Iowa State soccer exacted revenge on its biggest rival Friday, and youth played a huge role.
Coming off the heels of a disappointing weekend, the Cyclones handed the Iowa Hawkeyes their first loss thanks in no small part to their impressive freshman Taylor Bee, who provided an insurance goal in the first half which ended up sealing the game for the Cyclones, 2-1. Iowa State also earned its first win in the series since 2014.
“It was just super exciting,” Bee said.
Coach Tony Minatta used a substitution on Bee and took out redshirt junior midfielder Kasey Opfer, who tallied the first goal of the game. Bee made the most of her opportunity and filled in perfectly for Opfer.
Bee looks to Opfer as a leader on this team and it wasn’t a coincidence those two scored the goals.
Minatta liked what he saw today from his team, and had some high praise for his young forward.
“She’s playing above her years right now,” Minatta said of Bee.
Bee only played 48 minutes, but she secured the win for Iowa State and will be a big part of the Cyclones in the future.
Bee had a huge impact, but it didn’t overshadow the impact of the sophomore goalkeeper Dayja Schwichtenberg.
Schwichtenberg was able to get in the way of a couple headers the Hawkeyes got off in the box, but her best save came in minute 63 against an Iowa free kick right outside the box, which was headed to the bottom corner of the net. She corralled it and blasted it to the other side of the field.
Schwichtenberg was happy with how the youth has performed so far this season.
“I think it has a great impact,” Schwichtenberg said.
The young goalkeeper was in this position last year as a true freshman, but she was thrust immediately into a tough starting goalkeeper job, and was able to handle the transition swiftly.
In Friday’s game she looked like a seasoned veteran, and her six saves gave her teammates just enough to pull out their second win of the season.
Opfer was the first to score for the Cyclones, and it was her second goal of the season.
“The sophomores and freshmen have really stepped up and kind of brought their own leadership,” Opfer said.
With Opfer in midfield, Bee in attack and Schichtenberg in net, the future looks promising for a Cyclone team riddled with veteran talent.