Payton Pottratz ’16 commits to Iowa State for soccer


Lauren Knudson

While many seniors  are still patiently awaiting college acceptance letters to  figure out where they will be going to college, junior Payton Pottratz already has it figured out.

Last week Pottratz committed to play soccer at Iowa State.  Even though she still has a year and a half of high school left, Pottratz is very confident in her decision.

“I feel like it was easier [to commit]  because I had been on so many visits … I had talked to them for so long and they’ve been to so many of my games and know the kind of player I am,” she said. “So it’s not a ‘I don’t know about this school but I’m just going to take this offer because it is the first one;’ I really like this school and … I can imagine myself on campus for four years.”

Soccer has been a large part of Pottratz’s life for a long time.

“I started playing soccer when I was three years old,” Pottratz said. “At first I hated it because of the shin guards and I hated wearing my hair up and I just threw a fit.”

However, she quickly grew to love the sport and started playing more competitively in fourth grade when she joined  the Iowa Soccer Club.

Joining the club helped grow Pottratz’s love for the game.

“[Joining club soccer] is when you start going to more practices and you get more dedicated to everything and you actually have your own team,” she said. “It really inspires you in a way.”

Pottratz continues to grow as a soccer player at West.

“I’ve kind of fallen into my position and gotten to kind of build myself up, not only as a teammate to everyone but individually.”

Pottratz has also been able to benefit from the competition at the high school level.

“The competition is a lot stronger because I’m playing seniors as a freshman so [I’m]  always playing older girls, which is helpful, because in college I’m going to be playing against 20-year-olds.”

While some may think junior year is early to commit, according to Pottratz that is becoming more common.

“It sounds crazy but I was apparently behind in recruiting … they are starting to recruit sooner and sooner so they already have people for 2017,” she said. “[The recruitment process is] a lot of coaches talking to coaches, my coaches talking to the colleges and kind of helping me out through the whole thing, but overall it is getting yourself out there. It is not all the coaches coming to you; you have to make an effort …  but they did put a lot into it.”

Since Pottratz has committed a year and a half early she has lots of time to prepare to play soccer at the Division One level.

“The effort I put into [preparing] is overall going to decide my fate at Iowa State. Its going to be needing a lot of conditioning and training and eating right … I have to strengthen every part of my body so I’m not only physically but mentally prepared for the game.”


Photo by Madie Miller