Iowa's Rainey not focused on career win no. 150

BY TOM CLOS | SEPTEMBER 07, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa women’s soccer head coach Ron Rainey is on the verge of a personal milestone this weekend.
Just don’t tell him that.

The most decorated coach in program history is one victory away from 150 wins in his career, as well his 60th since taking over the Hawkeyes in 2006. Rainey, however, hasn’t thought about those feats at all. Instead, the Iowa skipper felt that the attention should be on the 2012 Hawkeyes and not nuggets of his past or future.

“We’re not worried about that right now, we’re worried about Army,” Rainey said. “That’s got to be our sole focus this week.”

Rainey has an overall head coaching record of 149-119-34 in 14 seasons as the head coach at Ball State and Iowa. He’s 59-54-13 in seven seasons in Iowa City and guided the Black and Gold to their best record in school history in 2011.

Iowa’s humble leader will get his first shot at achieving the landmark win when the Hawkeyes (6-0) head to the Black Knight Classic to take on Army in West Point, N.Y., today.

The Black Knights (3-3) are coming off of a 1-0 upset victory over Seton Hall on Sept. 3. Rainey noted that parts of the Hawkeyes’ game need fine-tuning and said opponents are beginning to hone in on their weaknesses.

“We need to work on our team shape from back to front when there’s a transition to the game,” Rainey said. “Nowadays, teams can get more information on us scout-wise, so Army is going to key in on that and be ready for us.”

Freshman goalkeeper Hannah Clark agreed that her crew needed to refine certain aspects of its play and said that following Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Valparaiso, several players weren’t happy with their effort.

“A lot of us are upset about the [Valparaiso] game; we could have worked harder,” Clark said. “In practice, we’re going to work harder and bring it all out in the games in New York.”

Iowa will follow up Friday’s game with a contest against Long Island-Brooklyn in West Point on Sept. 9. The Blackbirds (1-3) have scored one goal in 2012 and did so in their lone victory of the season, 1-0, over Maryland-Baltimore County on Sept. 2.

Sophomore defenseman Melanie Pickert hasn’t lost a nonconference contest since arriving at Iowa in 2011. The Canton, Mich., native said that to keep an untarnished record alive this weekend, the Hawkeyes must improve on the days in between each match.

“We have to have a good intensity in practice, that’s where it all starts,” Pickert said. “When you practice well, it’s going to start showing up in games and we need to be better in that area.”

Iowa is about to embark on a four-game road trip, including a stretch of three games in less than a week. Rainey iterated that he was more worried about having his team prepared for the stiff challenges ahead rather than any personal measures of success he may achieve.

“We have a stretch of three games in six days coming up, and that’s something we have to be ready for,” he said. “I really don’t keep track of things like [number of wins].”

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