Koree Willer: Chasing Records

Willer, Koree

Iowa State soccer’s Koree Willer’s breakout freshman and sophomore years means a lot of changes for the Iowa State record book.

Here’s where Willer stands right now:

Single season records
Tied 8th- in points in a season (21) in 2014
Tied 4th-Goals in a season (10) in 2014
Tied twice for 4th-Game winning goals in a season (3) in 2013 & 14
Tied 9th– Assists in a season (6) in 2013

Career records
Tied 10th– Career points (35)
Tied 9th– Career goals (14)
Tied 5th– Career game winning goals (6)

The most impressive stat? Willer is only a sophomore and will have two more seasons to move up in the rankings.

Not only has she written her way into the Iowa State record book, she has proven to be one of the top scoring threats in the Big 12. The sophomore currently ranks third in the Big 12 in goals (10), points (21), points per game (1.24) and goals per game (.59). Making her marks even more impressive is the fact that the two people ahead of Willer in goals scored also rank first and second in the Big 12 in shots taken. Willer? Not even in the top 10. Willer has only attempted 35 shots to score her 10 goals. Which means that when Willer takes a shot, there’s a very good chance that it will go in.

Before the season, head coach Tony Minatta mentioned that they would rely on Willer to be a force on the offensive end and that’s a role she’s embraced.

“I definitely felt like I wanted to be someone on the team that could be relied on and I think the goals and all of that came with it,” Willer said. “I came in and wanted to do whatever I could for the team and scoring goals is obviously a forward’s job, so I definitely was looking to do that.”

Last season Willer played a pivotal role on a team that earned a no. 4 seed in the 2013 Big 12 tournament. She led the team with six assists and was third with four goals. After an offseason of workouts and embracing the switch from supporting cast to lead role, Willer was ready to break down Big 12 defenders and lead the Big 12.

“One of the things I have been trying to focus on lately is speed,” Willer said. “You don’t always need the craziest moves in the world and I think I’ve learned that more. You go at them with speed. You do a simple move. It’s a simple thing, left or right, you can go the other way. Just trusting in yourself, I would say for the most part is a huge, huge thing 1-vs.-1.”

After a few games without a goal, Willer got back to her scoring ways this weekend finding the back of the net against both No. 15 Kansas and No. 19 Texas Tech. For someone as accomplished as she is, Willer still see’s flaws in her game that she would like to improve on in order become an even bigger threat.

Not only has Willer been impressive on the field, she’s also excelled in the classroom. She’s a mechanical engineering major who was named to the spring and fall 2013 Iowa State Dean’s List.

“I put a lot of time into school and I want to do as well as I can in that and in soccer too,” Willer said. “I put a lot of importance on education. I think it’s not as intimidating as people think. You’re always going and going, so you always have this level that you’re at. You just do it and you kind of get into rhythm and just get used to it.”

With that strategy she has been at the top of her class both on and off the field. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if she were to succeed in other aspects of life as well. Willer puts in hard work to get where she is and with as much as she’s accomplished so far, there’s more to come.

Iowa State will look towards Willer to put the Cyclones on the board when they take on TCU for Senior Night Friday at 7 p.m. CST at the Cyclone Sports Complex.


About Payton Arnold

I'm a senior at Iowa State University majoring in public relations starting my third year working as a student assistant in the Iowa State Athletics Communications office. I have been very fortunate to work in the Iowa State Athletics Communications office, which allows me to gain real world experience in a career that I hope to pursue upon graduation. I am in my second year working with the Iowa State soccer team and I look forward to watching our program grow under head coach Tony Minatta. Follow me on twitter @paytonarnold3. Go Cyclones!
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