The Iowa State soccer team played two games over the weekend in which they came up against Oklahoma State and Kansas to open Big 12 competition.
The match against Oklahoma State was halted due to lightning, but the Cyclones were able to come out on top against Kansas in a 1-0 victory.
The match against Kansas was a close fought battle, but in the end, the Cyclones were able to get the job done.
Lauren McConnell continues to improve
Freshman Lauren McConnell has been an integral part to the Cyclones squad this season, as she’s consistently been among the goal-scoring opportunities. She currently sits at two goals and an assist this season, but her production both off of the ball and during build-up play has not gone unnoticed.
McConnell has an eye for goal and that has shown this season given she’s recorded 14 shots thus far.
Although McConnell may not have converted on all of these chances, the work she has been putting in goes to show how good of a player she is and how good she can become.
Her assist set up Mira Emma, junior, perfectly to put the ball in the back of the net during the Kansas game which was ultimately the winning goal.
McConnell drove to the opponents box and lured in defenders to pull off a back-heel assist to Emma.
During the match against Kansas, Iowa State was able to show how well it can control possession and create chances throughout the 90 minutes. The team recorded seven shots with four on target while also taking 10 corners in the match.
The Cyclones were able to out-shoot and out-score the Jayhawks fairly convincingly, although it was a close match. The Cyclones were also able to control the play as they held on to possession for a majority of the match and defended well when they needed to.
Iowa State head coach Matt Fannon mentioned how the match couldn’t have gone any better as it was a complete performance from his team.
“We defended incredibly well and we were really good on the ball, both sides of the ball we took care of it,” Fannon said after Sunday's win against Kansas. “I think on the day we were the better team in all areas of the field, we had a lot of players play really well today.”
Both the defense and the attack played at their best against the Jayhawks as they were able to keep a clean sheet for the fourth time this season.
Fannon also had some high praise for goal-scorer Emma after the match as she put in a complete performance as well.
“She was another one who did a fantastic job on both sides of the ball,” Fannon said. “She won a couple of free kicks in dangerous areas by being aggressive with her running and wanting to take people on and she kept the ball really well so when she got the chance she made sure it went in.”
“That bit of clinical has been something that has cost us games in the past and I think today we had it so it made a big difference.”
The Cyclones record now sits at 4-6 as they head back on the road to face Texas on Friday evening. That match kicks off at 7 p.m. as the Cyclones hope to earn their first back-to-back wins this season.