Iowa State returned home to Ames for its regular season home opener against the Purdue University Boilermakers. The Cyclones lost to the Boilermakers 2-1, dropping them to 1-3 on the season.
Despite a competitive first half, the Iowa State defense remained busy against the Boilermaker attack. Similar to the first half against the University of Iowa, Iowa State found themselves in a spot where they just weren’t able to start a counter-attack. Coming out in the second half, Purdue took control of the game.
Throughout the first half, the Cyclones did a good job of shutting out a Purdue offense that’s been no stranger to finding the back of the net so far this season. The Boilermakers ended the first half with seven shots, and junior goalkeeper Dayja Schwichtenberg recording four saves from those shots. The second half saw the Boilermakers double that production, notching 14 shots for a total of 21 shots on the game.
Schwichtenberg ended the game with nine saves, but the Boilermaker attack was too much as they netted two goals in the second half to win the game.
“At the end of the day, I only have one job: keep the ball out of the goal,” Schwichtenberg said. “So that’s what I’m really focused on. Organizing my defense, that’s really important to me as well. But at the end of the day, just stopping shots.”
Being too caught up with trying to stop the Boilermaker attack, the Cyclones didn’t get nearly as many opportunities that the Boilermakers saw. The Cyclones recorded four shots in both halves for a total of eight shots.
“It’s very much a composure thing, that when we’ve been defending the whole half, when we get the ball, when it finally comes out for us to attack, we just have to take it with confidence and be able to do something with it and realize we’re going to get a couple chances,” said senior midfielder Hannah Cade.
Things were looking good early on for the Cyclones when Cade fired one in from beyond the 18-yard box right into the top left corner, giving the Cyclones the early 1-0 lead in the 15th minute. Unfortunately for the Cyclones, that was all they were able to get.
The Purdue goalkeeper Marisa Bova recorded three saves on the eight Iowa State shots.
“You really have to settle in and you can’t keep turning the ball over," said coach Tony Minatta. "We had a lot of opportunities where we got the ball and we weren’t under incredible amount of pressure and we passed it right back to the other team."
"When you pass it right back to them, especially at the midline and they come right back at you, now you go from in possession to immediately out of possession and having to defend right away, so you don’t have any break and that just takes a toll on you.”
Still time to figure it out
While the team hasn’t started out the season like everyone wanted to, there’s still time to fix the things that aren’t working.
Iowa State has a very young team, with 21 of the 31 players being underclassmen. Along with the fact that it’s still early in the season, the Cyclones are still trying to find the best way to put themselves in a spot to be successful.
“Trying to integrate in a lot of new freshmen into what we have, it’s a puzzle, so you’re trying to get all of the pieces to fit together," Minatta said. "Lucky for us, we still got a lot of season left to kind of figure those things out, especially before we get into conference play."
The Cyclones have used different lineup combinations and implemented different formations to help figure out that puzzle.
The Cyclones will be able to take a few days to regroup before heading out to Omaha, Nebraska, to face the Creighton Bluejays at 4:30 p.m. Friday.