Women’s soccer: Bouncing back from a slow start this season


Iowa State senior Jordan Enga heads the ball during the first half against South Dakota State.

Sam Stuve

Five of the six teams Iowa State soccer has played this season made the NCAA tournament last season. For the majority of the season, the Cyclones have remained competitive against their opponents, but they have only been able to capture one win so far this season.

Cyclones head coach Tony Minatta touched on that and more in his Tuesday media availability.

Inconsistent play has plagued the Cyclones

What’s kept them from winning those games is inconsistent play. In the Denver and Colorado games, the Cyclones looked outmatched early on, but as the game went on the Cyclones’ play improved.

“We got off to a slow start against Denver, and we struggled to get into a rhythm,” Minatta said. “Against Colorado, we started off slow, but I think we played really well as the game went on.”

Those slow starts hindered Iowa State’s chances as it drew against Denver 0-0 and lost 3-1 against Colorado. 

The Cyclone bench has been providing valuable minutes

In the games against Denver and Colorado, the Cyclone bench made an impact and swung momentum in Iowa State’s favor.

Throughout the Denver and Colorado games, eight Cyclones came off the bench and saw some minutes. So far this season, at least seven players have come off the bench and provided valuable minutes in each game this season.

Two bench players have caught Minatta’s attention: freshman defender Taylor Bee and freshman midfielder Kara Privitera.

Against Colorado, Bee and Privitera made their first appearances in the Cyclones starting XI.

“They both [played] very well against Denver, and they both had strong performances against Purdue,” Minatta said. “They’ve definitely distinguished themselves.”

Tough schedule continues this week with Iowa and Milwaukee coming to town

So far this season, the Cyclones have faced some high-quality opponents.

Five of the six opponents that the Cyclones have faced this season either made it to the NCAA tournament or won a conference regular-season title last season.

This weekend is no different, as the in-state rival Iowa Hawkeyes and the tough Milwaukee Panthers come to Ames.

“Once again we have two tough games on the weekend,” Minatta said.

Iowa is 4-0-1 on the season, with its only non-win coming against Missouri in a game that finished in a 0-0 draw.

The Milwaukee Panthers have experienced a lot of success in recent years, as they have gone 20-0-4 in their last 24 games and haven’t lost a regular season game in regulation since November 2016.