Iowa State goes Hollywood for big time West coast road trip

Freshman Dayja Schwichtenberg catches a UMKC shot Sep. 3. Iowa State won 2-0 with two goals late in the 2nd half. 

Connor Ferguson

The Iowa State Soccer team will “go Hollywood” this weekend as they travel to Southern California to take on two big time programs.

Iowa State will first face California State-Fullerton on Friday before going head-to-head with the defending national champion Southern California.

“Southern California has the most depth of talent in the country,” said coach Tony Minatta. “They don’t have to go far to recruit.”

The game will kick off at 5 p.m. pacific time, which is 7 p.m. central time. 

“Depending on when we take off and when we land, that can throw me off a little bit,” said junior midfielder Taylor Wagner.

Though Cal State Fullerton isn’t a big name school, make no mistake, the Titans have been successful in recent years.

“They’ll be really good on the ball,” Minatta said. “They’re a possession oriented team. Demian has had them in the top 25 and the NCAA Tournament in the past few years, so it’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”

Minatta was referring to Demian Brown, who is the coach at CSU-Fullerton.

Brown took over the program at his alma mater 11 years ago in 2004, and has since won four regular season conference championships in the Big West. Not to mention, the last three out of four years, Brown’s team has won the Big West Tournament Championship.

“We’re just trying to get ourselves prepared for Big 12 play,” Minatta said. “Getting these opportunities to play against these teams is what’s going to do that for us.”

The Cyclones will continue to gear up for Big 12 play on Sunday, as Iowa State is matched up with the team that conquered West Virginia in the 2016 NCAA National Championship.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Minatta said. “This is why players want to come here; for these high profile, nationally-recognized games. We’re just looking forward to getting the chance to compete against them and see where we can kind of measure ourselves at, at that point in time.”

Iowa State’s Brooke Tasker, who transferred from Oregon after two seasons with the Ducks, will be facing a familiar foe in the Trojans.

“I have a few teammates and friends who play for them,” Tasker said. “I’m super excited about it.”

USC enters the game as the No. 12 team in the nation, but Tasker says Iowa State is just looking to do its own thing.

“I think a big thing for us is just to focus on ourselves and what we’re doing as a team,” She said. “It doesn’t matter what the other team’s doing, as long as we bring our A-game. It’s more about us than them.”

Coming off a weekend where the team earned a victory and a tie, Iowa State heads to California with two big opportunities for season-changing wins.

Can the Cyclones do it?

“Hell yeah,” Wagner said.