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Cyclones to Face Mountaineers on the Road


September 20th, 2023 by Asa Lucas

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State is set to embark on its first road trip of the Big 12 slate this week, heading to West Virginia for a matchup with the Mountaineers. ISU and WVU will square off on Thursday, Sept. 21, in a match that is set to kick off at 6 p.m. CT and that will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

ISU (3-5-1) is looking to bounce back after dropping its last two contests to Kentucky and Oklahoma State. The Cyclones will look to earn their first-ever win over WVU as well as their first Big 12 win of the season. Defending league champion West Virginia (2-5-2) will look to pick up its first win since August 27.

Iowa State’s five losses have come to opponents who have combined to go 34-5-4 (83.7 win percentage) through the first half part of the season.

The Matchup: Iowa State (3-5-1) at West Virginia (2-5-2)
Where: Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium// Morgantown, W. Va.
When: September 21 – 6 p.m. CT
Watch: Big 12 Now on ESPN+
Live Statscyclones.com

Leading the Cyclones
Iowa State enters Thursday’s contest after dropping two straight home games, including a 4-1 loss to Oklahoma State to open Big 12 play.

Mira Emma leads all Cyclones in goals (4), points (10), shots on goal (13), shots (19) and assists (2). The fifth-year senior captain notched her second career brace in the team’s last road outing against Portland State.

Fellow seniors Salomé Prat and Abigail Miller also have more than one score on the year, as each has two. Leia Khairy, Kristin Boos and Lauren Hernandez each have one goal to round out the Cyclone scorers. 

Goalkeeper Avery Gillahan is the lone Cyclone to have played all 810 possible minutes this season. Gillahan recorded her second career shutout against Portland State in the team’s last road outing.

Scouting West Virginia
West Virginia’s season has started out much like ISU’s. The Mountaineers have played steep competition, as the team’s five losses have come against teams that are a combined 31-4-4 (84.6 win percentage). Three of WVU’s losses have come to ranked teams as it played No. 4 Duke, No. 8 Penn State and No. 12 Virginia.

WVU, last year’s Big 12 champion, is led offensively by Taylor White. White, a sophomore forward, has four scores and two assists for a team-high 10 points on the year. Along with White, Maddie Moreau and Julianne Vallerand, each have a pair of goals and are the only others to have more than one goal.

WVU forward Dilary Heredia-Beltran leads the team in assists, as she has three to pair with a goal for a total of five points – the second most on the team.

In the net, Kayza Massey has started eight of the nine contests for the Mountaineers. Massey, a preseason Big 12 Team member, did not start the previous match against UCF but came in at the half. Massey has 24 saves on the year and a pair of shutouts to boot.

From the Notebook 

  • The Cyclones have lost just one match under Coach Fannon when scoring at least two goals. Two seems to be the magic number for the offense.
  • Iowa State leads the Big 12 in shot accuracy, placing 57% of its attempts on goal. That’s good enough for the 22nd-highest ranking in the country.
  • Three Big 12 programs are ranked in the Coaches Poll this week, as BYU is No. 6, Texas is ranked 14th and Texas Tech is 25th.
  • Senior Mira Emma ranks in the top ten in ISU history in points, goals, game-winning goals and assists.
  • After program legend Jordan Silkowitz was drafted into the NWSL, a new face took the net for the Cyclones this past week, as Avery Gillahan handled goalkeeping responsibilities. Through eight matches, Gillahan has a pair of shutouts and 19 saves.
    • Gillahan earned Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors on August 23rd for her performances during the first week of the season.

Series History
The Cyclones and Mountaineers will meet for the 12th time on Thursday as part of a series that began in 2012. West Virginia has dominated the series and holds an 11-0 record over ISU. The Mountaineers have allowed Iowa State to score just two goals across the previous 11 meetings and have won the last ten matchups via shutout. 

Up Next
Following its first road Big 12 match, the Cyclones will head to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats in the two teams’ first-ever meeting. Iowa State and Cincy are set to play on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 11 a.m. (CT) and the match will be streamed on ESPN+.