Iowa State soccer is set to face a physical Baylor team this Thursday after a 3-0 defeat at the hands of TCU over the weekend. That match was essentially decided in the first half, as TCU was all over Iowa State on the attacking side and breached the defense using its speed and ability to create chances from seemingly nothing.
Despite what was a poor first half performance from the Cyclones, they turned the match around in the second half and played much better having not conceded a goal in the final 45 minutes.
Players credited their Iowa State head coach Matt Fannon for inspiring them to go out in the second half and play much better than they did in they first 45 minutes.
Sophomore Olivia Edwards mentioned how Fannon inspired them at halftime and him being one of the reasons they improved.
“I think Matt’s halftime talk really brought it out of us and he told us that we need to fight in the second half,” Edwards said. “I think that’s the reason we did so well in the second half because we were like ‘hey we’re not going to roll over, we’re going to keep fighting, we’re going to keep persevering and no matter what the score is we’re going to go in with a fight and work as hard as we can.’”
Edwards also notes that starting off strong is important if the team wants to play well for all 90 minutes as they head into their match against Baylor.
“Getting a goal in the first half, making a good tackle or playing well in the first half really changes how we go into the second half and how we play the rest of the game,” Edwards said. “If we can figure out how to start off strong instead of having to work ourselves into it, I think we’ll be in a pretty good place for the rest of the season.”
The Cyclones have had games this season in which they have not started as quickly as they would like and that hurt them in those games. Although the momentum of games can switch at any moment, if a team does not settle into a game quick enough it may be more difficult to get a desirable result.
Heading into the game against Baylor, the Cyclones have to be ready for a physical match from the start. Baylor will be looking to win the 50/50 situations and use their strength to wear down the Cyclones early on.
Fannon also mentioned how all focus is on Thursday and how he hopes the team is ready to play from the opening whistle.
“Right now that’s all we really care about is the game on Thursday,” Fannon said. “Being ready to start, ready to get after it from the beginning and I think if we do that, I think we’ll be in a place where we can get enough out of the rest of the season to still hit our goals.”