Pace of play dominates in Cyclones’ loss to Red Raiders

Iowa State huddles together before facing off against Texas Tech on Oct. 14, 2021. The Cyclones lost to the Red Raiders 2-1.

Adarsh Tamma

Despite the cold conditions on a chilly fall evening at the Cyclone Sports Complex, the Iowa State and Texas Tech soccer teams were both red-hot on the field Thursday night at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

A back-and-forth contest that saw plenty of offensive action ended with a 2-1 win in favor of the Red Raiders after sophomore forward Gisselle Kozarski gave her team the lead in the 86th minute on a cross from freshman Macy Blackburn.

Texas Tech held on for the final minutes to record their 10th victory of the season from an initial 1-0 deficit.

The match was marked by a relentless pace of play right from the opening whistle that showed no signs of stopping. The Cyclones and Red Raiders combined for 12 shots in the first 45 minutes. The pace also seemed to turn a bit rough at times, as both teams combined for four yellow cards, including a fifth on the season given to Iowa State defender Tyra Shand.

Head coach Matt Fannon spoke on the speed of play after the match, saying, “Texas Tech are a really intense team that want to get after you and press. I thought we did a really good job moving the ball through that and implementing our game. I thought we did almost everything right.”

Texas Tech had their best opportunities through senior forward Kirsten Davis, who finished the match with six shots. Davis, who was drafted by the NWSL’s Racing Louisville in the 2021 draft, was met on the other side of the ball by Iowa State goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz, who made several big saves to keep the score level during the first half.

Iowa State was finally able to capitalize on their pace of play in the 48th minute when midfielder Mira Emma scored off a rebounded shot from teammate Olivia Edwards that bounced off the crossbar.

From there, the Cyclones looked to preserve their lead but were caught out by a Red Raiders offense that just wouldn’t go away. Texas Tech produced another one of their counter-attacks down the far sideline that resulted in a 74th-minute equalizer by Davis.

“Unfortunately, just after their first goal, we became a little too defensive,” Fannon said on the second half of play. “It’s difficult in that moment, when your trying to hold a lead to keep pressing in the same way that we want to. That was where the game turned; we just didn’t keep our foot on the gas through the second half.”

Kozarski’s game-winner was one of 11 shots-on-goal by the Red Raiders compared to Iowa State’s four. However, the Cyclones ended up with the advantage in possession by a margin of 53%-47%.

“What I think the main thing we have to take [from this match] is once again, we’ve proven that we’re a good enough team to make a difference in this league,” Fannon said of his team’s performance.

“I think after another really good performance tonight and moving into the weekend, I think we know we can do the things we want to do. We can put the pressure on any team that’s going to come here, especially here.”

Iowa State will take on No. 11 TCU at 1 p.m Sunday at the Cyclone Sports Complex.