No. 15 Hawkeyes dominate Missouri State


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At Grant Field on Monday afternoon, a marketing representative from the Iowa Athletics Department threw out pink T-shirts to fans in the stands for every Hawkeye penalty corner and goal to raise awareness about breast cancer. At halftime, the marketing representative had to find more shirts to throw to the crowd.

As indicated by the Athletics Department’s busy afternoon, the Hawkeye offense dominated the afternoon. However, the suffocating Iowa defense held Missouri State to only three shots.

Goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora got her first start of the year for Iowa (6-5, 0-2) because of a hamstring injury to starter Kelsey Boyce. Head coach Tracey Griesbaum said the injury is not serious.

The freshman didn’t have to do much in her first win of the season, a 7-1 thrashing of Missouri State (2-9), thanks to her defense.

“I think the defense played really well; we did a really good job transferring out, especially transferring to offense,” the Marlton, N.J., resident said. “[The defense] came up big for me.”

Offensively, the Hawkeyes wasted no time getting on the board in the match, getting an early goal from senior Marike Stribos just 71 seconds into the game. Niki Schultheis inserted the ball on the team’s first penalty corner, and Stribos chipped it in after the initial shot bounced off the Missouri State goalkeeper.

A few moments later, Kelsey Mitchell put in another rebound to give her team a quick 2-0 lead over the Bears. After keeping possession of the ball for the vast majority of the first half, Iowa finally broke through for its third goal thanks to Aubrey Coleman. The senior rushed down the middle of the field and put a shot straight past the Bears goalkeeper.

“We shared the ball so much more than we have the last two games and really worked together,” midfielder Dani Hemeon said.

Missouri State managed to get on the board before the break, getting a goal from Holly Scherer on a penalty corner. The sophomore dribbled around a Hawkeye defender and put the ball past Pecora’s short side to cut the lead to 2 goals heading into halftime.

After the break, Griesbaum’s squad came out with a flurry of goals, scoring 3 in the first seven and a half minutes of the period. The first came after an aggressive rush from Natalie Cafone, who dished the ball off to Coleman, and she put it home to open the second half’s scoring.

In the ensuing moments, Hemeon made a strong defensive play just at the top of the Iowa circle, and drew a penalty for a penalty corner. Schultheis passed the ball in, and after a scramble in front of the net, the ball rolled directly to the net’s right side, and Schultheis was there to slam it home.

The Hawkeye’s final 2 goals both came from Hemeon, the first assisted by Cafone, and the second was a laser beam from the top of the circle that deflected up high for the seventh Hawkeye goal.

Griesbaum was pleased with her team’s performance after the match, saying the win should build confidence heading into the remaining schedule.

“To get points on the board is always confidence building for athletes, I think,” the 14-year head coach said. “We had people joining really well; we shared the ball and made things look a little bit easier than what we’ve been doing lately.”

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