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Iowa State soccer hosts Houston, both teams hope to snap losing streaks

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.

The Cyclone soccer team (3-7-1) looks to snap a four-game losing streak as they take on the Houston Cougars (6-4-1) for the first time in program history Thursday at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

The Iowa State offense is coming off its second game in a row where it failed to put the ball in the back of the net. The Cyclones are coming off back-to-back 1-0 losses. Houston comes into Ames also on a four-game losing streak.

“Houston has had similar results to a lot of our opponents,” Iowa State head coach Matt Fannon said. “There’s a couple of things that if we execute well, it will help us win the game.”

Iowa State and Houston soccer have both played similar styles of play.

“We’re 0-3 in the conference right now, and a team like that knows they need a performance,” Fannon said. “We weren’t great against Cincinnati, but for a while now we’ve been playing very well and managing to just miss out on big moment opportunities and penalty areas.”

Fannon believes as long as the Cyclones focus on those details, they will feel comfortable and should win the game.

It may be a step in the right direction for Iowa State soccer. Thursday’s matchup against Houston will tell where the team is at.

The Cougars are led by sophomore forward Cameryn Maddox who leads the team in goals (7), shots (33) and points (15). Graduate student Allie Byrd and senior Caitlyn Matthews are battling for second place in total shots with 21 and 19 respectively. As a team, Houston out-shoots their opponents 15.6 to 10.7 and are averaging 2.64 goals per game compared to their opponents 1.27.

Behind the net for Houston, sophomore Olivia Dietrich has started nine of the 11 games for the Cougars tallying 810 minutes and 38 saves with five wins. Redshirt senior Mikaela Gracia has totaled 180 minutes and eight saves with a solo win as well.

The Cyclones have not had much luck putting goals on the scoreboard but continue to stay positive and have an optimistic mindset.

“We continue to look at the positive moments in games that we’ve had,” Leia Khairy said. “It’s been piecing the rest that has been challenging for us. We just have to look at the good parts of the game and continue that.”

Khairy has five shots and a goal on the season, looking to continue helping the offense get rolling consistently. The Cyclones are led by Mira Emma with four goals and 10 points on the season.

Iowa State welcomes Houston to the Big 12 with both teams looking to end four-game losing streaks.

Thursday’s game is set to kick off at 6 p.m. following a change in game time and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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