ISU soccer believes best defense is a good offense in home-opener win

ISU senior midfielder Erin Green dribbles around a Western Illinois defender during Iowa States 2-0 win on Aug. 27, 2013 at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

Alex Gookin

Western Illinois goalkeeper Laura Atkinson is one of the best in school history, holding multiple school records for the Leathernecks.

But the Cyclones gave the senior more than she could handle Tuesday night as the ISU soccer team defeated Western Illinois 2-0 in its home-opener. Iowa State is now 3-0 to start the season.

The Cyclones attacked Atkinson early and often, with six shots-on-goal in the first half and a barrage of offensive pressure throughout the game. The result was 26 shots (10 shots-on-goal), two goals and a shutout.

“The fact that we were able to hold the ball on their end, especially in the first half, it just gave our backs a break, so it made a big difference,” said ISU coach Wendy Dillinger.

The offensive attack also gave senior goalkeeper Maddie Jobe a quiet but productive night, recording three saves and her first shutout of the season. The shutout is Jobe’s 15th in her career, which is only one away from tying Ann Gleason’s all-time ISU record of 16.

Jobe credited the offense for keeping the Leatherneck defense on its heels, allowing for a steady attack. 

“It starts from the front and works to the back,” Jobe said of the offensive attack. “If [our] forwards put a lot of pressure on their defense, they cough the ball up in the midfield a lot more and our defense can push up a lot more. It is a lot more organized.”

The organized attack was led again by the seniors. Midfielder Erin Green got the Cyclones on the board in the 13th minute with an assist from fellow senior Jennifer Dominguez. 

Dominguez sealed the deal in the second half, scoring in the 67th minute with assists from seniors Emily Goldstein and Margaret Powers. The senior leadership was apparent with the group accounting for nearly 70 percent of the Cyclones’ shots.

Dominguez is the team’s clear-cut scorer, but Green is tied with her in goals this season with two each. Last year, Green finished with one goal in 19 games.

“It’s about time,” Dillinger said of Green. “She’s a great playmaker and that’s something she has always done well for us is create for other people. Something we really focused on in the spring with her is to start taking those chances for herself.”

The Cyclones hope to use their senior leadership to continue their undefeated streak. Using offense as defense and allowing its seniors to have breakout seasons, Iowa State has no shortage of leadership.

“It would be a bad thing if we had nine seniors and no leadership,” Jobe said. “It’s a team mostly made up of mainly seniors and freshmen, so we need to play a role and play hard as well as lead the team. I think we have been doing that the past two games or so.”