Iowa State soccer: Aggressiveness key to success

Iowa State sophomore Courtney Powell kicks the ball into the goal for the first goal of the game against South Dakota State.

Sam Stuve

The Iowa State women’s soccer team has had strong showings against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits and the Drake Bulldogs this season. The Cyclones knocked off Drake in an exhibition game and the Jackrabbits in the regular season opener, 2-0.

So far this season, the Cyclones have been aggressive, and they are always looking for as many opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net as they can.

This past offseason, the team decided to switch from 4-4-1-1 formation to a more aggressive style, a 4-2-3-1 formation. Coach Tony Minatta wanted his team to get more numbers forward and he wanted the team to be able to create more opportunities to score and his team has done just that.

In the Drake game, the Cyclones took 19 shots. Tonight, the Cyclones took 10 shots in the first half and took 18 shots in the whole game.

“The key stat for me is shots on goal,” Minatta said. “Tonight we had nine of shots on goal, and we want 12 shots on goal a game.”

Getting shots on goal is vital for a team’s success. The more shots on goal a team has, the more likely they are to win the game. The Cyclones won both their exhibition and regular-season opener by a score of 2-0 while having more shots on goal than the other team in both games.

“I think that shows how aggressive we are, that we are using our speed to get to the goal and that if we keep putting shots on goal, more are going to go in,” sophomore Courtney Powell said.

In the exhibition and opener, Powell and Emily Steil have proven to be the Cyclones’ best offensive weapons.

Against Drake and South Dakota State, Powell has gotten the first goal and Steil has been able to put the game away with the second goal.

“Coming into the season, I wasn’t expected to score a lot of goals so it feels good to be able to score,” Powell said.

After having a rough season last year, Powell has put in the work to get improve this season.

“I’ve been focusing on becoming a more technical player, I think that has been helping me get these goals,” Powell said.

Against South Dakota State, the Cyclones held a 1-0 lead over the Jackrabbits early in the second half.

In the 61st minute, there was a foul called in South Dakota State’s box that was called against the Jackrabbits, and Steil had the chance to give the Cyclones a 2-0 lead.

“Penalty kicks can be intimidating, but I just took a deep breath, prayed and the shot went in,” Steil said. “It’s pretty special, I think it’s awesome that in my senior year I’ve been taking chances and putting myself in a situation where I can score.”

Time will tell just how effective their aggressiveness will be this season, but so far, the Cyclones’ aggressiveness has been very effective for them and has led them to a win in the exhibition game and a win in the regular season opener.