The Iowa State Cyclones (3-10, 0-4 Big 12) suffered a 1-2 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats (3-9-2, 1-4 Big 12) on Friday night.
While the loss kept the Cyclones winless in Big 12 play, it doesn’t take away from the fact Iowa State has been competing in every game so far in the Big 12.
The team has had opportunities, but has failed to capitalize.
There were a few things to examine deeper in the weekend loss.
The Kansas State game was another sign of the Cyclones breaking down late.
After a Courtney Powell goal in the 28th minute, Iowa State let up two second-half goals.
Despite one of those goals being a penalty kick, the Wildcats controlled possession for much of the second half.
Losing games late has been somewhat of a recurring theme for the squad lately, after a double-overtime loss to a ranked Texas Tech team and losing a 1-0 lead against TCU in the second half.
On the flip side, the team is right there in these games, it just needs to find a way to squeak the win out.
The Cyclones will look to finish games progressing into the easier part of their Big 12 schedule.
Doing well on defense despite injury
When junior goalkeeper Dayja Schwichtenberg went down with a cut in her leg, the team wasn’t sure how freshman Georgia Wimmer would perform.
Coach Minatta said that he trains everyone the same, but with it being her first action in a critical part of the season, you can never know.
Nonetheless, Wimmer has performed well in her time so far on the pitch.
She saved four goals against the Wildcats after saving six against TCU.
Schwichtenberg led the Big 12 in saves per game last year.
Some may have thought that setback would make things worse for the youthful Cyclones, but Wimmer is doing well since she’s stepped in.
Credit also goes to the defense as a whole as it has done a better job from earlier in the season at limiting shots on goal from the opponent and putting less pressure on the goalie.
Freshmen finding roles
Going along with Wimmer, other freshmen players have started to emerge as key components of the young squad.
Mira Emma showed her ability as a scorer and maestro early in the season, but Claudia Najera and Abbey Van Wyngarden have came on as of late.
Najera is a midfielder for the Cyclones while Van Wyngarden is a forward.
Najera leads the team with four assists, and has started to come along with excellent crosses.
Meanwhile, Van Wyngarden has been on a tear with getting behind defenses.
She had two shots against Kansas State, one that was on goal.
That performance came after she put up seven shots against the Red Raiders.
No matter what way teams look at the Iowa State offense or the statistics of the team so far, the duo has helped provide the Cyclones with more scoring opportunities lately.
With the Big 12 Tournament in mind, the Cyclones are hoping that the youth continues to grow into a dangerous low-seeded team.