Iowa soccer heads to Ames to take on Iowa State

After a pair of draws, the Hawkeyes are set to take on the Cyclones, who currently sit at 1-3-1.

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Sam Knupp, Sports Reporter


The Hawkeyes will travel to Ames for the 24th ever Cy-Hawk soccer game, set to take place on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Iowa leads the series,14-7-2, dating back to 1997, and has gone 5-2-0 against Iowa State since Dave DiIanni took over as the Hawkeyes’ head coach in 2014.

Iowa is off to a modest start, sitting at 2-2-2, with wins against Cal-Poly and DePaul, losses versus No. 1 UCLA and Kansas, and ties in their two most recent games with Pacific and Baylor.

Since DiIanni took over, every Cy-Hawk game — except for a 2-0 Iowa win in 2016 — has been decided by one goal.

“It’s a rivalry game, so everybody seems to raise their level of performance and it becomes even more competitive,” DiIanni said. “And usually, specifically in this game, you see that mistakes are capitalized on and end up being the deciding factors.”

DiIanni said his team will need to get off to a fast start and create chances early in the game to seize early momentum, something the Hawkeyes struggled with at Baylor on Sunday. Neither team found the back of the net all day.

DiIanni complimented Iowa State head coach Matt Fannon and his team, saying Fannon’s group is disciplined and defensively sound, especially now that Fannon is in his third year.

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“He’s getting more of his players that just inherently have more buy-in,” DiIanni said. “They’ve been recruited to his system and how he would like to play.”

While Iowa State has had a rough start at 1-3-1, Fannon remains optimistic, saying his team has made leaps and bounds since he took over in 2020.

“I think we defend really well,” Fannon said. “I think we are really well organized and structured. And I think we also attack really well. We move the ball really nicely. We just need to make sure that we do it consistently and we keep our foot down throughout the game, which obviously over the course of 90 minutes is a big ask but we certainly have the ability to do it.”

Fannon said he’s excited to see what DiIanni has in store on Thursday night.

“My understanding is that this is one of the best Iowa teams that have been around,” Fannon said. “Dave [DiIanni] is a good friend of mine and I think he does a brilliant job and I’m excited to see what he’s doing with his team.”

The Cyclones are coming off a 5-11-1 2021 season in which they only scored 10 goals to Iowa’s 31, and finished eighth out of 10 teams in the Big 12.

This season, Iowa State has been outshot by their opponents, 89-36, and outscored, 11-4.

“I just believe we need to start being consistent and sticking to what we’re good at and figuring out how we can play within our game plan for 90 minutes,” Fannon said. “And once we do that, once it clicks, I’m really excited — I think everybody’s really excited about where the team is going.”

Two of Iowa State’s losses come at the hands of the defending American Athletic Conference Champion Memphis Tigers, along with a 5-1-0 Kentucky team.

The Cyclones’ only win came against 4-2-0 Michigan, who was ranked No. 24 at the time. 

Iowa State has yet to play a home game this season, which Fannon said has created a few obstacles for his team.

“It’s been a long time on the road and it’s been plenty of times not being able to train the way we want,” Fannon said. “I think regardless of that, we’ve been in every single game and we’ve been good money for it.”

After a long stretch of road games, Fannon said his team is excited to have a chance to play back in Ames. 

“If both teams show up and perform, it’s going to be a really exciting game and a fantastic way to showcase soccer in the state,” Fannon said.

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