The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Cyclones host Kansas after struggling offensively on the road

Maeley Rosengren
Salomé Prat dribbles the ball down the field at the Iowa State vs. Kentucky Women’s Soccer match, Cyclone Sports Complex, Sept. 10, 2023.

The Iowa State offense is coming off back-to-back games where they have found the back of the net. However, they still find themselves toward the bottom of Big 12 play.

Iowa State welcomes the Kansas Jayhawks (3-6-6) on Thursday at the Cyclone Soccer Complex. Kansas comes into the match on a three-game skid, having not won a match since Aug. 31.

The Cyclone soccer team (4-10-1) returns home following a winless road trip where they were defeated by Baylor and Texas.

“We felt like we had to get something from the Baylor game, and we did not—obviously pretty crushing,” Iowa State head coach Matt Fannon said. “So, going in the Texas game I was incredibly happy with the way we played, however still heartbroken that we could not get anything coming home.”

Fannon and his staff were devastated that they were not able to get any points during their brief road trip. The Cyclones had to play three matches weekly, two being on the road. At the beginning of the year, he looked at the match-ups and knew they would be tough for his team to come out on top of.

“We are in a place now where it’s do or die for the rest of the season,” Fannon said. “We’ve had four of those games where we have gotten nothing out of them, and we look at ourselves going ‘How?’”

Iowa State and Kansas soccer have both played similar styles of play. Both have lost to Oklahoma State and Texas. Neither could get a win out of Baylor.

The only difference is that the Cyclones managed to beat Houston, whereas the Jayhawks could not. Neither team are offensive threats to their opponents, both averaging about one goal a game.

Thursday’s match is crucial for the Cyclones to win in order to stay competitive in the conference tournament.

When asking Fannon his thoughts on whether the game is a must-win, he said, “Yes. Absolutely. We do
not have much choice. We win it, and we are still alive. We don’t, and we are probably not.”

Fannon said the chances are dwindling for his team to make a late run into post-season play, so they must get something out of the game on Thursday.

Thursday’s bounce-back matchup against Kansas will tell where the team is at and what the rest of the season entails.

The Jayhawks are led by junior forward Hallie Klanke, who leads the team in goals (four), points (13) and assists (five). Sophomore forward Lexi Watts is right behind her with two goals on the season and seven points, and she has more shots than anyone else on the team (36).

As a team, Kansas is being out-shot by their opponents 12.9 to 13.8. However, their defense has only allowed nine goals all season.

Behind the net for Kansas, super-senior Melania Pasar has tallied 1,325 minutes of action. Pasar has started all 15 games, allowing 15 goals and earning 61 saves.

The Cyclones have not had much luck putting goals on the scoreboard but hope to hand Pasar her seventh loss of the year. Despite their record, they seem to stay poised and positive.

“From each game that we have played, there is so many positives to take from them,” freshman Regan John said. “We are growing. We continue to remember who we are as a team so we can keep building
from these losses. If we can do that all together then results will come.”

Big 12 struggles still seem to be the Cyclones’ kryptonite this season.

“We are always forward-looking,” redshirt senior and forward Alex Campana said. “Thursday is the most important game. Thursday is the game we need to win because we know we can perform and compete.”
The Cyclones have done a great job of having short-term memories all season. They strive to shake off their losses and look toward what opportunities come next.

The Cyclones are led by senior midfielder Mira Emma, with five goals, three assists and 13 points on the season. Senior forward Salomé Prat is right behind her with five goals, one assist and 11 points. It is no secret that these two have been the offensive stars of the year. However, others feel that they need to start getting more involved to win games.

“In practice we are encouraging people to make mistakes so they can get better,” Campana said. “In the game it’s about not being afraid of taking those risks and not being afraid of taking that shot. We need people to step up and do things that are riskier but come with higher rewards.”

Behind the net, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Avery Gillahan has allowed 30 goals and has 41 saves. Haley Woodward saw her first minutes in the Cyclone uniform against No. 6 BYU, where she allowed four goals and recorded eight saves in her debut. The Cyclones’ back-line looks to help prevent that from happening again when they host Kansas.

“We are getting better each game,” Campana said. “We’re gonna get it done. We’re gonna get it done on Thursday.”

Thursday’s game is set to kick off at 6 p.m. following a change in-game time and will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Iowa State Daily
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Iowa State Daily. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, send our student journalists to conferences and off-set their cost of living so they can continue to do best-in-the-nation work at the Iowa State Daily.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Donate to Iowa State Daily
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *