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Jays outplayed in second half of season-opening loss at Iowa State

Jays outplayed in second half of season-opening loss at Iowa State

Creighton and Iowa State women’s soccer met for the second season in a row on Friday night at Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa. Unfortunately for the Bluejays, it played out in similar fashion for the second straight season with Creighton controlling much of the action in the first half only for Iowa State to dominate the second.

After Creighton out-shot Iowa State, 9-7, in the first half and held possession for the majority of the action over the final 25 minutes of the opening half, redshirt junior midfielder Brooke Tasker broke the ice for the Cyclones in the 49th minute. Sophomore midfielder Marin Daniel sent a poorly cleared ball back into the box, allowing Tasker to get on the end of it and narrowly beat Creighton sophomore goalkeeper McKenzie Meola inside the right post to make it 1-0.

Sophomore forward Merin Mundt made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute on 35-yard free kick from the left sideline that curled through a crowd of players and over the end line. The second-year Cyclone from Burlington, Wisconsin produced the final tally when she found the head of sophomore defender Carly Langhurst on a set piece from the left end line in the 83rd minute, capping of a three-goal outburst that saw Iowa State earn a 14-3 edge in shots after halftime.

“We put ourselves under too much pressure through poor clearances, miscommunication, and giving the ball away cheaply,” Creighton head coach Ross Paule said. “We will watch tape, learn from it, and move forward to performing better and with more urgency for 90 minutes.”

Through the first 45 minutes Creighton appeared to be the fresher and sharper side. Iowa State rarely had numbers in the attacking third, and the Bluejays were able to connect three or four passes often in building an attack through the middle of the field.

“We showed for 25-30 minutes in the first half what we are capable of,” Paule said. “We need to play with that passion, desire, and confidence for the full game and we will be a good team.”

In the last two meetings the teams have gone into the locker room tied on the scoreboard. It was 1-1 in 2016 and 0-0 in 2017 with Creighton only a two-shot edge — 8-6 in 2016 and 9-7 in 2017 — in the first half of both. The final 45 minutes of each meeting was a much different story. The Cyclones outscored Creighton, 2-0, in the second half last season to earn a 3-1 win, then bested that performance in 2017. Shots were 14-2 in the second half in favor of Iowa State last season, and a nearly identical 14-3 in the second half on Friday night.

The Bluejays (0-1-0) had won three straight season-opening matches prior to Friday night’s setback, including both of their season debuts since Paule took over the program in 2015.

Despite the lopsided result, Paule has faith in his young group’s outlook for the rest of the fall.

“This game doesn’t change how I feel about this group,” the third-year head coach said. “I still believe in them, but we have a lot of work to do, and believe me, we will do it.”

Next up for Creighton is a trip to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 24.

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