Cyclones take on No. 23 Washington Sunday

Cory Weaver

The ISU soccer team will have its work cut out for it Sunday, when the Cyclones face the No. 23 team, Washington, in Madison, Wis.

It will be the team’s first test of the season, and the Cyclones (2-0) hope to continue the defense that has allowed just one goal in four games this season, two of which were exhibition games.

“I think there’s a lot of experience back there now with Meredith Skitt and [Jessica Stewart] back there now,” said sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Jobe. “I think we’ve just been able to communicate a lot better because having one year under the belt and getting used to things and just being comfortable with each other.”

Jobe’s 2010 season got off to an unexpected start. Then-senior keeper Ashley Costanzo got injured in the third game, causing Jobe to go on to start the rest of the season, which she said was a big learning experience.

 “Some things were tough, but I felt like I never had a time to just back down and kind of feel bad for myself,” Jobe said. “I just had to keep fighting through it, keep learning new things, and I could see myself improving end of fall and spring season. It’s been fun, I just keep learning new things.”

The Cyclone have never faced the Huskies (1-0) before, and coach Wendy Dillinger said they will be sticking to the basics for the team they know nothing about.

“[We need to be] focusing on the general things that we need to do in terms of just high-pressure defense, responsible defending, tracking runners and being dynamic in our attack,” Dillinger said.

Dillinger said they hope to get more information on Washington after the Huskies play Wisconsin on Friday night.

The Cyclones have shut out each of their first two opponents 2-0, and sophomore midfielder Emily Goldstein said they need to improve their ability to work off the ball.  

“It’s kind of just working smart and working hard at the same time, so even if we don’t think we’re going to get the ball,” Goldstein said. “We need to make sure we’re making that run and we need to make sure that our final pass into the 18 to score that goal, it needs to be more on.”

The Cyclones take on Green Bay at 7 p.m. Friday before facing Washington on Sunday, which kicks off at 11 a.m.

“We’ve had so many opportunities,” Goldstein said. “We build up, we build up, and then that final pass, we just keep messing up, so we’ve been working a lot on that this week, and a lot more on dynamically moving on and off the ball.”