Cyclones coach Tony Minatta described it best when he mentioned that the Iowa State woman’s soccer team has been a team of halves so far this year, following the Cyclone’s Sunday 1-0 win over the Omaha Mavericks.
In their game against Iowa, the Cyclones couldn’t get much done in the first half but were able to score in the second half to tie their game at 1-1. However, they let up a goal right after to lose 2-1.
In their match up against Creighton, the Cyclones gave up a goal in the 88th minute to lose the game.
A common theme for the Cyclones up to this point has been struggling to put together two complete halves, causing them to lose their energy.
The Cyclone’s matchup on Sunday against Omaha was the exact opposite of those struggles, as Iowa State pressured Omaha everywhere on the pitch and set up scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity.
“You could definitely feel that we were feeling that hangover from that loss in the Creighton game,” Minatta said. “To fight through the first half where we didn’t play as well, but we kept fighting and then to come out in the second half with the energy that we did, I’m very proud of the team to come back, get the shutout and get the win.
"It’s a positive step moving forward for us.”
Omaha’s defense could not catch a break throughout that game, as the faced constant pressure from a Cyclone attack that had netted three goals through their first five games of the regular season.
The Cyclones controlled the stat sheet against the Mavericks. The Cyclones recorded a total of 26 shots, while they held the Mavericks to only eight shots. The Cyclones were rewarded 12 total corner kicks and the Mavericks weren’t able to get any corner kicks.
“This past week was a good week of practice and we’re just trying to get more scoring opportunities to get us on the winning side of things,” said freshmen midfielder Mira Emma. "That hasn’t happened lately, but we’re keeping a positive attitude going forward."
The game-winning goal came from a header by Emma off a cross from freshman midfielder Claudia Najera during the 72nd minute. However, one of the team's struggles so far in the season is maintaining the energy and keeping the pressure on the opposing attacks.
Senior defender Carly Langhurst mentioned how crucial it is to not let their guard down following a goal and using it as motivation to keep the pressure going.
“Scoring a goal brings a lot of excitement, I think that’s part of it. Once you score, you kind of get everything off, but you also need to realize they can come right back down at you,” Langhurst said. “What we always say is ‘Next five minutes.’ The next five minutes is huge for not letting a goal in, you have to actually attack them.”
Keeping the pressure up what the Cyclones did following Emma’s goal. The Cyclones kept their energy high as they cut off multiple Maverick passes and keeping consistent pressure on the ball.
Not only did the Cyclones hold the Maverick attack to only three total shots in the second half, but their attack kept the Mavericks pinned in their own half of the field after the goal. The Cyclones nearly netted a few more while the Mavericks struggled to find an opportunity to go on a counterattack.
The complete game for the Cyclones is something they look to continue doing as the regular season progresses and conference play approaches. Minatta focuses on one thing in particular that will pave the way for future success.
“One word: Consistency," Minatta said. "We have to be consistent with our effort, our energy and our mentality and if we can control those three things and be more consistent and put together 90 minutes of the quality that we’ve seen for a half or for stretches, then we’ll be right where we need to be at.”