Iowa State returned to Ames 1-1 after facing Saint Louis University and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, bringing its record to 3-5.
Defense stands out yet again
Iowa State put together another solid defensive performance in its outing at Saint Louis despite the game slipping from them in overtime. The Cyclones defense was very busy on Friday evening, allowing 19 shots with six on goal.
The Cyclones were able to see out all 90 minutes of regulation time without conceding a goal in what was one of their best games defensively. The defensive presence of the Cyclones has been felt by their opposition as they have conceded three goals in their last four games.
In their match against SIU Edwardsville, the Cyclones were able to hold off the Cougars from scoring until the 89th minute when the Cougars scored from a corner kick. Iowa State has had its fair share of games where the opposition has scored within the last 10 minutes, which leaves some questions to be answered about the Cyclones composure in the closing minutes of matches.
Despite this, the Cyclones still managed to get the win thanks to freshman Mira Emma sealing the game in overtime.
The Cyclones have been on and off on the attacking end of the pitch, but their defense has continued to play at a consistently high level. If the Cyclones can find their feet on the offensive end and stay consistent, they have the tools to pose a challenges for the Big 12’s upper echelon.
Another late goal conceded
Iowa State has been on the wrong end of a few last minute goals this season. The Cyclones have conceded three goals in the last 10 minutes of matches so far this campaign.
The first occasion came in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series when in the 83rd minute Hawkeye senior midfielder Natalie Winters beat junior Cyclone goalkeeper Dayja Schwictenberg from distance.
The Cyclones have also been exposed late against Creighton University and SIU Edwardsville in the 87th minute and 89th minute respectively.
Two of those three games ended in defeat for Iowa State apart from the match against SIU Edwardsville, thanks to an overtime winner from Emma. In all three of those games the Cyclones were composed at the back for most of the 90 minutes, which makes one question the reasons for conceding in the dying minutes of the match.
The Cyclones may not be able to put their finger on the exact reasoning for these late goals, but if Iowa State continues down this path of giving up goals late in the game, it will continue to hurt the team’s record. The Cyclones have generally been a solid defensive side and coach Tony Minatta will have to figure out what is happening within the last 10 minutes of matches.
Emma scores again
Emma netted her second regular season goal against SIU Edwardsville as the freshman grows. Emma has had some surprising performances for the Cyclones this season and has earned a spot in the starting 11 in multiple games this season.
Emma scored her first regular season goal against the University of Omaha, giving the Cyclones a 1-0 win.
Emma also decided the match against SIU Edwardsville in overtime to give the Cyclones the momentum they needed heading into next week after conceding to the Cougars in the 89th minute.
Emma has showed signs of what she could become for Iowa State, and the team and staff have faith in her to fulfill her potential.
She is a player who is calm on the ball and able to create space for herself and her teammates throughout the 90 minutes.
So far this season, Emma has been a crucial part in the Cyclones’ attack finding their feet, and if she continues to improve and take advantage of her chances, the Cyclones could see an uptick in goals.