Cyclones hopeful to end losing streak against Kansas State


Kara Denner/Iowa State Daily

Then-freshman midfielder Claudia Najera blocks a TCU player while preparing to pass to her teammate from the outside in the Iowa State vs. TCU game Oct. 6, 2019.

Nick Flores

After coming off of back to back home losses, the Cyclones have their eyes set on Friday evening where they will face Kansas State University away from home. The Cyclones have been on a run of losses as of late but their performances have steadily improved.

Despite suffering a 1-0 loss to Texas Tech and a 2-1 loss to TCU this past weekend, Iowa State feels it could have come away with a win in those matches but it wasn’t meant to be. 

Defensively, the Cyclones were able to take No. 18 Texas Tech into double overtime and held TCU to 0-0 heading into halftime.

“When we were playing Texas Tech and [we] got the pressure on the goal that we had and we’re going to double overtime, [we] had this sense of ‘we can win this game,’” said coach Tony Minatta. “It gives you a better idea of where you’re at as a team and we can compete with the best teams in the country it’s just a matter of what’re we going to do to take that next step.”

Freshman goalkeeper Georgia Wimmer has made the next step in her collegiate career as she made her debut against Texas Tech and her starting 11 debut against TCU. Although the Cyclones lost both, Wimmer made 10 saves in total.  

“This is my first time playing at this level and going out there and making some saves proves to myself that I can do it,” said Wimmer. “So heading into Friday I just have more confidence.” 

Wimmer is subbing in for Junior Goalkeeper Dayja Schwichtenberg who came off in the first half against Texas Tech with a knee injury. Schwichtenberg is set for 10 days on the sidelines so it is possible she features against Oklahoma but for now, Wimmer is the number one. 

Freshman midfielder Claudia Najera has also been making steady improvements to her game as she recorded another assist against TCU marking her third for the season.

“She’s definitely starting to figure out the wing position,” said Minatta. “We’re looking at her to continue to contribute more in the attack and she does have the ability to score too so we’d like to see if we can get her on the end of some crosses.”

Najera’s ability to drive the ball into the box from the wing has been her strong suit this season and it’s helping the Cyclones create more opportunities in the attacking third. Najera has been able to find her feet and has delivered some quality displays so far this year.

“I think I’m getting used to my role,” said Najera. “In the beginning I was kind of frantic and nervous but now I’m settling in. Getting to know my teammates better, practice and playing with them more has helped me.”

“I know where they’re going to run so I just have to do my job and make sure I get the ball in the box so they can score.”

The Cyclones will be heading to Manhattan, Kansas to face Kansas State this Friday with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.