Iowa State searches for a bounce-back win against No. 18 Texas Tech


Tate Weaver/Iowa State Daily

Then-sophomore Marin Daniel kicks the ball across the field to keep the ball away from the goal nearby. The Cyclones played West Virginia on Oct. 12 at the Cyclone Sports Complex and lost 0-2.

Stephen Mcdaniel

The Cyclones are returning home to Ames after a series of road games against Saint Louis, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Memphis and West Virginia. During their road stretch, the Cyclones went 1-3 and started Big 12 play 0-1 after their recent loss to West Virginia.

The Cyclones will get a chance to play in front of a home crowd for the first time since their overtime win against Omaha on Sept. 8 when they host the No. 18 Texas Tech University Red Raiders on Thursday.

“It definitely feels good just to not travel,” said senior midfielder/defender Marin Daniel. “But you always got to defend your own home turf. I think it’ll be good for our team to come out here and just play really strong on our home field.”

One of the problems facing the Cyclones is their habit of letting goals in early into the game. This was the problem with their last two games against Memphis and West Virginia — Memphis scored in the third minute and West Virginia scored in the ninth minute.

Texas Tech poses a very similar threat, as it’s been no stranger to finding the back of the net throughout the season.

The Red Raider attack has dominated this season, scoring a total of 29 goals through 11 games. They currently lead Big 12 teams in goals, as well as shots with a total of 175.

The Cyclones will need to find a way to slow down the dominate Red Raider attack, especially early on, if they want to take control of the game.

“We just have to be disciplined with our defending,” said coach Tony Minatta. “I thought we came out with a lot of energy against West Virginia, but we lacked a little discipline with what we were doing defensively and we overstepped a ball that we should’ve just held and gave that one up.”

Another issue the Cyclones will have to tackle on Thursday is their ability to score the ball. While they’ve been able to set themselves up for bunch of great scoring opportunities, they haven’t been able to capitalize on them.

Through their 10 games so far, the Cyclones have only netted six goals, as compared to Tech’s 29 goals in 11 games. It’s also worth noting the Cyclones have been held scoreless in their last two matchups.

The issue isn’t getting the opportunities, it’s capitalizing on them. Something important for the Cyclones to do on Thursday is to stay relaxed when the shots don’t go in and build off those opportunities.

“I think just realizing we have the opportunities and just keep taking our chances,” said junior forward Courtney Powell. “We’re not going to make every shot, we know that. Know that even if we miss, just thinking the next one, next one and I think it’ll come that way.”

The matchup on Thursday will provide the Cyclones a big opportunity to bounce back after suffering a loss in their Big 12 opener and give the team the momentum they need as they advance through conference play.

Texas Tech comes in with a 1-0-1 Big 12 record and will be determined to improve its record as it continues its fight to the top of the Big 12 and its progression up the United Coaches Poll.

With the game meaning a lot for both sides, Minatta and company know what they need to get done to be successful.

“I mean when we played West Virginia, the attitude from the team was there, the effort from the team was there,” Minatta said. “[West Virginia] executed better when they had their moments than we did, but obviously their goalkeeper executed really well. So it really comes down to when you’re in these conference games and everybody’s fairly even in their play — it’s about execution.”