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Hawkeye soccer keeps undefeated streak alive

BY BEN WOLFSON | SEPTEMBER 26, 2011 7:20 AM

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The turnaround for the 2011 Iowa women's soccer team appears to be continuing as the squad remained undefeated in its first conference road trip this weekend.

Iowa now has the best overall record in the Big Ten (9-0-2, 1-0-2) after finishing last in the conference in 2010.

The Hawkeyes beat Indiana, 1-0, on Sept. 23 behind a goal from Katie Nasenbenny; the sophomore struck against the Hoosiers in the 42nd minute of play for the only score of the game.

Nasenbenny and the Black and Gold suffered a scary moment against Purdue on Sunday, however. In the second half, she tangled up with a Boilermaker player and fell awkwardly to the ground, injuring her knee in the process.

Play was halted as Nasenbenny remained down in apparent pain; she had to be helped off the field. She returned to the sidelines using crutches, and head coach Ron Rainey said Nasenbenny will have an MRI on her knee upon returning to Iowa City.

The sophomore from La Grange, Ill., only played in one game her freshman season after tearing her ACL in practice last year.

Nasenbenny had five goals before her injury, including two game-winners.

"[Whoever] steps in for her is going to have to fill some pretty big shoes," senior defender Morgan Showalter said. "[Nasenbenny] comes off the bench and not only wins balls in the air, but she sees how the game is played from the bench and comes in to make a huge difference.

"Whoever comes in to help needs to understand that she needs to play just like she did."

Nasenbenny's injury put a damper on the game against Purdue, when the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers battled for 110 minutes and ended the game with a 1-1 draw.

"I am really proud of the effort level and intensity," Rainey said. "To give up only one goal on the road on a Big Ten weekend in 200 minutes of play is exciting."

Boilermaker freshman Alex Hairston struck first in the 11th minute for Purdue, scoring her fifth goal of the season.

Iowa battled back in the 23rd minute when freshman CloƩ Lacasse directed a cross to sophomore Leah DeMoss in the box.

DeMoss was able to get a shot on target for Iowa, and put enough behind the ball to have it squib past Purdue goalkeeper Clara Kridler's hand and into the back of the net.

Iowa's midfield controlled the tempo of the game, with sophomore Alex Melin and junior Dana Dalrymple winning possession on tackles and pushing the ball against the Purdue defense.

"Today in the midfield, we talked about going up there to attack and put teams in uncomfortable positions," senior defender Rachel Blakesley said. The Hawkeyes were unable to get a second goal, despite out-shooting Purdue, 31-9.

"There was a level of disappointment today because of the number of shots we had," Rainey said. "We weren't able to figure out how to get a second goal, but I don't think that's a bad disappointment to have. It will allow us to redouble our efforts to get better at that next week."


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