Cyclones view Cy-Hawk matchup like ‘just another game’

Iowa State defender Taylor Bee looks toward the ball against Kansas State on Oct. 30, 2020.

Nick Flores

Mention the Iowa Corn CyHawk Series and the talk of rivalry enters the conversation. But not for the Cyclone soccer team.

Iowa State soccer faces the Iowa Hawkeyes Thursday at 6 p.m. in Iowa City against a strong Hawkeyes squad. The Iowa Hawkeyes won the last meeting with the Cyclones 2-1 in 2019, and so far, this season has started very well. Iowa is currently 4-0 with a clean sheet in three of those four matches and looks to be one of the better teams in the Big 10 for another year.

Although this is a big game in the eyes of the fans, given the in-state school rivalry, the Cyclones don’t feel any added pressure against the Hawkeyes. While the players are excited, they aren’t adding any unnecessary pressure for this matchup. 

Senior defender Taylor Bee mentioned this excitement and how the team isn’t treating this game any differently. 

“It’s exciting that it’s a rivalry but I wouldn’t say that we’re handling it any differently,” Bee said. “We go into every game wanting to give our best so I don’t think we’re preparing our mentalities any differently. The excitement is just a bit higher.”

Junior goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz mentioned that it is just another game for the team.

“Game day is game day,” Silkowitz said. “Our motto here is ‘everyday is game day’ so it’s just another game for us and hopefully another win.”

The Cyclones head into this match having lost 2-1 against CSUN in a match that head coach Matt Fannon would like to forget. Following the loss, Fannon mentioned that the performance overall was poor, and he knows his side could do better than what was shown in the loss. 

“Everyone just looked completely out of sorts,” Fannon said, “I’m not sure if the weather got to them or the five days on the road but we didn’t seem quite right. Everybody worked incredibly hard but everyone’s touch was off, everyone’s movement was off, everyone just looked tired so we have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Despite the loss and the disappointing performance from the Cyclones, Fannon was able to find some positives that he can implement against the Hawkeyes on Thursday. Fannon mentioned that he feels the team learned a lot from that game, especially the freshman from Europe. 

“Some people got a lot of time under their belt, mainly all of our Europeans,” Fannon said. “The game here is so much faster and frankly the bit that gets you is when you’re on the ball, you always have more time in Europe. Here you’re under so much pressure and if your touch is off then you’re getting jumped all over.”

Fannon mentioned that this happened a few times during the game against CSUN, and now that the players realize they have to think and move quicker, they will adapt better to the pace and physicality of the American game.

Now that the Cyclones have played two games and have learned some valuable lessons in both, Fannon knows the team has to be at their best but is confident they can come away with a win. 

“They play a different style of soccer than we do so I think we’re going to have to be ready for their brand of soccer,” Fannon said. “From all accounts they’re a really really good team but thats fine because we want to test ourselves against these teams.”

The Cyclones are heading into Thursday evening with eyes on bouncing back from their previous loss. The Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup is being broadcasted on the Big Ten Network, with kick-off scheduled for 6 p.m.