Road To The Big 12 Championships
Coming into the season the Iowa State soccer team (9-8-2) was picked to finish last in the Big 12, but the Cyclones had other plans. Iowa State went on to earn conference wins over Oklahoma, Baylor and Oklahoma State and grab the No. 4 seed in the Big 12 soccer tournament, their first appearance in the tournament since 2007.
The 2013 season has been full of many memorable moments as the Cyclones set school records, defeated top teams and the fans came out in droves to watch the home team. Although the season has been full of spectacular plays, Cyclones.com chose to look back at some of the conference wins that led them there.
- Before the Cyclones played the Kansas Jayhawks they had yet to any success in conference play. Iowa State opened up conference play with a very tight game against Texas Tech that fell in the opposite favor the Cyclones had hoped for and fell to the Texas Longhorns in Austin, Texas. Iowa State ended the game against Kansas in a 0-0 draw, but even though the Cyclones didn't come away with a victory, they earned confidence for the remainder of the season and proved their defense was going to be a weapon for them all season.
- Iowa State entered its game against Oklahoma in search of their first conference win. After 90 minutes of action in Norman, Oklahoma the Cyclones would come away with that victory after one of the finest performances by a Cyclone in school history. Senior Emily Goldstein became just the eighth Cyclone to ever record a hat trick in a game and helped Iowa State earn a 1-0 victory over the Sooners.
- In Iowa State's game against Baylor the Cyclones were looking to earn their second conference victory of the season and secure a spot in the Big 12 tournament. The Cyclone and Bears ended regulation notched at 0-0 and needed overtime to decide the fate of the game. With 23 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, Goldstein beat to two Baylor defenders to the ball for a shot at the game winning goal. She did not disappoint, using nifty footwork to find an open look at the goal and drilled the ball into the back of the net for the win.
- Heading into their game against Oklahoma State the fate of which seed the Cyclones would be selected for the Big 12 tournament was left largely in the Cyclones' hands. Win and they earn a high seed, lose and earn a lower seed. Iowa State took care of business against the Cowgirls riding an early goal from senior Jessica Reyes to the final whistle earning a 1-0 victory and the fourth seed in the Big 12 tournament.
Throughout the season Iowa State has had certain players step up from game to game providing an extra lift that gave the Cyclones hard-earned victories. Iowa State does not have a specific star player earning every victory as a team. Each member of the squad that earned minutes this year provided key elements to the team that resulted in their first appearance in the Big 12 Tournament since 2007. Cyclones.com took a look at some of the key player performances that didn't go unnoticed throughout the season.
- Before Iowa State's game against UNI sophomore Haley Albert hadn't seen much playing time. That all changed over the course of the season as Albert became a key weapon in the Cyclone offensive attack near the goal. Standing at 6-foot-1-inch Albert has used her height to the team's advantage to find open looks at the goal. This was seen in her two goals this season against Texas Tech and Drake when she headed in goals that teammates may not have been able to reach.
- The speed of Hayley Womack is something that doesn't show up on the stat sheet, but in the end helps the Cyclones earn victories. The junior forward is almost always one of the first players to the ball and is rarely beat in a footrace by an opposing player. Womack has recorded one goal and two assists this season.
- When it comes to taking the ball from the other team, no one on the Iowa State's roster may be better than freshman Kourtney Camy. Game after game Camy has frustrated opposing offenses by stealing the ball from them and sending it back to the Cyclone offense giving an extra dimension to a solid Cyclone defense.
- The entire back four group for the Cyclones defense has been stout all season. Recording seven shutouts this season and three in Big 12 play the group has proven to be very efficient and one of the best in the conference.
Iowa State's season has been full of memories and the Cyclones will look to continue their way's when they play Baylor of Wednesday at 11:30 in the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City. Follow Iowa State soccer's twitter account @cycloneSCR for live updates on the game and visit Cyclones.com after the conclusion of the game for results.