Cyclones set to face Creighton after tough loss to Memphis

Iowa State soccer players huddle together ahead of their game vs. No.15 Memphis on Sept. 9.

Nick Flores

The Iowa State Cyclones are coming off of a close 1-0 loss to the Memphis Tigers as they look to get back to winning ways against Creighton on Thursday. In addition to playing Creighton this week, they will also face South Dakota over the weekend before conference play begins.

The Cyclones record currently sits at 2-4 heading into their matchup against Creighton, but head coach Matt Fannon has continued to say that the team is just a few detail-polishings away from becoming a team that can consistently win. 

“Truthfully, I think everyday we realize that we’re good at the game, we know what we’re doing, we know we can play,” Fannon said. “There are some details we need to get right and we just need to decide and stick to being winners, the tiny details that matter is just what we’re missing and we’re not quite there yet.”

Despite Fannon feeling that the team is not quite there yet at this point in time this season, he feels that the team has had a lot more time to prepare and improve this season compared to last. 

Amidst the height of the COVID-19 pandemic a season ago, the Big 12 Conference began immediately, with no teams being allowed to play games before conference play began. This season, the team will have played eight games prior to conference play, as well as having a bit over a month of training sessions. 

Fannon said this season sort of feels like his first true chance to be the team’s leader after the mess of last year.

“It’s funny, someone described it this way to me and I thought it was spot on: Last year was year zero, this year is year one,” Fannon said. “It sucks to be going through year one again quite frankly, but knowing that there really wasn’t any chance for preparation last year hurt us in a lot of ways and helped us in a lot of ways as well.”

“We can be as philosophical at any of it as we want but really our job is to go out there and figure out how to win and I know it’s going to take time but we feel as if everyday we move a step closer,” Fannon continued.  

This match-up against Creighton will serve as more preparation for the Big 12 as the Bluejays have started their season 6-1-1.  

Heading into the match against the Bluejays, the team, like Fannon, also knows that they need to polish certain details in their game to improve. 

Freshman defender Tyra Shand mentioned what details the team has been working on in training.

“We’ve worked a lot on set pieces and the details of what we need to work on like movement in front of goal,” Shand said. “We play well every game but we just need to put the ball over the line and into the net.”

Fellow freshman Anna Lindgren also mentioned what the team has been working on and how they also know they’re so close to becoming a team that can consistently compete.

“I feel like we’ve worked on a lot of details because we have been really close every game,” Lindgren said. “There have been games that we should have won and I feel like we’ve just been working on the details that are going to make a difference in the game.”

The Cyclones are back in action Thursday evening as they will try to apply what they’ve been working on in training on the pitch against Creighton.

The match against the Bluejays kicks off at 6 p.m. at the Cyclones Sports Complex and is being live-streamed on ESPN+ via Big 12 Now.