute my best play to the team."

 

Head coach Rebecca Hornbacher and assistants Illeana Moschos and Scott Ebke worked with Haig daily to help her improve and refine her goal-keeper skills. Haig credits the coaches for having full confidence in her abilities and giving her the opportunity to excel at Iowa State.

 

Haig said she sets extremely high goals for herself and after the success she found last season she expected even more of her self.

 

"I know what I am capable of and any performance less than my best is unacceptable to both myself and my teammates," Haig said. "My two biggest motivations right now are playing for my teammates and never letting them down, and pushing myself past where I think my limits are. I want to become the best player I can possibly be."

 

Over the course of the next two years Haig hopes to continue building the ISU soccer program in to the best team it can be.

 

"I would like to see our soccer program make it to the NCAA Tournament for the next [few] years and to make an imprint on the Big 12 Conference," Haig said.

 

Individually Haig said she doesn't set goals with titles or conference awards.

 

"Those awards don't mean as much to me as the success of the team," she said. "I would take a good season and amazing team performances over an individual award any day.

 

"My greatest goals are to become the best leader I can be, perform at the highest level individually and help our team make it as far into the postseason as possible."

 

Haig is majoring in management and said she hopes to gain experience this summer with an internship in a business setting.

 

"The high standards I set for myself also carry over into the classroom," she said. "I never settle for anything less than my best."



How would you assess your teams performance season so far? What are some of the highlights?  

 

Our team's performance has been outstanding; this has been an extremely exciting season.  We are off to one of the best starts in program history, and we are just coming off the most amazing win vs. Texas A & M.  That is definitely the highlight of the season thus far.  It puts us in a great position in the conference, and gives us an excellent chance at a postseason NCAA tournament appearance.  

 

I have complete confidence that this 2005 season is going to be a memorable one. If our team continues with our progress together, and continues to play cohesively as a team, anything is possible and nothing is out of reach.


How much of a role have the upperclassmen played in your success? What are some of the things they've taught you, that you will teach on to younger players when you're in their shoes?
 

 

The upperclassmen have continuously worked hard and have instilled that in all the younger players here.  I hope that all of the underclassmen will embrace that attitude of hard work and take it to the next level, in order to continue the up and coming program we have here at ISU.  I believe that as underclassmen, we will continue to raise the standard that is expected of players coming in.


 What are some things you worked on over the summer?  

 

This summer I worked hard with my club team out of Stillwater, MN.  I was surrounded by the best players in the state, and the biggest thing I worked on was refining my skills and keeping them up in order to train hard come preseason. I tried my best to train as hard as possible every minute I was on the field because I wanted to make an immediate impact coming into training camp in August.




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