Iowa soccer beats Western Illinois in blowout

BY BEN WOLFSON | AUGUST 29, 2011 7:20 AM

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Prior to Iowa’s game against Western Illinois on Aug. 26, coach Ron Rainey described the matchup as an “early season test” for his squad.

Rainey was able to get the best effort from his Hawkeyes, and they controlled possession for much of the first half of a 6-1 win.

The Leathernecks barely had the ball in Iowa’s half for the first 45 minutes, and it showed on the scoreboard as Iowa (3-0-0) managed four goals in that time.

Sophomore Leah DeMoss scored her first two goals of the season in the third and 13th minutes, and she nearly had a third score later.

“We’re coming off a bad weekend [versus Southeast Missouri State on Aug. 21], and Coach came up to us today and said, ‘Let’s prove them wrong,’ ” DeMoss said. “I had that fire and energy in me and wanted to prove to [the Leathernecks] that we’re better than them.”

Senior Morgan Showalter said the quick start was a key to success for Iowa.

“We just came out … wanting to prove we’re playing at a higher level now than we have been,” she said. “It didn’t take us long to get into a rhythm, and we put them away a little faster than we anticipated.”

Rainey had changed the practice schedule leading up to the game with Western Illinois (1-1-0) so that his practices were shorter but had a more intense and focused effort.

Up four goals at halftime, Showalter said the team stressed not allowing a score and maintaining its focus in the second half — something Iowa had struggled with in its previous games.

After the Leathernecks scored in the 48th minute, Iowa’s defense regrouped and didn’t allow another score.

“To us on the back line, it was kind of upsetting that we let one in like that,” Showalter said. “I think we responded well, played a little more like we did in the first half, and put it away from there.”

With a comfortable lead against Western Illinois, Rainey didn’t hesitate to get his bench players some playing time.

Sophomore Katie Nasenbenny came on and had an immediate effect, scoring her third goal of the season, tying her with freshman Cloe Lacasse for the team lead.

Rainey also was able to get his two young goalkeepers playing time after taking out senior Emily Moran after the first half.

Freshmen Caitlin Schnorbach and Kiley Beck split time in goal during the second half.

The blowout victory was encouraging to the team as it prepares to travel to Washington, D.C., to play George Washington on Friday and American University on Sept. 4.

“I like how the team played; we were able to get a lot of people minutes,” Rainey said. “We keep talking about [scoring] goals that will score against anybody we play against, and those [tonight] were definitely like that.

“We challenged [the Hawkeyes] to be more focused than they were last Sunday, and I think they responded well to that.”

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