Cyclones try to close the door on Kansas

McKenna Schultz, defender, works the ball down the field during the last few minutes of the first half of the game versus the UMKC Kangaroos on Sept. 3.

Connor Ferguson

The Iowa State Cyclones soccer team had just finished battling a hard-fought 90 minutes against a strong Baylor Bears team.

The score after regulation sat at 0-0, and the Cyclones were looking to claim their first Big 12 win of the season.

After six minutes of extra time, Iowa State had lost another.

It would have been a statement victory, especially after what the team has been able to do over the past few weeks.

Iowa State was coming off three straight strong performances against three top 25 teams.

“We were in the games this weekend until the last minute,” coach Tony Minatta said. “Those teams are really hot right now and we took it to the wire. The thing about the Big 12 is all the teams are so evenly matched, it really just comes down to who can put the ball in the net.”

They held their own in the second half against the No. 12 USC. Two days later they went up 1-0 on Florida and took the No. 7 Gators to overtime.

Two days before the Baylor game, they were edged out by a single goal against No. 17 Texas, who is undefeated.

The Cyclones dropped to 2-8-1 on the season and started 0-2 in Big 12 play.

The Iowa State women’s soccer team will be playing their first Big 12 home game of the year this Friday at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

The team will take on the struggling Kansas Jayhawks, who haven’t won a game since upsetting USC 2-1 in Lawrence, Kansas at the beginning of the month.

“We’ve got to go out there and work hard and get the first Big 12 win so we can get started,” defender McKenna Schultz said. “We’ve got to keep them on their [cold] streak for sure.”

The only other common opponent the Jayhawks have faced was when they lost 1-0 to Iowa in an exhibition match at the start of the season.

Iowa State took the Hawkeyes to overtime on the road, but couldn’t close the door, like so many games this year.

One thing that hasn’t helped the team’s case in close games are the different players Iowa State has had to roll out this season.

At one point, Iowa State was missing one-third of its roster due to injuries, though they’re still staying in games.

“The injuries just keep piling up,” Minatta said. “When you’re sitting there and you don’t have some key players but the players that are going out there are stepping up, [it works].”

So many injuries have surmounted on Minatta’s team to the point where they can’t practice an 11-on-11 player scrimmage.

“We took four of the top 40 teams in the country right down to the last minute in the last four games,” Minatta said. “Nobody would have expected us to do that, and if [we] keep consistent and keep working hard, we’ll get to where we need to be this season.”

The team will get a bit of extra rest over the next two weeks, however, because they won’t be playing a Friday-Sunday series. Instead they have two one-off games over the next two weeks.

“Just having one game on Friday is pretty big because we can put it all out on the field,” goaltender Antonia Reyes said. “We don’t have to worry about [saving anything] for Sunday.”

The Cyclones surely won’t be saving anything for Friday as they attempt to finally close the door on a big win.