Iowa soccer’s Addie Bundy aims to surpass freshman season

Despite an offseason knee surgery, the sophomore midfielder still believes she can improve her skills from her freshman year.


Johnny Jarnagin

Midfielder Mira Emma kicks ball down field as Iowa midfielder Addie Bundy looks on during a soccer game at the Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. The Cyclones defeated the Hawkeyes 2-1.

Sam Knupp, Sports Reporter

Iowa soccer’s Addie Bundy is working her way back into the Hawkeyes’ lineup as she recovers from a knee surgery that followed her standout freshman season in 2021.

Bundy started 18 of 20 games for the Hawkeyes in 2021, assisting six goals and receiving Freshman All-Big Ten honors in the process.

But following the 2021 season, Bundy went in for her fourth knee surgery in five years. Bundy’s knee problems started when she tore her left ACL in 2017. The sophomore has had persistent knee issues since then, leading up to her 2021 surgery — which wasn’t another full ACL reconstruction, but a scope cleanout from previous surgeries.

The midfielder was back to doing light workouts with limited contact as early as January, but she didn’t play her first game back with the Hawkeyes until Aug. 28 — four games into the season.

“I think I was just a little bit nervous because I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I haven’t been on the field in so long,’” Bundy said. “But it was also a mix of excitement.”

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Bundy had been lightly practicing with the team throughout the spring, but she didn’t start full contact until the middle of August.

Recovering from her fourth knee surgery has been challenging, Bundy said. While her ball skills and soccer IQ came back immediately, fitness has been more difficult to redevelop.

“One day you come in and you have a really great practice, and then the next day your body’s just exhausted and you can’t perform as well as you want to,” Bundy said. “But it’s just taking those cues from your body and realizing what you can and can’t do and what’s harmful and what’s not.”

Bundy’s minutes have been down in 2022. She averages just 28.88 minutes per game, compared to 80.84 in 2021. The midfielder said the number of minutes she played in 2021 were ultimately detrimental to her knees, and she’s now realizing that her body isn’t as capable as it was last season.

Bundy said head coach Dave DiIanni, along with his staff, have been helpful in her recovery process.

“Dave and I are very close,” Bundy said. “… Even though sometimes we don’t see eye to eye, I think he really does see the big picture for me, and I do trust him and believe that at the end of the day, he’s doing what’s best for me and what’s best for the team.”

DiIanni complimented Bundy for her on-field intelligence, saying she has an elite soccer IQ.

“She’s smart in terms of game situations,” DiIanni said. “She’s very technical. She could take a lot of our set pieces, and she’s very courageous as a player.”

Bundy said her understanding of the game likely came from the times when she was off the field, recovering from surgeries.

“Just being on the sideline and still staying in tune with the game, even when I’m not able to play, it gives me a completely different perspective than I’d had before,” Bundy said.

Bundy is still working to get her stamina back to 2021 levels, but she believes she can surpass where she was a year ago.

“I think I still have improvement to go, and really you can only go up from here,” Bundy said. “We’ll take the offseason and hit next fall even harder.”