Notebook: Cyclones looking to learn from mistakes against Mountaineers


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

Adarsh Tamma

Friday was not the ideal start to the Big 12 season for the Iowa State soccer team, as the Cyclones dropped their opening conference match 4-0 to the No. 13 West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown.

The Cyclones’ outlook looked positive heading into halftime, as they trailed West Virginia by a single goal after the first 45 minutes. However, a second-half onslaught by the Mountaineers quickly put to rest all hopes of an Iowa State comeback, as West Virginia scored three times in 25 minutes to close out their first conference win.

Iowa State’s strong first half was highlighted by freshman Lauren McConnell, who had an opportunity to take the lead in the 21st minute when her shot bounced right post for a corner kick. For McConnell, the level of play that the Cyclones were able to have in the first half will be critical as the season continues.

“We played pretty well in the first half, we just have to bring it over the full 90 [minutes],” McConnell said. “We just have to fight until the end and can’t stop at the half. It was a 1-0 game [at halftime] and we could’ve gotten back in it if we just kept working hard.”

Fellow freshman Morina Suter-Doerig echoed McConnell’s comments on the first-half play and talked about the team’s potential if the quality of play translated to a full match.

“It gives us a lot of motivation,” Suter-Doerig said, regarding the Cyclones’ play against West Virginia. “We know we can compete against the top teams in the country and that we can make their lives difficult. If we can keep up that level of play, I think we can compete against every team.”

For Iowa State head coach Matt Fannon, Friday’s loss seemed to serve as an opportunity to correct some wrongs going forward into the Big 12 schedule.

“Looking back at the game in hindsight, I think we did some really good things,” Fannon said on his team’s start to the match. “And the problem was, we did some three or four silly things that left us vulnerable in negative transition. I think we just ran out of gas, and we gave ourselves too much running to do in stupid places that meant as the game wore on, we just weren’t able to keep playing at the same level.”

Fannon has spoken in the past of his team’s willingness to bounce back after similar losses, and he again discussed the squad’s mindset given the previous match.

It won’t be long until Iowa State can respond to that opening conference loss, as the Cyclones will first host Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Cyclone Sports Complex. They will also host Kansas at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both matches will also be live-streamed on ESPN+.