Iowa prepares for match against Indiana


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The Iowa soccer team — fresh off a home win against Michigan State — will kick off its second Big Ten road trip of the season when it takes on Indiana on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.

The Hawkeyes enter the match with 10-3-0 record overall, 2-3-0 in the Big Ten. Indiana enters the match with a conference record of 3-2-0, 10-2-1 overall.

The matchup against Indiana

The Hoosiers enter the match tied for the best winning percentage among Big Ten teams, winning .808 percent of their games.

Not only are the Hoosiers strong overall, they are undefeated at home this season with wins over Big Ten opponents Minnesota, Northwestern, and Illinois on their home turf.

“Indiana looks very athletic on film. They are playing really fast, and they’re very organized defensively,” Iowa head coach Ron Rainey said. “Our attack will have to be simple but effective. We need to do the things we do well.”

The Hawkeyes defense will have its hands full Saturday — Indiana averages 19.62 shots per game, first among Big Ten teams. Indiana is also fourth among Big Ten teams with 28 goals scored this season. 

“Defensively, it will probably have to be our best game of the year as far as one-on-one defending and also defending serves and crosses because they do a very good job of getting balls in the box,” Rainey said.

One-goal games for the Hawks

Of the Hawkeyes 13 games so far this season, 10 of them have been decided by 1 goal, including the last eight matches. Of these 10 1-goal games, the Hawks have won seven of them.

This trend will likely continue throughout the remaining six Big Ten games for the Hawkeyes. The Hawks’ next six Big Ten opponents have a combined record of 52-16-9.

“If two teams play well, then we’ll be seeing a lot of 1-goal games,” Rainey said.

Hawks lack of scoring

This season the Hawks have attempted 16.46 shots per game. However, the high volume of shots has not led to a lot of goals for the black and gold.

“We need to get better at capitalizing,” forward Cloe Lacasse said. “We are getting a lot of opportunities; we just aren’t finishing. Whenever we get those really good chances, they have to be put in the back of the net.”

Iowa has scored 21 goals all year — ninth among Big Ten teams — and are averaging 1.62 goals per game. Of the Hawks’ five Big Ten games this season, they have yet to score more than once in any matches.

“We get the ball up and get it wide pretty well,” freshman forward Bri Toelle said.

Dead ball success

The leading force behind moments of restart this season is Melanie Pickert. The junior midfielder has fielded the majority of Iowa’s free kicks this season and has capitalized while doing so. The Hawks have also generated an inordinate amount of corner kicks this season. The Hawks have launched a Big Ten best 88 corners this season.

While the Hawks have yet to capitalize on these, these attempts help put pressure on the defense and keep the ball on the attacking side of the field.

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