Tavin Hays ISU Soccer 10/16

Senior forward Tavin Hays pursues a ball against Texas forward Mackenzie McFarland. The Cyclones lost 1-0 to the Longhorns on Oct. 16.

Having been defeated in its last outing by the Texas Longhorns 1-0, the Iowa State soccer team will hope to bounce back against Texas Tech this Friday. 

In their 1-0 loss to the Longhorns the Cyclones created a lot of opportunities but failed to find the back of the net. This has been an ongoing occurrence for the Cyclones as they have been able to create chances all season but have been inconsistent in their goalscoring.

“It’s one of those strange things, you can’t really coach creativity,” Head Coach Matt Fannon said. “I think we just need to make sure that our forwards believe that they’re supposed to be scoring goals and they understand that they can do it.

“Honestly I think that right now they’re putting themselves in positions to score goals over and over again. As long they keep doing that it’ll come." 

The lack of consistent goalscoring and frequently falling in 1-0 games brings out frustration for most, if not all, players and senior forward Tavin Hays believes while those games are frustrating, the team must push on.  

“Those are pretty frustrating games but I think the biggest thing is that we had a lot of opportunities and we definitely should’ve won that game,” Hays said. “[We’re] just getting back after it this week and trying to get the 'W'.” 

While the goalscoring output could be improved for the game against Texas Tech, Iowa State's defense has been strong all season.

Senior defender McKenna Schultz has been at the heart of the Cyclone defense this season and believes they’ve been so strong due to their organization at the back. 

“I think we’re one of the most organized teams defensively in the Big 12,” Schultz said. “I think that’s really key to our success and we’ve gotten better as a team and defensively as well.”

Fannon also gives a lot of credit to his defense for playing with passion and wanting to keep clean sheets every week.

“We’ve obviously done really, really well,” Fannon said. “We’re just limiting chances for other teams and we’re limiting opportunities. As much as anything we’re defending with a passion to defend.

“It’s another area where I can’t ask that much more from our players so we’re really happy and proud of all our defenders and goalkeepers who’ve been training every day with that mentality.”

The Cyclones will hope to improve on their goalscoring ability this week as they face Texas Tech on the road.

The game will be available to stream via Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with kickoff set for 7:15 p.m. 

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