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Controversial calls help Wildcats spoil Iowa State soccer team on senior day

Mira+Emma+playing+physical+against+Kentuckys+Grace+Phillpotts+during+the+Iowa+State+vs.+Kentucky+match%2C+Cyclone+Sports+Complex%2C+Sept.+10th%2C+2023.
Matteo Bender
Mira Emma playing physical against Kentucky’s Grace Phillpotts during the Iowa State vs. Kentucky match, Cyclone Sports Complex, Sept. 10th, 2023.

AMES – Besides the first few minutes of the game, the Iowa State soccer team couldn’t find success in its 3-0 loss against the Kentucky Wildcats (UK) and dropped to 3-4-1 on the season.

Iowa State opened up the match with a lot of energy and nearly scored in the first minute when senior Alex Campana took a powerful strike and hit the top of the crossbar. The team started the match with great poise but struggled to keep its early momentum rolling through the entirety of the game.

Whether they were taking numerous corner kicks, taking a copious number of shots or passing the ball away from the Cyclones, the Wildcats dominated the time of possession and nearly every statistic in both halves.

The first 15 minutes of the game were mellow as the 501 fans in attendance saw only three total shots from both teams. Kentucky started to get going offensively, controlling possession and putting pressure on the Cyclone’s back line.

After a sloppy defensive clearance by Iowa State, the Wildcats crossed the ball into the box and had a shot that was blocked; however, they had another attacker on the rebound and in minute 22, Úlfa Úlfarsdóttir scored the first goal for UK.

Déjà vu hit the Cyclones when two minutes after the first goal of the match, the Wildcats found the back of the net off another set piece where Sophia Caruso found Tanner Strickland for the second goal of the day in minute 24.

Head coach of the Cyclones, Matt Fannon, felt very strongly about two foul calls that were called on his team that ultimately led to two of the Wildcats’ goals.

“Well two different referees apologized to me that led to two of their goals,” Fannon said. “I think that tells you everything.”

The Cyclones couldn’t seem to get anything going as they spent the next forty minutes playing defense on their third of the pitch and only got four total shots, with two of them being on goal.

In minute 74, the Wildcats put the game away when Maddie Eastman found Payton Robertson for a strike to put UK up 3-0.

Kentucky outmatched the Cyclones in nearly every way possible. The Wildcats outshot Iowa State 12-4, had a 10-1 corner kick advantage and had 62% of total possession.

Fannon spoke on the Cyclones’ inability to get their offense going because the momentum changed to the Wildcats’ side very early in the game when a couple of controversial calls went against the Cyclones.

“The problem was because they got ahead early, [and] that’s where the game changes,” Fannon said. “When they’re ahead, they have the ability to change the way they want to do things and create chances from nothing. We have to do a better job of not giving away so many corners.”

Iowa State is once again under .500, sitting at 3-4-1 on the season, and got shut out for the first time of the year.

The Cyclones start Big-12 play at 5 p.m. Thursday at home against the Oklahoma State Cowgirls.

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