After a tough 3-0 loss at UCLA Friday, Iowa State soccer bounced back Sunday as the Cyclones defeated the University of California at Irvine 1-0 in a very close match. The Cyclones improved their overall record to 1-1 with this victory and are looking to build on this performance throughout the rest of the season.
Second Half Attacking Improvements
The Cyclones got off to a relatively slow start in the first half against UC Irvine in which they went the first 45 minutes without a shot on goal. Despite the lack of shots on goal, Iowa State did create various chances coming from set pieces having won two corners and multiple free kicks in the first half.
The second half displayed a much better attacking performance from the Cyclones, as they had eight shots with two on target and eventually found the back of the net in the 69th minute, courtesy of an over-the-top through ball from freshman midfielder Mira Emma to fellow freshman forward Kenady Adams to break the deadlock.
Although the match had been a stalemate for the first 45 minutes, the Cyclones were able to prove they can switch gears and play with an attacking mindset while staying strong at the back.
Defense bounces back
Having conceded three goals away at UCLA prior to their meeting with the Anteaters, the Cyclones looked much more composed at the back and managed to keep a clean sheet.
The Cyclones' defense kept the Anteaters away from goal, allowing only two shots on target throughout the 90 minutes as well as catching the Anteaters offsides five times.
This years' strong defensive record from the exhibition games continued as the Cyclones recorded their third clean sheet in four games this season, pushing their goal difference ratio to seven goals for and three goals against (when including preseason action).
Cyclones draw fouls
One of the reasons the Cyclones were able to contain the Anteaters throughout the match was the fact that they had drawn a total of 14 fouls over the 90 minutes. They drew eight fouls within the first half and the Cyclones continued to frustrate UC Irvine as well thanks to multiple set piece wins that could have led to goals.
The Cyclones were able to decrease the amount of shots taken by UC Irvine whilst creating more chances for themselves and taking control of the match deeper into the second half. If the Cyclones are able to keep frustrating their opponents and capitalize on that frustration in future matches, they could see a improvement in their overall record.
After securing their first win of the season aside from exhibitions, the Cyclones will hope to improve upon this display as they have their eyes set on Thursday evening, where they will be traveling to face the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Cy-Hawk game.