Kattie Redlinger: A tradition that we can startRedlinger twins a part of Iowa soccer history with first NCAA tournament berth
Mid-Prairie graduates and twins Kattie and Meghan Redlinger had a lot of unfamiliar experiences in their first season with the Iowa womens’ soccer team.
“It was definitely a year of firsts for me and Kattie,” Meghan said. “We learned a lot about soccer by just being around the soccer team. We made a lot of new friends and saw how soccer works.”
Not only was it the freshmen’s first year of college at Iowa, it was the first time they were a part of a soccer team at the Division 1 level.
Iowa had a record-breaking year. The Hawkeyes made their first NCAA tourney appearance after winning its first Big Ten tournament game.
Iowa set the school record with 15 wins.
“It’s awesome for Iowa soccer,” Meghan said. “I feel like we have gotten Iowa soccer on the map. Going to the NCAA tournament was one of our goals this season. We lost in the first round, but it was nice getting there for once.”
This success was like a shot in the dark for an Iowa team with little soccer history. As a freshman, Meghan didn’t expect to win this much.
“Not really; this program hasn’t been as up-and-coming as it has been right now,” Meghan said. “We weren’t expected to go to the NCAA tournament or get second in the Big Ten. It is really exciting being a part of this team that has accomplished so much.”
Kattie is hoping this is just the beginning and that she can help the team become a consistent threat in the Big Ten and nationally.
“I didn’t expect it to be like that at all,” Kattie said. “I thought we would do as good as we did in the past and just be OK in the Big Ten. Not even make it to the NCAAs. It was so exciting to be a part of it. Hopefully this can be a tradition that we can start.”
Meghan saw playing time in one game, an 18-minute cameo appearance.
“I was on the sideline,” Kattie said. “I was so nervous for her. I was standing up and was so excited for her.”
Meghan said she shared the same emotions as her sister, but smoothed out any kinks she had with her performance on the field.
“I was really nervous,” Meghan said. “Once I got on, it was like any other game. I had to make sure my speed of play was fast and I was looking for people to pass to. You kind of figure it out while you are out there.”
Both players agreed that with a level playing field in college, quickness is less of a factor, while physicality and knowledge of the game play more of a role.
“It is a lot more physical,” Meghan said. “It is based more on your skill and not speed. In college you need skills and to be smart on the ball. In high school you could have an off game and still do well. In college you have to be on all the time.”
Meghan said she and her sister learned more about the game mentally as opposed to physically when they were playing in high school.
The best part about being a part of this team, according to Meghan, is making friends with teammates from Colorado and Virginia, whom they would have never met in Wellman.
“It was a great experience,” Kattie said. “There was always a lot going on. I was pumped about everything. Our team was on such a high. It was a great environment to be in. Everyone was so into it. It was fun to be around.”