Flaska leads way for Cyclones in win

Cory Weaver

When freshman forward Kaeli Flaska woke up Sunday morning, she didn’t expect she would be leading the Cyclone offense to a 4-0 win over Loyola-Chicago that afternoon at the Iowa State Soccer Complex. In fact, she’s never had a hat trick ever, that is, until Sunday.

“No I don’t think so; not recently anyways,” Flaska said of if she had ever recorded three goals in a game before. “So this was a really good feeling and hopefully it can happen again sometime.”

Her first goal of the season came 27 minutes into the match, when senior forward Amanda Cacciatore found Flaska with a pass up the middle with Flaska putting it over the opposing keeper’s hands in the top right corner of the net.

Nearly the exact same play happened six minutes later as well and Flaska finished the play for her second goal of the game. She said she didn’t expect the opportunity to happen again so quickly.

“I kind of was surprised that their defense didn’t change it up,” Flaska said.

Flaska’s hat trick is the first by a Cyclone since Kristina Baumann did it in 2002 against Texas Tech, also as a freshman.

Prior to Flaska’s back-to-back goals, senior captain Mary Kate McLaughlin found the back of the net for her first of the season as well, scoring on a header off a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Emily Goldstein. McLaughlin said it was a relief to get the first one out of the way.

“It was hard bouncing back from a big loss at Iowa on Friday, but it was nice to come out here and get a goal. [Emily] Goldstein played a great ball in and I’ve been trying to get one all season, and she put the ball right out there for me,” McLaughlin said.

On Friday, Iowa State lost a lopsided battle against Iowa in Iowa City, but the defense made the necessary adjustments to answer back with a shutout Sunday.

“We talked a lot about discipline Friday night after the game and we were kind of lacking that during the game on Friday,” McLaughlin said. “Discipline and just playing together as a back line, I wouldn’t say it was any one person defensively, but we worked together as a back line and defensively all over the field we worked together as a team.”

Iowa State out-shot Loyola 23-8 on the day, leaving the Ramblers with few scoring opportunities, but the ones they did have, the Cyclones were able to clear the ball out of the box to help freshman keeper Andrea Swanson record her first career shutout.

“Andrea [Swanson] did a great job. She came up big with a one-on-one save, and again it’s a team effort,” McLaughlin said. “One person clears it out of the box, but it goes through three or four defenders; people tackle at different times, so I’d say it’s just a team effort and we were just very disciplined and hungry for the ball and hungry to get it out and keep a shutout for this game.”

Coach Wendy Dillinger said the team also played much more physical and aggressive, contributing to the winning effort.

“I thought Friday against Iowa, there were a lot of times that we were just running back into our box before they were really even dangerous, just playing timid and hesitant defensively,” Dillinger said. “Today I thought we came out, and we were aggressive attacking the ball, challenging, sliding, winning tackles, which we didn’t do on Friday.”

Senior captain Emily Hejlik saw her first game action of the season this year after being sidelined for the first seven games with an injury. Dillinger said the team plans to work her in gradually and get her in as much as possible.

Iowa State has another home game this Friday night against South Dakota State before heading to Ohio to take on Toledo on Sunday afternoon.