Iowa's Olivia Fiegel getting her kicks on soccer pitch

Sophomore leads team with 5 goals and 10 points

Iowa forward Olivia Fiegel passes the ball to a teammate in MSU's box as she is held back by MSU's Jessica Kjellstrom in the first half at a college women's soccer game with Michigan State University at the Iowa Soccer Complex in Iowa City on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. MSU won the game 1-0 with a PK in a ten-minute extra period. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Iowa forward Olivia Fiegel passes the ball to a teammate in MSU's box as she is held back by MSU's Jessica Kjellstrom in the first half at a college women's soccer game with Michigan State University at the Iowa Soccer Complex in Iowa City on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. MSU won the game 1-0 with a PK in a ten-minute extra period. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Olivia Fiegel is kicking it into overdrive — literally and figuratively.

A sophomore on the University of Iowa women’s soccer team. Fiegel set the bar high for herself last year when her first career goal was a game-winner against Iowa State.

Since, she has upped her game. She has scored five goals this season, raking in 10 points and leading the Hawkeyes (5-2) in goals — despite not being a full-time starter.

“It’s a very evolving opportunity for players to be able to start and get minutes,” Coach Dave Dilanni said.

He explained the fullback position is a competitive spot and a position players have to work hard to own.

“She’s had some tendency in her first year-and-a-half with us to score some big goals, get some big opponents and be a good presence defensively,” Dilanni said. “But we want to see her improve.”

And that’s exactly what Fiegel is willing to do.

“I’ll give it 110 percent,” Fiegel said. “I’ll give everything I got, even if it’s not a lot.”

Fiegel, who helped her club team in Fairfax, Va., to a USYSA National League title and a third-place finish at nationals, wants to improve not only her individual skills, but also her game with the team.

She hopes the team will make it to the NCAA tournament in the two years she has left.

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“We’re all in, we’re all ready to be here, we all want our Big Ten season to start off with a bang,” Fiegel said.

Friday’s Big Ten opener against Nebraska was postponed because several Cornhusker players were battling illness.

Dilanni foresees Fiegel being a player who scores six to eight goals a year and hopes she will be a full-time starter by her junior year. Fiegel is someone who sees the game well and understands tactically some of the nuances Dilanni has tried to instill on the team.

Dilanni sees Fiegel being an everyday impact player.

“I think it’s all about whether she can continue to train hard and be consistent every day in the areas that make her successful,” he said.

The ball appears to be in Fiegel’s court.

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