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Hawks maintain balanced scoring

BY JACOB SHEYKO | OCTOBER 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa soccer team this season has suffered from a lack of scoring, but don’t expect the Black and Gold to panic.

Eleven games into the season and three games into conference play, what the Hawks lack in offensive firepower they make up for in a balanced scoring attack.

“We love those options that we’re giving ourselves to have people step up,” head coach Ron Rainey said. “Whether it be in the flow of play or whether it be on restarts.”

The Hawkeyes have found the back of the net 19 times this season — currently tied for ninth among Big Ten teams. Those 19 goals have come from eight Iowa players.

The team’s leaders in shots and points are forwards Ashley Catrell and Cloe Lacasse, which comes as no surprise given their position. What is surprising is the balance occurring with the other players.

Catrell and Lacasse have combined for 6 goals on 75 shots. That leaves 13 Hawkeye goals to be distributed among Iowa’s midfielders and defenders.

This is a change of pace from last season’s squad, which saw 27 of its 40 total goals come from only three players.

“I think it means that a lot of players on our team have confidence to step up and take a shot or penalty kick and just go for it,” goalkeeper Hannah Clark said.

The Hawkeyes have seemingly had a new player step up in each game. Only three times this season has an Iowa player scored in consecutive matches.

Some could see this as a negative, because the Hawks have yet to establish a scorer that they can rely on each game, but members of the team insist that this balance helps them offensively — the defense can’t key on any individual threat.

“I think it’s huge for us to have numerous people who score goals,” Catrell said. “Opponents aren’t just focusing and looking for one person up top because we have plenty of people who can score for us. I definitely think it’s a positive for our team.”

Several things are behind the Hawks’ balanced scoring. The first is the emergence of Melanie Pickert as a threat.

The Hawkeye defender has eclipsed her goal output of last year. Just past the midway mark this season, Pickert has connected for 3 goals and 2 assists — most of which have came from free kicks.

Pickert hasn’t been the only player to raise her production from last season. The Hawkeyes have four players who have either tied or surpassed their number of goals last season.

Whatever the reason may be, the balanced scoring attack is sure to help the Hawks during Big Ten play as the shots decrease and the teams are more familiar with each other than nonconference opponents.

“Whoever has the open shot can take it,” Catrell said. “We have confidence in all our players to score goals.”


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