Cyclone soccer: Returning to their roots

Senior Brooke Tasker races the ball into Missouri territory during the Iowa State vs Missouri game on August 19th. The Tigers beat the Cyclones in double overtime 2-1.

Sam Stuve

Last weekend, the Iowa State women’s soccer team traveled to face Denver and Colorado. For coach Tony Minatta, as well as five Cyclone players, this road trip was a special one.

The Cyclones have a connection to the state of Colorado as Minatta and five Cyclone players are from Colorado.

In Colorado, the Minatta family is well known, as the soccer complex at the Fort Collins Soccer Club is named after the Minatta family and Minatta’s father, Al, is a member of the Colorado Youth Soccer Hall of Fame.

“It was a great atmosphere, I don’t know how many people came up to me and asked ‘Hey are you Al’s kid?’,” Minatta said. 

Despite being more than 10 hours away from Ames, the Cyclones had a strong amount of support from their fans.

Headlining the Cyclone attack is senior and Colorado native Brianna Curtis, who returned to her home state over the weekend.

“It was awesome, we got so much support out there from our Cyclone fans,” Curtis said.

Curtis joins fellow senior Brooke Tasker as one of the team’s Coloradans. 

With the Cyclones facing off against Denver and Colorado, Tasker saw some familiar faces in the Centennial State.

“I got to play against a lot of people that I grew up playing with and coaches who coached,” Tasker said. 

Outside of former coaches and teammates, some family and friends were able to attend those games.

“It was awesome to be able to play in front of our families in our home state,” Curtis said. 

While there were many Denver and Colorado fans in attendance, a lot of non-family and non-friends made the trip to Colorado.

The support from the Cyclone fan base was very noticeable.

“In both games we probably had as many fans, if not more than Denver or Colorado,” Minatta said. 

This past weekend was the second half of the Cyclones fourgame road trip.

As for the games, the Cyclones tied against Denver 0-0 and lost 3-1 against Colorado. 

In both matchups against Denver and Colorado, the Cyclones seemed to struggle getting into a rhythm, especially early in the first half of each game.

“We started off slow against Denver but we responded very well,” Tasker said. “We had an eight-minute lapse against Colorado, but we had a good second half.”

The Cyclones’ non-conference schedule this season poses a lot of challenges. These challenges come with positives and negatives.

On one hand, Iowa State is playing more difficult opponents than some teams are, but these challenges also expose players to adversity at a early point in the season and it allows teams to tweak some things before conference play. 

Both teams that the Cyclones faced this past weekend, Denver and Colorado, made the NCAA tournament and posed a challenge for the Cyclones. 

“Playing at altitude against two high quality opponents really helps us better prepare for Big 12 play,” Minatta said.