Takeaways: Mira Emma in-form over the weekend as Cyclones work to bounce-back

Midfielder Mira Emma dribbles past Drake defender Delaney Goertzen in the second half of Sunday’s match. The Cyclones were ultimately defeated 2-1 at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

Nick Flores

Cyclone soccer played another two games as the team put in some great performances, but ultimately lost both. 

The first loss came in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series as the Cyclones fell 2-1 to the Iowa Hawkeyes. The second came in the teams home opener as they dominated the Drake Bulldogs but again, fell 2-1. 

Despite the two losses, there were many positives to take from each game as the Cyclones look to improve upon their 1-3 record when they face SIU-Edwardsville on Sunday. 

Chance creation improvements

Over the last few seasons, there has been a trend of the Cyclones not being able to create many chances for themselves during games. Cyclones head coach Matt Fannon has been eager to turn that around since being appointed and over the weekend, it seems his squad is beginning to improve.

The Cyclones recorded a total of six shots with three on target against the Hawkeyes. While this may not match their total of 26 shots against Drake, they created some quality chances against one of the best sides in the Big Ten. 

In the match against Drake, the Cyclones were at their best according to Fannon.

They dominated possession, had 13 shots on target and looked to be the better side for all 90 minutes. Although the Cyclones kept control in their pressure, they made two mistakes which lead to two goals for the Bulldogs and could not dig themselves out of the hole they made. Fannon mentioned that although the team lost they put together on of their best performances he’s seen since he became head coach.

“We’re a very young team trying to figure it out so I’m trying my best not to make all the decisions of how well we’re playing based on the results only,” Fannon said. “Performance-wise I thought we were fantastic.”

Mira Emma assists

Since arriving at Iowa State during the 2019-2020 season, junior Mira Emma has played a key role for Iowa State’s game-plan.

She’s the type of player who can pull the strings in midfield and has a great touch on the ball when driving forward to the oppositions half. Emma has been a regular in the starting 11 since she was a freshman and has continued to grow since then. 

Over the weekend she recorded two assists, one in each game and has continued to prove why she deserves a spot on the team-sheet every week. Those assists were provided to freshmen Magdalena Keck and Morina Suter-Doerig with their first collegiate goals of their careers.

In addition to the two assists she now has on the season, Emma scored in the Cyclones’ 2-1 loss to CSUN making that three direct goal contributions on the season so far. 

Fannon commented on how far she’s come following the Cyclones’ 2-1 loss to Drake. 

“Another fantastic performance she’s become really smart as a soccer player,” Fannon said. “Quite frankly, for as good and as tough as she is, she might be the most lovely human being in the world as well so we love her and are really glad she’s with the team.”

Emma displayed her abilities on the ball in both matches having shrugged off challenges from defenders, turning defenders the wrong way and picking out passes that many would struggle to complete.

Now in her junior year, Emma has become one of the driving forces in the Cyclones’ success for the future and brings an element to the team that they need. 

Cyclones conceding early 

In each of the Cyclones’ three losses this season, they have conceded a goal within the first 20 minutes or so of each of those games. Over the weekend, former Cyclone Courtney Powell put the ball past Jordan Silkowitz in the 21st minute and against Drake, the Cyclones conceded in the fifth minute.

This trend has forced the Cyclones to try and come back from behind in each of these games and while they usually bring a goal back, it hasn’t been enough to win.

It takes some time for teams to settle into games and for that reason the Cyclones have been caught off guard early on in some of these matches. For example, in the 2-1 loss against the Drake Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs caught the Cyclones out with a over the top through ball and from there it took until the 15th minute or so for the Cyclones to find their shape. Once the Cyclones eventually did find their shape and settle into the game they dominated but eventually conceded once more. 

Although the Cyclones were able to bring a goal back, they were caught out twice by the Bulldogs and were forced to bring themselves back in a game that they were dominating. To the Bulldogs credit, they had a plan to park the bus and absorb pressure from the Cyclones and it worked in their favor. 

Fannon recognized the fact the Cyclones have been giving goals away but assures that the team will work on it heading into their next match against SIU-Edwardsville. 

“Three games in a row we’ve lost because we’ve managed to give goals away,” Fannon said.

“We know what we need to work on but frankly in terms of game-plan and the way we want to do it, I’m really impressed with the team so we have to keep that going.”