Hawkeye soccer chokes in second half


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The Oct. 8 Iowa soccer game was a tale of two different halves for the Hawkeyes, who lost to Minnesota, 2-1.

Iowa (10-2-2, 2-2-2 Big Ten) overmatched Minnesota (5-7-2, 2-2-2) in the first half, using precise passing and a stout defensive effort to hold the Gophers scoreless through the first 45 minutes of play.

The Hawkeyes captured a 1-0 lead going into halftime with the help of a penalty shot in the 35th minute. Senior Morgan Showalter dribbled from midfield into the Minnesota box before she was tripped up for the foul.

"I saw Leah [DeMoss] making a run — she made room for people, and Cloé [Lacasse] ran across, ready for a pass," Showalter said. "If I could've gotten to the endline and crossed it back, it would've worked — but [the defender] got me a little sooner than that."

Showalter placed the ball high in the center of the net for the goal.

That was the last time Iowa rejoiced on the soccer field — the second half was an entirely different story.

"We just didn't come out exactly like we wanted to," Showalter said. "We came out with words, saying we wanted to [compete with Minnesota], and it just didn't come out. We talked and didn't do."
Iowa's defense continued to play well against the Gopher's offensive attack, contesting each of Minnesota's 14 shots in the game. But lack of communication on the field led to miscues and mistakes for the Hawkeyes early in the second half.

"We have to get better at playing with the lead," head coach Ron Rainey said. "I don't think we sat back, but in the second half, we allowed them to attack us. Then we made a couple of crucial errors that led to chances for them.

"We got the one-goal lead, and instead of continuing to attack and playing with confidence, I feel like we got concerned about defending it."

One mistake Rainey pointed out proved extremely costly in the 50th minute of the game. Poor passing by the Iowa defense resulted in a turnover, when Minnesota freshman Taylor Uhl — the Gopher's leading scorer this season — stole the ball and took it right down the field to tie the game.

Another error gave the Gophers the lead In the 68th minute. Minnesota freshman Becca Roberts stole another poorly passed ball from the Hawkeye defense, and some fancy footwork aided her journey down the field to net the go-ahead goal.

Iowa had a chance to punch in the game-tying goal in the 78th minute, when Minnesota goalie Cat Parkhill came out of the goal to attack the ball. Lacasse chipped the ball over Parkhill and watched the ball roll toward the net, but Gopher junior Marissa Price chased it down and kicked it away from danger just before the ball crossed the goal line.

"We need to generate more chances if we want to score that second goal," Rainey said.

Iowa goalkeeper Emily Moran was saddled with only her second loss of the season, but she recorded five saves to push her season total to 59.

She admitted the Oct. 8 performance wasn't the team's best.

"We just have to try to defend the goal a little more," she said. "We just have to keep working as a team and pushing through."

Despite the mistakes, Moran remained optimistic the team will learn from the loss and continue to move forward.

"We'll work on [passing] in practice," she said. "We can make those passes, and we know that. We're going to be fine."

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