Cyclone soccer focuses on meeting goals on and off the field


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State senior Mira Emma kicks the ball in the Cyclones’ game against Grand View on April 14 at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

Throughout the last few years, Iowa State’s head soccer coach, Matt Fannon, is determined to create an environment where culture is what drives and motivates his team to push themselves every day. The demand to excel might be a challenge for some, but certainly not for the athletes on this team. Energy is the key fuel to their fire.

“A lot of the details of who we want to be has been something that we’ve fought to the nail in the last couple of years,” Fannon said. “Culture is not a conversation, it’s a behavior, it’s a habit; a lifestyle.”

Coming into the 2022 season, something that is not always highlighted are the demands of being a student-athlete. The soccer program has academic expectations of a 3.5 GPA and a minimum of 20 hours of community service per athlete. These qualities provide not only a sense of responsibility and discipline but also set a standard for the team quality they wish to achieve.

The intent on the field is to always work together and keep their chemistry alive even in the face of challenges or bad days. Throughout the years, they maintained this philosophy, but this year the desire is noticeable, and the efforts go beyond the scale.

“Having half a squad that is new, it takes some time to mesh everything,” Fannon said. “But what truly helps is that we’ve been incredibly intentional with the people we’ve brought into the squad.”

The main goal is to establish trust and accountability within one another in and out of the field. While some goals do not have exact measuring points, Fannon inspires his team to always look out for each other and to be conscious of who they are and what they represent.

The overall standard is consistency and getting the team to be confident and believe in their game. It is important for them to always be themselves and believe that they are a statement team.

“Coming into this team, I wanted to put Iowa State on the soccer map so I’m making sure that we are proving ourselves day in and day out, and earning your spot every time you step on the field,” senior Mira Emma said.

Going up against Memphis later this week, the Cyclones strive for consistency and to play true to their game.