COMMENTARY: Cyclones’ postseason hopes come down to final game


Photo: Adam Ring/Iowa State Daily

Jennifer Dominguez battles with a TCU Horned Frog player for control of the ball on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Cyclone Sports Complex. The Cyclones won the match 2-0, with Dominguez scoring both goals. The win was the team’s first in Big 12 conference play. The match was the first at the new, $13 million Cyclone Sports Complex.

Dan Cole

The ISU soccer team’s postseason fate is going to be decided Friday.

Big 12 soccer consists of nine teams. The eight teams with the highest point total at the end of the regular season each earn a spot in the Big 12 tournament. Points are awarded as follows: three for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss.

The Cyclones are currently two points behind TCU, with both teams having just one game remaining. If Iowa State wins on Friday and TCU ties or loses, the Cyclones will earn a spot in the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 2007.

“It’s disappointing to know that it’s not just up to us; we have to rely on a result from another game,” said ISU junior Jennifer Dominguez. “But we’re just going to have to train hard, work extremely hard and play extremely hard for 90 full minutes because going into Friday, it could be our last 90 minutes of 2012.”

TCU (6-8-3, 1-4-2 Big 12) plays at Baylor on Friday, which is going to be a tremendous challenge. Baylor (13-1-4, 4-0-3 Big 12) is ranked second in the Big 12, is undefeated in conference play and is 8-0 when playing at home this season.

Baylor is first in the Big 12 in goals scored with 41, while TCU ranks eighth with just 20. The defensive difference between the two teams is just as staggering — Baylor has allowed just nine goals all season while TCU has allowed 22.

If the Bears play as dominantly as they have been all season, it’s going to be difficult for TCU to come away with a win Friday night.

With that being said, if the Cyclones do not win Friday, their season is finished.

Iowa State hosts Oklahoma on Friday. The Sooners (6-8-4, 2-3-2 Big 12) are just 1-5-2 on the road this season and are facing a Cyclone squad with a 5-3 home record.

Iowa State ranks second in the conference in scoring and will need its offensive threats — namely Dominguez, who leads the Big 12 in individual scoring with 14 goals — to produce.

Getting off to a good start will be key for the Cyclones as well. They are a perfect 7-0 when leading at halftime this season.

ISU sophomore defender Lindsay Frank is inactive for Friday’s game, which is going to leave a sizeable void in the Cyclones’ back line. Frank had started all 19 games for the Cyclones this season and is second on the team in minutes played.

Dan Cole is a junior in journalism from Bloomington, Minn.