The Iowa State Cyclones will have their work cut out for them as they travel to face No. 11 University of Memphis on Friday evening. The Cyclones are coming off of a very important overtime win against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and are hoping to improve upon that performance.
While the Cyclones played a good game defensively, they lacked the composure in front of the goal — a point of emphasis for coach Tony Minatta in their matchup against the Tigers.
“I think it’s a matter of being more clinical in the attacking third,” Minatta said. “I think finding the width and getting the wings involved in the attack with Courtney [Powell] and Abbey Van Wyngarden is going to be key for us.
“We’ve created enough opportunities to put games away and we defend well enough to start getting on the other end of these wins,” Minatta said. “The SIUE win was definitely a step forward for us.”
Junior winger Powell got herself on the scoresheet for the first time this season in the win against SIUE and is hoping to contribute even more as the season goes on.
“I’ve been waiting for a goal or an assist or just someway I could contribute to the team, so hopefully I can get some more in,” Powell said.
With Memphis starting out with a strong 7-1 record and being undefeated at home so far this season, Powell believes the Cyclones can use their speed to their advantage to break down a stout Tigers defense.
“I think we’re gonna have to use our speed to beat the player and get in line to get the crosses off,” Powell said. “We’ll have to look for our forwards up in the air, and I think we can win the ball in the air.”
Freshman Mira Emma also added another goal to her name, making that two for the season so far. Emma has been on a run of impressive performances, and it seems Coach Minatta has found a way to fully utilize her talents.
“I think Mira playing a little bit more underneath our forward instead of playing as a forward really helps us a lot,” Minatta said. “[That way] she’s in a pocket of space where we can find her the ball and she can create, which is going to be huge for us.”
Facing the Tigers on their own turf will definitely be a challenge, but Emma and the Cyclones say they're up for the task.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Emma said. “They’re a good team, but we just have to worry about ourselves [matching] their performance, so it will be a good game.”
Iowa State will challenge themselves against an in-form Memphis side with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. The game will be streamable on gotigersgo.com.