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(Council Bluffs) – It was a dream year for girls track and field in St. Albert.

The volleyball, basketball and soccer teams also participated in the state tournament and the track and field program took third place in Class 1A.

There was one constant in all four teams: senior Ella Klusman.

Although Klusman contributed to all four successful teams, her greatest contribution was arguably on the soccer field, which earned her the title of KMAland Soccer Player of the Year.

“It was a great final season,” Klusman said. “We’ve been playing these sports together for quite some time. It’s incredible to look back at what we’ve accomplished. It’s super cool to reflect on how our hard work has paid off.”

Klusman scored 30 goals this season, the most on his team and the most by any other Hawkeye Ten player.

“Last year I was like, ‘I have to make this my best year,'” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. We had great chemistry. Everyone was so close. I think that helped a lot. We all loved playing together. We just played together and were successful.”

Klusman’s 30 goals were a step down from the 33 goals she scored her junior season, but that could be attributed in part to the emergence of freshman Eleanor Coughlin, who complemented Klusman with 19 goals.

“As the season went on, I saw what I could do better,” Klusman said. “I knew that not every team would defend me the same way.”

Klusman saved perhaps her best performance at the crucial moment when she scored three goals in the Saintes’ 4-3 win over Des Moines Christian in the regional final, securing a ticket to the state championship.

“It was a pretty big game,” Klusman said. “We’ve been working all season to get to this moment. Our team believed we weren’t going to lose. We weren’t scared. We played together. I think it was our best game of the season. It was fun.”

Klusman thrived in soccer this spring while also doing track and field and playing golf. She was one of 17 St. Albert soccer players to play more than one spring sport.

“At a small school, it’s really helpful,” Klusman said of her multi-sport efforts. “The coaches were understanding. That helped a lot. Balancing them was difficult, but it was worth it.”

She is the youngest member of the Klusman family to win a KMA Sports Award. Her father, Mike, was the 2021 Overall Coach of the Year and the 2022 Bowling Coach of the Year. Her older brother, Brett, was the 2021 Golfer of the Year.

Click below to listen to the full interview with Klusman.

KMAland Iowa Soccer Player of the Year

2024: Ella Klusman, St. Albert

2023: Nora Dougherty, Glenwood

2022: Hana Daoudi, Lewis Central

2021: Clara Teigland, Treynor

2019: Makenna Shepard, St. Albert

2018: Sawyer Elliff, Thomas Jefferson

Thank you for reading

At KMA, we try to be accurate in our reporting. If you spot a typo or error in a story, please contact us by emailing [email protected].

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