Cyclones set to take on in-state rival Panthers


No. 18 junior forward Hayley Womack shoots on goal during Iowa State’s 4-0 rout of North Dakota on Sept. 8 at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Womack scored off a cross by senior Jennifer Dominguez earlier in the game.

Beau Berkley

In-state rivalries are what bring colleges together, just to tear each other apart.

The ISU soccer team will travel to Waterloo, Iowa, on Friday to take on Northern Iowa in a game slated to begin at 7 p.m. The Cyclones handily defeated the Panthers last year by a lofty score of 7-1.

Iowa State’s game against the Panthers comes after a weekend in California that saw the Cyclones (4-4) go up against stout competition. Iowa State lost to Santa Clara 5-1 on Friday, Sept. 13 followed by a loss to No. 3 Stanford 3-1 on Sunday, Sept. 15.

Senior forward Jennifer Dominguez scored the goal against Stanford that put the game at a tie just before the Cardinal broke ahead. Dominguez now has four goals on the season, the highest total on the team.

“The past weekend in California was a big learning experience, and obviously we played some great teams with great players and played at a high level with those teams. That has to carry over the rest of the week,” Dominguez said. “We have to continue to play the way we played out there against Big 12 teams that have certain similarities of the California teams.”

Assisting Dominguez’s goal was junior forward Hayley Womack. The two forwards have begun to make a habit out of their one-two combination.

In a 4-0 victory over North Dakota earlier this season, the two combined to score two goals in 32 seconds. Dominguez assisted Womack on the first and then Womack returned the favor.

“We’re going on three years of playing together, so I think we’re kind of getting on the same page, connecting with each other and it’s not always on the field,” Womack said. “We have the connection now off the field where we meet and talk about things that we think need to happen during the game and things we need to do together.”

The two forwards will try to connect again against the Panthers, a team that has lost seven games this season and has only managed to record six goals. Northern Iowa has also never beaten Iowa State, so the Cyclones have a perfect 8-0 record against the Panthers.

However, statistics mean nothing once the whistle blows.

“We look a little bit at [statistics], but we know [Northern Iowa] is feisty if you give them an opportunity in a game,” said ISU coach Wendy Dillinger. “We know if you give them any space, they will capitalize. We know that they are a competitive group and we have to take advantage of our opportunities early.”

As far as team focus goes, Dillinger knows the players’ heads are in the right places.

“Last year was very lopsided and that came after a loss to Iowa, so they felt the wrath from that a little bit,” Dillinger said. “But I don’t think we’ll be taking them lightly at all.”

Also on the schedule for the Cyclones’ weekend is a trip to St. Louis on Sunday to take on the Billikens. That game is scheduled to begin at noon.