Soccer to face Oklahoma teams

Ben Brady

The ISU soccer team will travel south this weekend to try and pick up a couple more victories against Big 12 Conference opponents.

“I think, obviously, as a team we need to play big,” said head coach Stephanie Gabbert.

The Cyclones visit the Oklahoma Sooners today and will move on to meet the Oklahoma State Cowgirls on Sunday.

Both teams boast winning records.

The Sooners (9-3, 3-2) present a rough, tough team with a stifling defense.

Before a 3-1 loss to Baylor on Sunday, Oklahoma was second in the nation in scoring defense, averaging less than .4 goals allowed per match.

“They’re big and they’ve got decent speed,” Gabbert said.

However, she said, the Cyclones have some advantages.

“I think we’re a better possessing team, and I think if we can possess well and run at them, we’ll get in behind,” Gabbert explained.

Although the Sooners sport an impressive 9-3 overall record, they haven’t been as dominating against conference opponents.

“I think we’ll be one of the better teams that they’ve played this year, and hopefully we’ll be able to score and come out with the win,” Gabbert said.

After the Cyclones play Oklahoma, they will head on to face Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls (7-6, 2-3) lost to the Cyclones 3-2 last year in Ames.

“They’re a much better team than they were last year,” Gabbert said.

The Cyclones will approach both teams with the same game-plan, she said.

“Both these teams that we have this weekend, as long as we possess and play our style, we’ll be able to control the game better,” Gabbert said.

The Cyclones have said all season that they don’t want to be left out of the Big 12 Tournament again this year, and more wins in the conference would do a lot to help their cause.

“I think we’re in a good spot,” Gabbert said.

“We’ve played some of the more difficult teams in the conference and I think we match up better against [our next four opponents].”

Gabbert said this weekend’s games are important, but they’re not must-wins for the Cyclones.

“We’re pretty excited going into this weekend, and although certainly we’d like to have another win or two in the conference, we’re not that distressed because we feel like we can make it up in the next couple weeks,” she said.

The Cyclones (3-8, 1-4) will play their final three matches against Texas Tech, Colorado and Nebraska in the upcoming weeks.