Cyclones begin soccer season with a draw


Samantha Butler/Iowa State Daily

Meredith Skitt, freshman midfielder, recovers from after colliding with her opponent during Iowa State’s game against Drake on Friday. The game on was moved to Ankeny due to damage from the floods.

Blake Schultz

The ISU soccer season kicked off in an unusual way on Friday, Aug. 20 with the game moved to Ankeny due to the recent flooding in Ames.

By the end of the game against the Drake Bulldogs, the score ended up exactly the same way it began: 0-0.

Throughout the game, both teams’ scoring chances improved, but neither could capitalize due to the play of the defenses. The Cyclone defensive backline played an impressive game while helping new starting keeper, senior Ashley Costanzo, stop anything Drake threw their way.

“We have a solid back four and a solid midfield and it makes my job easier when our defense is really strong and it makes me look better too,” Costanzo said.

Costanzo ended the game with six total saves, while Drake keeper Kalena Litch finished with 10.

Begining in the second half, the Cyclones created more scoring chances up the sidelines of the field but could not convert.

“We started linking and connecting a little bit more in the second half, finding feet and getting numbers in the attack,” said coach Wendy Dillinger.

Late in the half, junior defender Mary Kate McLaughlin received the ball at midfield and worked her way toward the net, running a few people over in the process. When she found an opening, she took her shot. The ball rolled by the Bulldog keeper, hit off the sidebar and deflected away.

“When you’re in the play, you don’t really think ‘I’m going to score,’ but you just think you have to finish and do what you gotta do at that time,” McLaughlin said.

As the game moved into overtime, each team traded off scoring chances, but each time the ball sailed high or wide.

Dillinger said she thought the team was a little bit tense and timid when they got in front of the net. She said they need to focus on striking the ball and if they had hit a couple of them harder they might have gone in.

When the game ended, the two teams were left dissapointed at the result, but had good things to take away.

Iowa State comes into this season with 14 freshmen on the roster, the highest in the Big 12 and a few of the newcomers saw action in the opener.

“They had a little freshmen jitters in the beginning, but I thought that went away quickly and they definitely made an impact,” Dillinger said.

One of the freshman newcomers was forward Jennifer Dominguez from Lubbock, Texas. Several times in the game, the ball was fed to her on the attack running the sideline and Dominguez finished with seven shots on goal, a few of which nearly went in.

Dominguez also took corner kicks in the first half. Her second one was placed right in the center, but the header from McLaughlin sailed over the net.

Iowa State will travel to Cedar Falls on Sunday, Aug. 22 to play Northern Iowa in hopes of earning its first victory.