The Cyclones are coming off a tough loss from Thursday night when they fell to the Oklahoma Sooners 1-0. The loss dropped their record to 3-11 on the season and dropped their Big 12 record to 0-5.
Iowa State now has a tall task in front of it as it hosts the other state of Oklahoma representative, the No. 15 Oklahoma State Cowgirls. The Cowgirls are coming into Sunday's game with a 11-1-3 record and a 4-1-1 Big 12 record.
While Iowa State couldn’t find success on Thursday night, Oklahoma State was on the opposite side of the spectrum, as it defeated West Virginia for the first time in its programs history and marked its fourth consecutive win of the season.
The odds are stacked against the young Cyclone squad, who is amidst a six-game losing streak. Despite the loss to Oklahoma, the Cyclones were happy with the way they played Thursday and hoping to match the level of play on Sunday.
“At the end of the day, we just need to execute a little bit more effectively in the attacking third on our crosses and our shots and whatnot,” said coach Tony Minatta. “Because we’re going to have opportunities, we just got to close them out.”
Minatta also mentioned that Iowa State’s 4-4-2 formation matches up well with Oklahoma State’s 3-4-2-1 formation and has worked well the past couple seasons for the Cyclones.
One of the biggest issues facing the Cyclones in their Sunday matchup with the Cowgirls is the ability to convert on their scoring opportunities, especially when they’re going up against a team like the Cowgirls.
Oklahoma State is on a current four-game streak of scoring two or more goals, highlighted by a 5-2 win over Kansas. Meanwhile, Iowa State has scored more than one goal in only one game throughout the regular season. The only game it accomplished scoring more than once was the 2-1 overtime win against SIUE on Sept 15.
The Cyclones have proven they can line themselves up with good scoring opportunities, but now it all comes down to getting the right ball placement and beating the opposing keeper.
“Scoring more than one goal will help us a lot,” said senior midfielder Hannah Cade. “Usually we try to get one and then pack it in, but we learning that we need to get two or three and keep going.”
Iowa State has shown it’s defensive potential to slow teams down and is something the team has been prideful in. The Cyclones need to figure out their game offensively if they plan on trying to take down the No. 15 ranked Cowgirls.
Besides working out the kinks, the Cyclones understand what they’re facing on Sunday and know they have the tools to pull of the upset, they just need to find the way to do it. The team is insistent on being capable of winning each game, despite what the record shows.
“We’re the underdog, it’s nothing new, and they’re ranked and a good opponent and if we can come out with the same fight we had [against Oklahoma], we can get an upset,” said senior defender Carly Langhurst.
Iowa State hosts Oklahoma State at noon Sunday at the Cyclone Sports Complex.