Notebook: Big 12 tournament hopes not yet lost for Cyclones


Iowa State soccer players huddle together before the team’s game against Texas Tech on Oct. 14.

Adarsh Tamma

At least one more match remains for the Iowa State soccer team this season, as the Cyclones will look to shake off their five-match losing streak Thursday against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., with a chance to make it to the post-season.

The Cyclones have had a tough time getting on-target in recent games, as the team has registered just four shots on-target in their last three matches against TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma, all of which have come back to hurt them in the long run.

Against the Sooners this past Sunday, the Cyclones shot on-target just twice and succumbed to a pressing Oklahoma offense that finally broke through in the 88th minute with a goal from senior Bri Amos off a broken play.

“That’s been our Achilles’ heel,” Head Coach Matt Fannon said on the team’s offensive struggles. “Truthfully, we’ve got to a better job of coaching our players, and we have to get some players in that know how to find the back of the net. Neither of those things sound particularly kind to our coaches and players, but it’s abundantly clear that they’re the two things [we have to do better].”

Despite their woes over the Big 12 schedule, Iowa State still has one last chance to sneak into this year’s conference tournament with a win against the Wildcats on Sunday. The Cyclones would also need Texas to beat Kansas on Thursday in Lawrence, as they would then have a better head-to-head record against the Jayhawks in the case of a tiebreaker to earn the 8th seed.

Senior defender McKenna Schultz spoke on the urgency the team needs to play with against Kansas State on Thursday.

“We talk all the time about playing like you’re in a conference tournament or conference final,” Schultz said. “That game on Thursday is a conference final for us and that’s what makes it exciting.”

Schultz has started in 14 of the 15 matches Iowa State has played this season and has logged a total of 1,022 minutes for the Cyclones thus far.

This season for the Cyclones has ultimately been a learning curve of sorts, as the addition of seven new freshmen players before the start of the year has made their lineup much younger. Fannon has constantly substituted his younger players into matches throughout the season to test out their strengths in real-time.

Forward Clara Thimstrand has logged the most minutes of any freshmen on the team with 1,067, which puts her fourth overall behind senior defender Taylor Bee and junior midfielders Mira Emma and Claudia Najera.

Redshirt junior forward Kenady Adams commented on the progression of the team given their current lineup by saying, “I think that we’ve grown a lot as a group by trusting in each other and building off of that really good game against Santa Barbara. I think we’ve hit a few bumps in the road, but honestly we’ve just progressed since then and are looking forward to playing K-State on Thursday.”

Iowa State will kick off against the Wildcats at 7 p.m. Thursday. The match will be held at the Buser Family Park Soccer Stadium and will be streamed live on ESPN+.