ISU soccer gains experience

Jonathan Lowe

The first four games of the season for the ISU soccer team have one thing in common; all have showcased shutout efforts. Unfortunately for fans of the Cardinal and Gold, the Cyclones have been on the short side three of those times.

After being swept by Ivy League schools Princeton and Pennsylvania over the weekend, the Cyclones have only scored once in four contests. One reason for the slow start is that the campaign started only 11 days ago.

“We’re not panicking,” said assistant coach Kristen Buckley. “It’s early on in the season, and we’re still trying to work on our attack.”

ISU sophomore defender Jill Borcherding attributed the lack of goals to the team’s inability to make the best of their opportunities.

“I wouldn’t say that our offense has been struggling, because we’ve been executing the plays we’ve been practicing,” she said. “We just haven’t been finishing.”

A tough schedule early has contributed to the struggles of the team. The Cyclones had anticipated doing better, especially against Princeton, who beat them 5-0 Sunday.

“Princeton wasn’t five goals better than us, but that’s what the scoreboard showed,” Borcherding said. “When we played [them], they scored on set plays, so they didn’t get behind the defense.”

Buckley said the opponents also took advantage of Iowa State’s overall inexperience.

“I think they have taken into account that we are a young team this year,” she said. “It’s going to take a while for this team to get to the level that [the coaches] want it at, but we are definitely heading that way.”

Buckley also commended the fact that the Cyclones have played difficult competition at the beginning of the season.

“Certainly from preseason to now we’re a better team,” Buckley said. “We could have played not as good teams and been 4-0 now, but this was better.”

The squad will now prepare for an end-of-the week road matchup with Minnesota before coming home to battle Air Force Sunday. Borcherding feels that to improve, the team must get off to a good start.

“If we concentrate on the little things, like not giving up goals within the first 10 or 15 of each half, then we’ll be able to stay positive throughout the rest of the game,” she said.

While the players focus on the intangibles, Buckley said the coaches will stress more fundamental portions of the game.

“I think for this weekend, we’re definitely going to be working on getting [the ball] into our offensive third, finishing and our defense in the back,” she said. “It’s important to know that we are getting better as a team. You can’t base our success on the scores of our games.”