ISU soccer looks to move forward to Big 12 play


Tiffany Herring/Iowa State Daily

Hayley Womack runs the ball down the field during Iowa State’s 2-1 loss to South Dakota State on Sept. 21 at the Cyclone Sports Complex. This game ended the soccer team’s nonconference schedule.

Trey Alessio

Sept. 19 and 21 marked the last nonconference games for the ISU soccer team before the start of Big 12 play. 

Iowa State faced off against Drake on Sept. 19 and South Dakota State on Sept. 21, winning 2-0 and losing 2-1, respectively.

“We’ve got to leave this game and this weekend in the past,” said senior Hayley Womack. “Big 12 is what matters. That’s what gets us to the tournament. We’re starting fresh. It’s almost like a new season.”

ISU coach Tony Minatta said nonconference games are tough because the team gets motivated to play teams like USC and Ole Miss and sometimes overlooks teams like South Dakota State.

Iowa State lost to USC and Ole Miss this season but showed signs of some of its best soccer. However, it lost to South Dakota — a team that it believed it should have beaten.

“It’s Division I soccer and everybody is good — everybody is going to fight hard,” Minatta said. “For a South Dakota State or a North Dakota State, those teams are looking at us as their big game and they’re going to bring everything they have, and if we don’t match their intensity, you get the result that you had today.”

Minatta said soccer is a game of ups and downs and Iowa State needs to get back to its game and play at the standard it set for itself.

“I think this nonconference season we’ve had highest of the highs and lowest of the lows,” said junior Haley Albert. “Like Tony [Minatta] says, ‘You can’t get too high on a win, you can’t get too low on a loss.’ I just think we need to move forward and continue to get better.”

Iowa State is 6-4 on the season heading into Big 12 play.

“One thing this team has been able to do is show that they’re resilient and that they’ll rebound,” Minatta said. “When we were down 1-0 to Iowa, we didn’t let it take us out. We came back. When we lost to UNO in the exhibition game, we came back and beat Mississippi State, 5-1. I’m expecting them to do the same thing.”

But the Cyclones know the challenges ahead. They play Oklahoma State and Baylor to begin their Big 12 conference play, which Minatta called a “really tough road swing in the Big 12.” Three of Iowa State’s four losses have been on the road.

“We’ve seen what we can do when we play against those good teams and have that success,” Albert said. “We just need to keep moving forward.”

Starting Sept. 26, the Cyclones will head to Stillwater, Okla., to play Oklahoma State and begin their Big 12 conference play.