Changes in the offing for Cyclones ahead of South Dakota State and UMKC

Iowa State sophomore Marin Daniel fights off a Creighton defender for control of the ball during the first half on August 18. The Cyclones would go on to win, 3-0.

Noah Rohlfing

Injuries are forcing the Iowa State women’s soccer team to adjust ahead of weekend games against South Dakota State and Missouri-Kansas City. 

The Cyclones (1-3-0) come into this weekend’s games recovering from a disappointing weekend in Iowa City that culminated in a 6-1 loss at the hands of Minnesota. During the game, sophomore midfielder/defender Carly Langhurst suffered a broken fibula. Coach Tony Minatta said that Langhurst could return in six weeks.

Langhurst’s injury news comes after confirmation that sophomore midfielder Marin Daniel is out for the year with an ACL injury that was suffered a week ago in practice.

Minatta rued the loss of two key players and admitted that it would be a team effort to replace the contributions of Langhurst and Daniel.

“It’s tough, because we lost Marin [Daniel] and she’s not easily replaceable, and with the loss of Carly, those are two of our top-five players,” Minatta said. “So we have to spend this week working on adjustments.”

“Last week, [redshirt sophomore midfielder Kasey Opfer] played really well in midfield, but she played over 100 minutes against Iowa and the goals we gave up against Minnesota in the second half came when Kasey wasn’t on the field and we were trying to give her a break.”

Minatta said that tactical changes would be in the offing to cope with the losses of players and help the team reach its potential following a difficult week.

“We’ll have to change tactics to adjust, because when you lose a player like Marin, we need to defend more by committee. Some things are going to change with how we have our shape and how we defend.”

Junior forward Klasey Medelberg hinted at a personnel change in the attack as well.

“Everyone’s going to have to work really hard in their roles,” Medelberg said.

“I think with our new formation with Brooke [Tasker] and Courtney [Powell] starting up top, they’re going to be running less but the sprints that they make are going to be more effective.”

The first opponent for the Cyclones this weekend, South Dakota State, went 10-7-4 last year and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Nebraska on penalties. The Jackrabbits have gotten off to a slow start and are 1-3-0 on the season, with their only win coming against North Dakota.

Last year, the Jackrabbits were built on a strong defense and only conceded 15 goals in 21 games. This year, however, they have conceded six goals in only four games.

In 2016, Iowa State beat the Jackrabbits 1-0 in Ames. Minatta cautioned that Friday’s game in Brookings could be a different situation than last year’s meeting.

“Every game is different and every year each team is different,” Minatta said. “We’re a different team this year, especially without two players that we built our team around.”

Freshman goalkeeper Dayja Schwichtenberg was confident in the team’s ability to bounce back from the last three defeats and change the team’s fortunes. 

“It would definitely boost team morale [to win both games], but at the end of the day, we’re going to go and play our hardest no matter what the score is,” Schwichtenberg said. “We’re a strong team together, we can push through it.”

After Friday’s game in South Dakota, the Cyclones will come home Sunday afternoon to host Missouri-Kansas City. The Kangaroos finished last season with an 8-10-4 record, despite having a positive goal differential and scoring 38 goals last season.

This year, the Kangaroos are off to a 2-2-0 start, with their most recent outing being a 1-0 victory over the Cyclones’ Friday foe South Dakota State.

Medelberg believes that this weekend would be crucial for the team.

“Last weekend kind of made us a little upset,” Medelberg said. “This weekend is going to be the determining factor of our season. We need to work really hard this weekend.”