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Iowa soccer faces UNI in final non-conference match

BY BEN WOLFSON | SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Iowa soccer team won’t overlook its final nonconference opponent in tonight’s matchup with Northern Iowa.

The Panthers, led by head coach James Price, have a 3-4-1 record heading into tonight’s game.

Northern Iowa has allowed more goals (12) than it has scored this season (eight), which bodes well for the Hawkeyes. Iowa’s offense has been potent in nonconference play, and the squad has benefited — as shown by the first 7-0-0 record in school history. The Hawkeyes have scored 27 goals on the year, while conceding just five.

Iowa will likely be favored, but head coach Ron Rainey said that doesn’t matter.

“We have to play the team in front of us,” he said. “Northern Iowa wants nothing more than to beat Iowa; it would be a huge win for [the Panthers] as they get ready for their conference. We have to approach this game professionally.

“We’ll look for that feeling again after the game and say, ‘Hey we really showed as well as we could do,’ and then we see what the score is and worry about the result after 90 minutes.”

Players said they are eager to face another opponent from the state of Iowa less than a week after defeating Iowa State, 4-1, on Sept. 9.

So far in his career, Rainey is 13-0-1 against Drake, Iowa State, and UNI. His teams have outscored the three other Iowa schools, 36-3.

“We have a win against Iowa State, but we want to top it off and have that second win against UNI,” senior defender Morgan Showalter said. “The way we’ve come out in these games — even though the scores have been what they are — we’ve still proven we can come out and play hard each and every game, whether the teams are great or not.”

The way the team has performed in nonconference games so far has been encouraging, despite lopsided scores for the Hawkeyes.

“We’re excited with our wins, but we always come off the field saying we have some things to work on,” senior goalkeeper Emily Moran said. “If we don’t improve these things, then we will get beat.”

Tonight’s matchup will be the third game in five days for Iowa, but the Hawkeyes insisted they will be ready to come out hard against the Panthers.

The Hawkeyes prepare for a midweek game with intense practice sessions designed to put pressure on each other and to address weaknesses that arise during games.

“Every team we play in the state is a rival for us, so it’s personal in that aspect,” junior midfielder Dana Dalrymple said. “[The Panthers are] going to come out, and they’re going to want to win. We have to be prepared to play a physical game and match their intensity.”


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