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Soccer loses heartbreaker

BY ROBBIE LEHMAN | OCTOBER 05, 2009 7:20 AM

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In its one and only Big Ten Network-televised match, the Iowa soccer team made sure to give fans and viewers their money’s worth.

However, the Hawkeyes (8-4, 0-2) couldn’t get a win, falling to Wisconsin (6-5-2, 2-1-1), 1-0, in the second period of overtime at the Iowa Soccer Complex.

“We are really down, very disappointed,” midfielder Alyscha Mottershead said. “We put ourselves out there. After two overtimes, you definitely don’t want to lose.”

Badger midfielder Leigh Williams rocketed a shot on goal from 30 yards away. Iowa goalkeeper Emily Moran made the save, but she pushed the ball into the crossbar, where Wisconsin’s Laurie Nosbusch waited for the rebound and pushed in the game-winning goal in the 105th minute, leaving the Hawkeyes crushed.

“I just misread the ball and didn’t get my hands up to catch it, so it was my fault,” said Moran, who made seven saves during the match. “I thought it was going higher, so I was going to pop it, but it stayed low, and I should’ve just caught it.”

A stalemate for more than 100 minutes, the contest was a typical Big Ten showdown with players on both teams dishing out contact. Several Hawkeyes and Badgers were bumped to the turf and needed a minute to collect themselves.

Iowa was already banged up entering the match with starting defender Rachel Blakesley out with a leg injury.

“[The coaches] talked to them about finding a way to battle and overcome some obstacles,” assistant coach Shane Meredith said. “We had some obstacles with Blakesley out and then some people getting nicked in the game. But you have to overcome that stuff, and you have to do the small things right, or you’re not going to win too many games in this conference, which is extremely competitive.”

The Badgers were able to slow down one of the Big Ten’s most potent offenses. The Hawkeyes led the league in scoring heading into the weekend with 24 goals. Wisconsin outshot Iowa 15-5.

“Our team, I thought, played pretty hard defensively for 105 minutes,” Iowa head coach Ron Rainey said. “We didn’t create enough scoring chances against a good opponent like that to warrant a goal.”

Iowa didn’t control the ball as well as it would have liked. With so many stoppages because of 33 combined fouls (17 for Wisconsin, 16 for Iowa), the Hawkeyes couldn’t maintain any rhythm in the match.

The outcome came as the result of a simple formula, Moran said.

“I thought we played pretty well,” she said. “They just got more shots off.”

All four Hawkeye losses this year have come by one goal. Iowa experienced a similar situation when then-No. 24 Missouri scored a game-winning goal with 46 seconds remaining in the opener.

Rainey was frustrated with his team’s second Big Ten loss by the score of 1-0.

“Some of these games will go the way we want them to go,” he said. “We don’t want to be in close games, or 1-0 games, or be on the losing side of it.”

The schedule doesn’t bode well for the Hawkeyes, who are tied for last place in the conference. Iowa will hit the road for matches against Ohio State and Penn State this weekend.

Mottershead said the entire team was crushed, but the defeat will motivate the team to play better in the future.

“We were working for it, but I guess that means we are going to have to work harder in practice and be more determined for the next couple games,” she said.


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