Physical play fuels fire moving forward for ISU soccer


Jenna Reeves/Iowa State Daily

Senior Haley Albert passes the ball down the field to redshirt junior Mia McAleer. The Cyclones lost 2-3 in overtime.

Trey Alessio

Earlier in the week, ISU women’s soccer coach Tony Minatta said he didn’t want to put anything into any type of result. He just wanted his team to start strong, maintain defensive discipline and attack with purpose.

After a scrappy 1-0 loss to Baylor on Friday night, Minatta said he felt like they played a lot better than the last couple games.

“I am happy that [the players] got themselves out of the rut that they were in,” Minatta said. “You could definitely see a different pep in our step. We were pressuring; we were going forward; we were purposeful. I haven’t seen that kind of performance since Colorado.”

The pep in the Cyclones’ step may have partially been because of the chippy play on the field. Numerous fouls were called on both teams, which riled up the crowd and fueled Iowa State throughout the entire game.

“Physicality is a huge thing with us,” said junior Kourtney Camy. “We feed off big tackles and stuff like that.”

Senior Haley Albert said Baylor is always a physical team, which leads to “man-marking and a lot of 1-v-1 battles” — something Iowa State worked on in practice all week to get that competitive edge back.

Camy said they had fun compared to last weekend when Iowa State lost to Texas Christian, 5-0, and to Oklahoma, 3-0. A big part of the fun was the competitiveness and the physical aspect of the game.

Minatta said at the end of the day, the rough, physical play was just about two teams in the Big 12 that wanted to get a win. Iowa State is still searching for its first Big 12 victory. It has now played three conference games and has five more remaining.

“After last weekend, we just wanted to go out and, bottom line, compete, work hard and everyone do their job. Tonight, I think, everyone did that,” Albert said. “It’s important for us now to just look forward to Sunday and get those basics like working hard and competing, and then string along the other things like going forward, connecting passes, being aggressive in the box. It’s a good step forward, but we’re still not there yet. Sunday we need to make sure we’re going forward and getting to that spot that we need to be at.”

The Cyclones will take on the Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday. Minatta said heading into that game, Iowa State needs to be tighter around the box and get better finishes. He also said he didn’t think they ever tested Baylor’s goalkeeper, so more shots and better attacks on the goal are some things they’re striving for in the upcoming Kansas game.

At halftime of the Baylor game, Iowa State and Baylor were tied with eight shots apiece. It seems that the Cyclones are close to getting back to where they were when they beat No. 10 ranked Pepperdine. Now, they’re just looking for their first Big 12 win.

Iowa State will face Kansas on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa.

“We need to come together as a team and make a decision that we’re going to come out and play every day,” Albert said.