Soccer to Host Crucial Weekend Matches

The Iowa State soccer team plays host to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in a weekend where they could possibly clinch a conference tournament bid. The Cyclones play Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. on Friday and follow that up with a 1 p.m. match with Oklahoma on Sunday.

ISU, 8-5-3 overall and 3-3-1 in conference play, hopes to move up in the conference standings with wins over OSU and OU. The Cowgirls enter the weekend with an identical 3-3-1 conference record as they are tied with Iowa State for the eighth and final tournament slot. The Sooners are tied for third with a 4-2-1 Big 12 mark.

Head coach Rebecca Hornbacher believes the Cyclones (Soccer Buzz Magazine Central Region No. 13 and NSCAA Great Lakes Region No. 7) have put themselves in position to gain a conference tournament invitation.

 "At this time, we need to look to play as a unit for long stretches of time and continue to create with numbers in the attack, "Hornbacher said. " We also eliminate small errors that good teams can capitalize on."

Senior forward Amy Flores continues to score goals for ISU, moving up in the Cyclone record books for each goal she scores. She leads the team with eight goals, six in the last seven games and leads the Big 12 with six goals in conference-only games.
Flores' 20 career goals tie for second all-time, with Lindsay Rector, who competed for Iowa State in 1996-99.

"Amy has been very consistent," Hornbacher said. "She has a knack for putting herself in a position to score.  She has done a great job of using her head literally and figuratively, but her play allows for other people to get into the attack because she looks to create as well."

Sophomore goalkeeper Joanna Haig anchors the Cyclone defense, as she is second in the Big 12 with 47 saves in conference play.  In ISU's last match, a 2-1 setback vs.
Texas, the Inver Grove Heights, Minn., totaled nine saves, her second-highest output of the season. Haig also owns a .820 save percentage, good for second in the conference.

"We will look to Joanna to be a leader in the net this weekend," Hornbacher said.  "When she steps up her game or comes up with a great save, the team rallies behind her."

Oklahoma State features one of the conference's most prolific scorers in Jesyca Rosholt, who leads the team in goals (11), assists (5), points (27), and shots (58). Her 11 goals are second in the Big 12. The Cowgirls started 7-0-2, but have gone .500 since. The Cowgirls also bring a very physical style of play, committing a conference-leading 248 fouls.

Oklahoma brings a 10-3-2 overall record into the weekend and are ranked No. 9 in the Central Region by Soccer Buzz Magazine and 10th by the NSCAA. Lauren MacIver leads the Sooner attack, with 20 points on six goals and eight assists. Her 82 shots this season lead OU and the conference. Jennifer Nichols has started all 16 games in goal for the Sooners, collecting 66 saves with a 1.03 goals-against average.

"These games are going to be a battle and I expect both teams to play more physical than we have seen all year," Hornbacher said.  "We are all fighting for points in the standings and to secure a berth for post-season play.  We all have something on the line and the good teams find a way to win."

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