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Iowa State takes on Portland State with hopes of getting back in win column

Salom%C3%A9+Prat+piercing+through+the+midfield+during+the+Iowa+State+vs.+UC+Santa+Barbara+match%2C+Cyclone+Sports+Complex%2C+Sept.+3%2C+2023
Matteo Bender
Salomé Prat piercing through the midfield during the Iowa State vs. UC Santa Barbara match, Cyclone Sports Complex, Sept. 3, 2023

Looking to win its first game in the last four matches, Iowa State will travel to Portland State for a Thursday afternoon matchup.

The Cyclones will look to build momentum off their last game where they scored twice, ending their three-game losing streak. The Cyclones finished their matchup with UC Santa Barbara with a 2-2 draw. Iowa State only has one loss and one draw under head coach Matt Fannon when tallying at least two goals.

“We’ve been working a lot on finishing since the Memphis game,” Salomé Prat said. “So, that’s how we have been preparing for Portland as well—being able to finish in front of the goal, one-v.-one situations and finding the ball more efficiently before the shot.”

The Cyclones did a better job of finishing against UCSB. More Cyclones found the net, upping the amount of Cyclones with goals on the season.

Five different cyclones, Salomé Prat, Abigail Miller, Mira Emma, Kristin Boos and Lauren Hernandez, have goals to their name this season. Miller, Emma and Prat all have two goals each.

“We scored two goals last game,” Prat said. “I think we just have to prove that we can do it. We just have to take the shot a bit more often and also be able to finish.”

Along with taking shots, the Cyclones are also working on figuring out the small details. Messing up the small details has caused the Cyclones to drop some winnable matches.

“We’ve got to do a better job of closing down the amount of transitions by doing a better job of keeping the ball,” Fannon said. “In those moments we [have] got to figure out how to take care of the details.”

Figuring out the details will be crucial for Iowa State getting back on track. Although the team has not had successful seasons in the past, Fannon does not want that to be the norm.

Fannon made it clear that it will take work to build a winning mentality for the team, but it is possible.

“When you’re a team that is used to losing as we have been, it’s mentally difficult to get those bits right,” Fannon said. “So, we’ve just got to play more comfortable, owning it, wanting it, feeling like we can do it, and at the end of the day that’s my job as a coach.”

Portland State started the season losing their first three games by a combined 11-1 to opponents New Mexico State, Seattle and St. Thomas. However, they are coming off their first win of the season 4-0 to Pacific (Oregon).

Portland State’s Abi Hoffman leads the team with two goals on the year. Three other Vikings have one goal apiece. Elle Frazier, Raniyah Burton and Hoffman have a combined 30 shots on the year which accounts for 44% of the team’s total offense.

“We’ve got a plan put together. I think we’ve got some general things for training that we want to do a little bit differently that I think we’ve worked with the entire staff that we hope will help us through the stretch,” Fannon said. “We have a gameplan as always, and it is to ask the women to stick to it a bit more consistently.”

Thursday’s game is set to kick off at 2 p.m. following a change in game time and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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