Big 12 play continues for the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday night as they travel to Lawrence, Kansas to face the Kansas Jayhawks.
This will be the only game that the Cyclones play this week, which could benefit them. On weeks where the Cyclones play two games, they tend to play much better in the first matchup.
Since the Big 12 was formed in 1996, Kansas has won 16 of the 22 matchups between the two, and the Cyclones have not won against the Jayhawks since 2010 and haven’t won a game in Lawrence since 1998. Four out of the last five matchups have ended in a tie or a one-goal game.
The Jayhawks are 7-2-2 and have wins over two ranked opponents this season, the Pepperdine Waves and the Butler Bulldogs.
“They have some really strong forwards, they are fast, they are athletic, and a very smart and disciplined team,” said coach Tony Minatta. “We’ve prepared with our non-conference schedule to be in a position to face them, we just have to organized and disciplined and organized in what we are doing, and play the full 90 minutes and we’ll be in a good position in that game.”
Kansas began Big 12 play with a win in double overtime against the Oklahoma Sooners, but came up short against the No. 13-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Last weekend, the Cyclones struggled defensively, as their opponents had the chance to take 55 shots over the two games. The Jayhawks have shown they put shots in the back of the net early and often, as they have scored two goals or more in almost half of their games. In games where the Jayhawks score more than one goal, they are 5-0. The Cyclones have their work cut out for them.
“We have to make sure that we are compact defensively, not let them get any shots off and get shots of our own in early,” said sophomore Kassi Ginther.
So far, the Jayhawks have been strong, especially on the defensive end. Kansas is allowing under one goal per game and fewer than eight shots per game and have four shut-outs.
“They're really good, but we got to bring it to them,” said sophomore Mckenna Schultz.
One thing the Cyclones and Jayhawks have in common: They both have played a lot of close games. Iowa State and Kansas have played in eight games each that have been decided by one goal or less or resulted in a tie.
Kickoff between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Kansas Jayhawks is set for 7 p.m. at Rock Chalk Park on Saturday night.