Set piece success


Sam Greene/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore forward Koree Willer is tackled by a TCU defender as she tries to cut toward the goal. Iowa State beat TCU 1-0 on Oct. 31 after scoring in the final minutes of the game.

Chris Wolff

One reason the Cyclones have been less reliant on Willer to score is the team’s success on set pieces in free kick and corner kick situations.

In fact, ISU coach Tony Minatta said that the majority of the team’s goals have come off of set pieces.

“The fact that we’re able to connect [on set pieces] is really encouraging,” Minatta said.

Last season, set pieces were something the team often struggled with.

So what’s the reason behind set piece success? Surely it’s been hours and hours of practicing set pieces, right?

“It’s something that I’ve harped on, but we’ve only worked on it for less than an hour, once,” Minatta said with a laugh. “We don’t work on it at all.”

In the early season, there is simply too much to implement offensively and defensively. Working on set pieces gets pushed behind other aspects of the game.

Fortunately, the Cyclones have found success without needing to spend much practice time on set pieces.

“What it really comes down to is getting a consistent service in the box, and Taylor Wagner has been able to deliver that,” Minatta said.

Often times, Wagner has connected with senior Haley Albert, who leads the team with three goals so far this season.

“You don’t want to overcomplicate things,” Minatta said. “Haley Albert is 6 foot 1. Kick the ball hard towards the box and at [the goalie’s] head, and we have a chance of scoring.”