The Iowa State Cyclones women’s soccer team had their season come to an end in the Big 12 tournament against top-seeded Baylor. The Cyclones finished the season with a record of 4-14-2 overall and 2-6-1 in the Big 12. The Cyclones finished eighth out of 10 teams in the Big 12.
For the second time in Tony Minatta’s tenure, the Cyclones made the Big 12 tournament, with the last time being in the 2016 season. Making the Big 12 tournament could be a momentum boost moving forward.
While the Cyclones do have some young talent on their roster, they will lose some key players from their team.
The Cyclones will lose their three co-captains; defender Jordan Enga, defender Riley Behan and forward Emily Steil, as well as starting midfielders Brooke Tasker and Klasey Medelberg. Medelberg and Steil made the top three in points for the Cyclones. Steil was in the top 10 for assists in the Big 12 with five.
The Cyclones lose Brianna Curtis and Taylor Wagner, who provided the team with leadership and critical minutes off the bench.
The Cyclones played in 13 games that resulted in a tie or a one-goal margin. One thing that plagued Iowa State this season were injuries. Many Cyclones were forced to miss time due to injury including three starters; midfielders Kasey Opfer and Hannah Cade, including Riley Behan, who missed the majority of the season with a foot injury. Having an injury-plagued season is nothing new to the Cyclones as the 2017 season was full of injuries as well.
Another reason the Cyclones lost close games this season is because of goals that were given up late. The Cyclones were 0-11-1 this season when being outscored in the second half and lost six games by goals that came in overtime or in the last 10 minutes of play. When the Cyclones were ahead of their opponent at halftime, they won more often than not as they finished with a 3-1-1 in games where they led at the half.
The Cyclones tried switching formations to an “Italian 4-4-2” in order win more games, and while they did win more games, it remains to be seen if the formation change will lead to more victories.
With the teams’ injuries and inconsistencies, some underclassmen made a name for themselves, including freshmen Taylor Bee and Brooke Miller, who both played 15 games or more this season and sophomores Dayja Schwichtenberg, Kassi Ginther, Marin Daniel.
Daniel earned a spot on the Boilermaker Cup team after playing well against the Northwestern Wildcats and the Purdue Boilermakers. Ginther had four goals in Big 12 play and rated as the top player in practice in the last four of five weeks of the season. Schwichtenberg became a leader for the Cyclones at goalkeeper and led the Big 12 with the most saves at 103 and was in the top 10 amongst Big 12 keepers in shutouts this season with four.
Sophomore Tavin Hays also saw significant playing time appearing in 13 games. Sullivan played in 19 games and made 12 starts.
The Cyclones have now begun their offseason and need to fill the holes after the seniors graduate, working to fix the mistakes they made this season.