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Iowa State Daily

Cyclones fail to comeback against No. 6 Texas Tech, end season with 1-0 loss

Matteo Bender
Iowa State huddles before the Iowa State vs. Texas Tech match, Cyclone Sports Complex, Oct. 23, 2023.

AMES – From the first minute of the game, the Iowa State soccer team could not find success, resulting in a 1-0 loss against No. 6 Texas Tech which dropped the Cyclones to 6-11-1 to finish their season.

The Red Raiders came into Ames firing on all cylinders and took an advantage in nearly every statistic possible for the entire matchup.

At the 35-minute mark of the match, Avery Horner hit a screamer from 25 yards out but her strike was a few feet high of the crossbar. That chance would be one of the Cyclone’s closest at getting any points in the game.

The only stat line where the Cyclones did better than Texas Tech was in saves. The Cyclones had eight saves thanks to freshman of the week Avery Gillahan.

Despite the Cyclones’ overall dominant defense for a majority of the game, they made a defensive mistake by not clearing the ball and they allowed a goal in the 40th minute of the game from Ashleigh Williams off an assist from Alex Kerr and Elise Anderson. This defensive mistake set the tone for the entirety of the match.

“We’re disappointed with their goal,” head coach Matt Fannon said. “I don’t think we contested that well enough and the problem we have is that when you play against a team that’s on such a high as Texas Tech are we can’t give yards from five yards out.”

The Red Raiders came to Ames and showed why they are currently the No. 6 team as they showed no remorse from start to finish.

At the half, the game was not entirely out of reach. However, Texas Tech led the match 1-0 with a 15-6 shot advantage, an 8-1 shot-on-goal advantage and a 7-1 corner-kick advantage.

The Cyclones never seemed to have waved the white flag throughout the match; however, Texas Tech did not care and would not let the Cyclone offense get anything going.

The Cyclones flipped the box score in the second half and held advantages in shots and corners with 5-3 and 5-2 respectively, but could not find the back of the net. The back-line for Iowa State held up and only made Gillahan have to save one more ball that came towards her.

Texas Tech ended the matchup with a 20-8 shot advantage, a 9-1 shot-on-goal advantage, a 9-6 corner-kick advantage and a 61% possession advantage over the Cyclones.

“It’s really hard to question the heart and fight our women played,” Fannon said. “In the last minute there was three moments where we thought we might score. I’m heartbroken for them because you can see what it means to them.”

Despite the game being nearly over, the Cyclones would not give up and tried their hardest to tie the game in the literal last minutes of the game. However, luck was not on their side during the season finale and their season ended with a final record of 6-11-1. The loss marked the end of any potential postseason play for Iowa State.

The Cyclones went 3-7 in Big 12 Conference play this season and tied the most amount of conference wins since 2016. Meanwhile, Texas Tech finished their season undefeated going 14-0-4 with an 8-0-2 conference play.

The Red Raiders won the Big 12 regular season title with their 1-0 victory, holding off No.7 BYU.

Fannon believes they can take a copious number of positives from Monday’s game and the season as a whole.

“[Texas Tech] is one of the best teams in the country and we are coming out of here feeling disappointed that we lost the game,” Fannon said. “This is the moment where we realized that we can compete at this level. We just have to figure out some details.”

Fannon believes that it is really obvious that the future is bright for Iowa State soccer. By retaining a lot of players who saw plentiful minutes and grabbing a few more that can help them, they will be able to be competitive in conference play.

“What’s next is that we wanna turn Iowa State Soccer into the best team that ISU soccer has ever had,” Fannon said. “I think we have taken a massive step in the right direction this year and everyone feels confident about that. We are ready for what’s next.”

Eight Cyclones participated in their final match at the Cyclone Sports Complex, as key seniors Mira Emma, Maddie Brant, Alex Campana, Kristin Boos and Solomé Pratt are all set to move on from the program.

Emma played in her 83rd career match on the night, making her the program record-holder for most matches played in a career.

“Across the board we’re incredibly proud of our seniors,” Fannon said. “I probably would be remiss if I didn’t single out Mira who I think is incredibly poetic. She [illustrates] everything that we are. The fight, character and as a person. We are so proud she was part of our program for so long. She’s going to transcend this program and I cannot wait to see it.”

The Iowa State soccer team’s season may be over, but Fannon had a lot of positives to take away from the hard-fought season and cannot wait to give the Cyclone fans a lot to look forward to for years to come.

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    David Welshhons | Oct 24, 2023 at 9:38 am

    Another fantastic soccer piece from Michael Martinez. He not only provides extremely accurate and factual pieces, but also has the unique ability to write positively for what was at times a tough season for ISU Soccer. The future is bright for the team, and I want to congratulate Michael for the great job this Fall.