ISU soccer finds some momentum returning to Big 12 play


Brian Mozey/Iowa State Daily

Freshman forward Klasey Medelberg trips over a UNI defender as she runs toward the goal in the 1-0 win. 

Trey Alessio

The ISU women’s soccer team lost five straight Big 12 games dating back to Sept. 25, but the Cyclones found some momentum Tuesday night against the Northern Iowa Panthers.

After a 1-0 win against UNI, Iowa State ended its drought and now has its sights set on its first Big 12 victory of the season.

Next up on the schedule: Oklahoma State — another team that’s winless in the Big 12.

“This game goes a long way towards deciding things moving forward,” said ISU coach Tony Minatta. “Obviously a win doesn’t get us in [the Big 12 tournament], but it puts us in that direction. We need to put everything we have into [the Oklahoma State] game.”

From Sept. 25 to Oct. 4, Iowa State didn’t score a goal. It found some net in a 2-1 loss against Texas on Oct. 9, but against UNI, Iowa State kick started its offense and result it was looking for.

“Oklahoma State did not score on Texas,” Minatta said. “Getting the goal [Tuesday against UNI] with the amount of shots that we took and the ability to attack the goal the way we did, I think that should give us confidence heading into the [Oklahoma State] game.”

Minatta said Oklahoma State is always difficult to play against. This year it has Courtney Dike, a junior forward who played for the Nigerian women’s national team in the World Cup. Minatta said she’s a very strong and powerful forward, and Iowa State will have to be able to counter that.

Therefore, the focus at practice has been a lot of 1-on-1 play as well as some defensive drills. Minatta said the Cyclones need to receive, turn and attack space and work to get goals because Oklahoma State is also “very stingy” on defense.

There wasn’t too much of a celebration after Iowa State’s slump-breaking win against Northern Iowa as it almost immediately shifted its focus to Oklahoma State.

“Like [Minatta] says, ‘never get too high when you win and never get too low when you lose,’” said senior Haley Albert. “We’ll enjoy it [Tuesday night], but [Wednesday] it’s all about Oklahoma State when we get to practice.”

Junior Koree Willer, who scored Iowa State’s goal to beat Northern Iowa Tuesday, said it was good to get a positive note under their belt in front of their home crowd.

She also said in order to keep their momentum going, they need to carry their confidence through practice and into the game.

“We want to get shots,” Minatta said. “We want to defend our goal. We don’t want to give anything easy up with set pieces or fouls around the box, and we want to attack their goal and put some in the back of the net.”

The Cyclones are attempting to earn their first Big 12 win at 7 p.m. on Friday against the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in Ames, Iowa.