Familiar mistakes doom ISU soccer in Iowa City against Hawkeyes


Freshman forward Koree Willer, No. 2, and senior midfielder Meredith Skitt, No. 14, fight off an Iowa player during Friday night’s game at the Iowa Soccer Complex in Iowa City. The Cyclones lost to the Hawkeyes 3-0 and are now 3-2 in the season.

Alex Gookin

IOWA CITY — Before the fireworks show following the game, the Hawkeyes put on their own offensive fireworks Friday night against Iowa State. 

Only 11 minutes into the game, the Hawkeyes drew first blood with a goal off a free kick from 25 yards out with a finish on the left side of the goal.

Trailing 2-0 in the second half, the Cyclones experienced some deja vu in the 64th minute: defending a free kick from 25 yards out. The result? Another cross to the left side and another Hawkeye goal.

“The biggest problem we have had [is] five of the six goals we have given up this year have come off set pieces,” said ISU coach Wendy Dillinger. “We have been talking about this since the beginning of the season … and we sound like broken records.”

It is a problem that has doomed the Cyclones. Before the 3-0 shutout loss to the Hawkeyes, the team lost to Minnesota 1-0 on a loose ball off a corner kick last Sunday. 

But even more troubling in the two recent losses for the Cyclones is the lack of offensive points on the board. The Cyclones managed only four shots against the Hawkeyes on Friday with only one on target.

Against Minnesota, the team had plenty of opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the net. Whether it be bad luck or just not producing, the Cyclones need a change.

“We just didn’t have somebody that wanted to finish: step up and take the shot,” Dillinger said. “The biggest piece is just the effort.”

The aggressive nature of the game also limited a few players with nagging injuries. Cyclone star Jennifer Dominguez walked to the bus with her knee wrapped in ice.

No player is expected to miss any playing time during Sunday’s game against North Dakota. Dillinger was quick to note the injuries did not affect the outcome of the game Friday, which kicked off this year’s Cy-Hawk series. 

The Hawkeyes, who are now 5-0, recorded their third-straight shutout and extended their non-conference win streak to 21 games. Dillinger credited the Hawkeyes with good play, but added the loss was self-inflicted.

“I think they have some special attackers,” Dillinger said of the Hawkeyes. “We see that type of play out of our attackers, but never in this game for some reason.

“It is something we have to bring every day.”

The Cyclones will be back in action Sunday at home against North Dakota.