Hawkeye soccer undefeated despite shaky second period

BY TOM CLOS | AUGUST 20, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa women’s soccer team fought through a lack of focus and inconsistent play as it coasted to a 3-0 victory over the North Dakota at the Iowa Soccer Complex on Sunday.

The Black and Gold overwhelmed the visitors on a day when the ball rarely traveled into the Iowa end of the field.  The team outshot North Dakota 21-5.

Sophomore forward Cloe Lacasse continued her hot start to the season, knocking home a long feed from sophomore defenseman Melanie Pickert in the 21st minute of the first half to put the Hawkeyes (2-0) ahead 1-0. The goal was Lacasse’s third of the season, and the sophomore is showing no initial signs of slumping following her breakout freshman campaign.

“We got to see everyone play and show what they can bring to the table so the weekend was pretty good,” Lacasse said. “Three goals was good, but we need to capitalize more on our chances and put more balls in the net.”

The victory completed an undefeated weekend for Iowa; the Hawkeyes defeated Eastern Illinois, 5-0, on Aug. 17.

Iowa head coach Ron Rainey was glad to pick up another win, but he said he saw several problems his team must straighten out.

“We’re happy with the result, but we think some processes could have been a little bit better,” he said. “Especially in the second half, technical things such as playing passes cleanly would have helped create more chances.”

The Hawkeyes became complacent at times during the latter stages of the contest, so much so that it caused Rainey to engage in a tirade at his players.

“There were two or three or four or five passes in the second half where we were creating 50-50 challenges instead of playing the ball right to each other so we could possess it,” he said. “We don’t want to get lazy where we don’t allow our team to have possession or set another teammate up to be tackled.”

Freshman forward Brooke Backes and sophomore Ashley Catrell capped off the scoring for the Hawkeyes.

Backes recorded her first career goal, and fellow freshman Mackenzie Guindon notched her first career point with an assist.

“Mackenzie and I are pretty good friends off the field, so it was fun for us,” Backes said. “We work on that play all the time, and it gave me the first goal of my Iowa career.”

Rainey was excited to see a couple of rookies get on the score sheet, and he said he was impressed by the teamwork that led to the tally.

“That was a good little combination, and those two executed from a decent angle there,” he said. “It was nice to see such a good finish on the play.”

Goalkeepers freshman Hannah Clark and sophomore Kiley Beck combined for the shutout with Clark getting the win to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Finishing the weekend unblemished goes down on paper as a success and Rainey agreed, but he noted that he wished there was a cleaner finish to the back-to-back triumphs.

“I think we would have all been happy if we were a little better in the second half, because we allowed ourselves to be so sloppy,“ he said. “Overall, it was a decent weekend, but we can be better.”

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