ISU soccer season concluding in dramatic fashion

Dan Cole

The ISU soccer team has just one regular season game remaining before the Big 12 Championship tournament begins Oct. 31 in San Antonio.

The Cyclones (10-9, 1-6 Big 12) went into this past weekend ranked eighth in the Big 12 standings, but after losing at Kansas on Friday and at Baylor on Sunday, have fallen to last place in the conference.

If Iowa State defeats Oklahoma on Friday and TCU loses or ties at Baylor, then the Cyclones will earn a spot in the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 2007.

“We can’t think about TCU at all,” said junior goalkeeper Maddie Jobe. “If that gets into our heads, it’s not going to be good. It’s an intense situation that no one likes to be a part of, but it’ll be fun.”

The Cyclones are just 1-6 in conference play thus far. Their lone Big 12 win came against TCU, which the Cyclones defeated 2-0 back on Oct. 5 in Ames. TCU currently stands just ahead of Iowa State at eighth in the Big 12 standings with a 1-4-2 conference record.

“We have a few ranked opponents in the Big 12; it’s probably one of the stronger conferences in the country,” said ISU junior forward Jennifer Dominguez. “It’s difficult to win games in this conference.”

Despite their conference troubles, the Cyclones have shined offensively this season. They currently rank second in the Big 12 in goals with 37 and first in assists with 31.

“Offensively, we really got together and we just said that we needed to start putting in more goals and helping out our defense,” said ISU junior midfielder Emily Goldstein. “If we get scored on, we need to come back and score quickly. I think we’ve been doing really well at that lately.”

The majority of this season’s goal-scoring has come from the feet of Dominguez, who has scored 14 goals in 19 games. Dominguez leads the Big 12 in goals scored, three ahead of Oklahoma’s Renae Cuellar, who ranks second. The two will meet when the Cyclones take on the Sooners in Ames on Friday.

Iowa State’s primary struggle this season has come from the defensive third of the field. Organization in the back end has been a concern for the Cyclones all season, as they currently rank eighth in the conference in goals allowed with 23, an average of 1.28 per game.

“It’s been a learning position for a few people back there,” Jobe said. “There’s times where they’ll be all there and there’s times where they get exposed. It’s definitely been off and on and that’s something that we need to correct this week in practice and hopefully next week in San Antonio.”

The Cyclones’ final regular season game is against Oklahoma (6-8-4, 2-3-2 Big 12) at 7 p.m. Friday in Ames.