Stay persistent, good things will come. That has been the message of the Iowa State soccer team this season.
On Friday, it finally paid off.
The Iowa State Cyclones (2-6-1) tied 1-1 with the No. 12 Kansas Jayhawks (4-3-1) on Friday. While it wasn’t a win, Iowa State was able to tally a goal for the first time in four games. There were other themes of the game that emerged for the Cyclones' season finale.
In the clutch
Down 0-1 with under a minute to go, the Cyclones' odds at tying the match seemed slim.
Iowa State had pushed the ball repeatedly in the second half looking for an equalizer. It doubled shot attempts in the first half with six in the second.
But the Cyclones never gave up.
Goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz made a save and the Cyclones hurried to flip the field with seconds ticking away.
Midfielder Claudia Najera collected a pass and left it for forward Kenady Adams as she streaked past midfield. Adams passed the ball through the Kansas defense to forward Courtney Powell. Powell ran onto Adams’ pass in stride just as she entered the 18-yard box racing behind the Kansas backline.
Powell set up and took the shot from the left side with no defender in her way but the goalkeeper.
And she sunk it. Tie game.
The goal was Powell’s 11th of her career — the most of any active Cyclone.
Without Silkowitz’s save in the closing seconds, Iowa State would’ve never had a chance at the tying goal.
But that wasn’t the only save she tallied on the day. Silkowitz tallied six saves on the goal.
Kansas controlled the shot count 17-13 so the ball was in the Cyclones’ backline quite often.
In the second overtime, Silkowitz made another game-saving play by stopping a four-on-none breakaway to preserve the tie.
Silkowitz has been a consistent piece of the Iowa State team all season and it looked no different Friday.
Final match in competitive season
This match was the last of the year for Iowa State.
In a compressed ninegame conference-only schedule, the team competed in nearly every game, only losing by two goals twice.
The Cyclones were shut out in five of the nine games.
Iowa State tallied wins against Baylor and Oklahoma to finish the year 2-6-1.
Considering four of the nine games were against ranked opponents (West Virginia, Oklahoma State, TCU, Kansas), Iowa State held its own.
Coming off a season that saw the Cyclones go winless in conference play, first-year Head Coach Matt Fannon has already improved the team’s record.
In a normal season with almost 20 games, it is possible the close games Iowa State lost would’ve went the other way.
Sometimes, the shots for goal barely missed or the Cyclones made one mistake that ended up costing them a goal.
After all, three of the losses were 0-1 shutouts.
Despite losing five seniors, the Cyclones will return with experience and another year under Fannon, who seems to have the program heading in the right direction.