Iowa State soccer West Virginia

A group of players scrum for possession near the sideline during the Sept. 11 night match against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Cyclones fell 2-0.

Iowa State soccer has been able to put together mostly solid showings against a very grueling start to its season, but things seem to be easing up both on the schedule and on the scoreboard as a result of that.

The Cyclones picked up their second win of the season in their fifth game in the form of a 1-0 shutout against Oklahoma. Courtney Powell was able to put up her first goal of the season in the 64th minute, and suddenly the team is looking at a 2-3 record.

Silkowitz racking up accolades

Jordan Silkowitz, a sophomore transfer from Ohio State, has been a consistent performer for the Cyclones. She's given up just four standard goals (along with two penalty kicks) so far this season, and her performance on the field is starting to garner some attention.

Silkowitz picked up her second Big 12 Goalkeeper of the Week award in three weeks, gifting the Cyclones her first shutout of the season and the first Cyclone shutout in nearly a year.

"I'm very grateful and thankful, but I couldn't do it without all my coaches and teammates," Silkowitz said.

The Cyclone netminder was also awarded an honorable mention in the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.

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Iowa State soccer Head Coach Matt Fannon. 

It's easy to see that Silkowitz transferring here to work with Head Coach Matt Fannon as well as Goalkeeper Coach Daniel Ball has made a big difference for her, in addition to the team getting some much-appreciated consistency in net.

Courtney Powell nets her first goal of senior season

One of the few seniors on this team, Courtney Powell, is one of the familiar faces from last year's team, but she had yet to record a goal in her senior season. The forward was finally able to sneak one past the opposing goaltender against Oklahoma.

"I was hoping it'd be a little sooner … it's definitely a weight off my shoulders," Powell said.

Powell was the team's leading scorer last year with four goals, and the year before, she was second on the team with three goals. Her ability to find herself near the net on almost every offensive opportunity has resulted in a solid career for her.

Cyclones off to best start in over a decade

In the process of picking up their second win in five games so far this season, the Cyclones also accomplished something they hadn't in 11 years.

This is the quickest the team has gotten to two conference wins since 2009, and 2007 was the last time it happened in fewer than five (the team won their first two conference games of the 2007 season and finished 4-4-2 in the Big 12 that year.) 

A new coaching staff has brought in a new attitude, and Iowa State seems to be making cultural changes and mental adjustments to ensure it doesn't let the demons of previous winless conference seasons get to it.

Not only are the Cyclones in their best position in many years, they're also very much in the hunt for a decent seed in the Big 12. They currently have six points, which is six behind first-place West Virginia.

The Cyclones will welcome the Texas Longhorns (2-3) to Ames at 6 p.m. Friday.

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