SOCCER: Cyclones keep record unblemished after pair of weekend games

Midfielder Elise Reid goes after the ball during the match against Montana on August 30. Reid picked up a goal in Iowa State’s victory on Sunday. File photo: Shing Kai Chan/Iowa State Daily

Shing Kai Chan

Midfielder Elise Reid goes after the ball during the match against Montana on August 30. Reid picked up a goal in Iowa State’s victory on Sunday. File photo: Shing Kai Chan/Iowa State Daily

David Merrill

By David Merrill

Daily Staff Writer

The Cyclones were able to stave off another loss this weekend as they were able to force a tie with Eastern Illinois on Friday and then pull out a 2 –1 victory over the Leathernecks of Western Illinois on Sunday.

This weekend was the Cyclones’ first road series of the season, and there were certain adjustments that had to be made for the first test away from the home crowd.

“Its always tough to play on the road,” said head coach Wendy Dillinger. “We played two physical opponents, but we created a lot of goal-scoring chances.  It would have been nice to finish those off earlier in the game, but overall I was happy with the team’s production.  We were still very solid defensively.”

The Panthers of Eastern Illinois gave the Cyclones trouble by taking advantage of the space allowed to them.

The ISU defense didn’t step up well enough at times, which allowed the Panthers to make a turn at Iowa State.

“Anytime we don’t pressure the ball movement, we have trouble,” Dillinger said.

This was the case when the Panthers evened the score at 1–1 in the 12th minute. Sophomore midfielder Mary Kate McLaughlin scored the Cyclones’ goal on a header in the second minute of the match.

On the Panthers’ goal, the player got the ball at midfield and played a direct ball into the gap between the ISU center and outside backs. An Eastern Illinois player made a streaking run and they were able to finish the opportunity in front of the goal.

The Cyclones had a chance to steal a late-game victory off the foot of junior midfielder Jordan Bishop, but the shot hit the post after it sailed past the goalie, resulting in the game heading into overtime and ending in a 1–1 draw.

“It was a great look,” Dillinger said. “It was a shot from distance, but she definitely had the keeper chipped, and if it was a couple inches lower, it is in and the game is over.”

The Cyclones outshot the Panthers 27–6.

On Sunday, the Cyclones traveled to Macomb, Ill., to take on Western Illinois, and it was senior midfielder Elise Reid and freshman midfielder Amanda Woelfel leading the way. Reid headed in a lob from freshman Jordan Wagner in the 86th minute to secure the Cyclones’ victory.

Dillinger, who had started Reid in every game this season, used her off the bench against the Leathernecks in an attempt to provide a spark when they needed it and take pressure off of her.

The plan worked as she assisted on Woelfel’s goal and then put the game-winning goal in herself. When Reid learned she wasn’t going to start, she wanted to go out and prove that she is a player Dillinger wanted out on the field as much as possible.

“It’s not really pressure that I felt, but I felt like I should be starting and that I had to prove a point that she should never want me off the field; I guess it just lights a fire and you should prove that you always want to be on the field,” Reid said. “I guess it was a good thing that she did that because I didn’t want to feel like I wasn’t good enough again. I wasn’t helping the team the way I need to, so I needed to figure out how I could play my role.”

The Cyclones felt they came away with a positive result from their first road trip of the season. 

They outshot their opponents by a wide margin in both games and did a good job of creating opportunities.

“Even though it wasn’t the result we were hoping for, especially on Friday, I think the fact that we hung in there and fought all the way through overtime and didn’t give up a goal and get the loss is a positive for us,” said senior defender Lauren Fader. “On Sunday, it was a tough game, but I think the fact that we were able to score in the last five minutes and get the win is another positive.”

The Cyclones take their 4–0–3 record back on the road next weekend as they travel to Iowa City to face the Hawkeyes on Friday night. They take on the Drake Bulldogs on Sunday.