Iowa upsets No. 7 Michigan 1-0


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If the Iowa soccer team was looking to make some noise in the postseason, then it has certainly accomplished that.

In the Big Ten Tournament’s opening round, the Hawkeyes defeated No. 7 Michigan, 1-0. The win goes down as the Hawkeyes’ first postseason win in program’s history. Before this game, Iowa was 0-6-1 in postseason games.

“Obviously, it is amazing. The group of girls we have here all realize what just happened today,” junior Cloe Lacasse. “It’s really a landmark in that it’s setting the tone for the Iowa program.”

The win moves Iowa’s record to 14-5-1. These 14 wins are also the most wins in a season in program’s history.

“To be honest it’s amazing,” freshman Bri Toelle said. “It’s an overwhelming feeling, and I’m just really proud of the team. We’ve been working hard, and we’ve just been staying together and staying positive and just asking the question, ‘why not us?’ Obviously, our results have been proving that.”

This Hawkeyes win followed almost to a “T” the blueprint that coach Ron Rainey prefers. That blueprint usually consists of a lot stellar defense and just enough timely offense.

This produces a lot of 1-goal games, and Wednesday was no different. The win is the Hawkeyes’ 15th game decided by 1 goal this season — they won 11 of them. Of these 1-goal games, nine of them occurred in Big Ten play.

Iowa’s lone goal of the match came in the 62nd minute on a Bri Toelle goal on her own rebound. The goal was Toelle’s fourth of the season.

“Katie dribbled the ball down the center of the field, and I just leaked out to get wide on the right side,” Toelle said. “She chested the ball to me, and the first time I shot it, the goalie saved it. Then I just got the rebound off her hands and hit it into the back of the net.”

From then on, it was up to the defense to keep Michigan out of the net, and Iowa goalkeeper Hannah Clark was instrumental in this. Clark has played every minute for the Hawkeyes this season, and Wednesday was no different. She finished the game with 3 saves.

The Hawkeyes were outshot by Michigan 16 to 10. But despite the high volume of shots, not a lot of the Wolverines shots were on target. They finished the match with only 3 shots on goal.

The Hawkeyes’ shutout was their second in a row; they shut out Purdue, 2-0, on Nov. 2.

“I thought we defended very well in the first half and defended corners very well,” Rainey said. “They has a few on us and put us under pressure, so it was great to get that shutout.”

Iowa advances to the semifinals of the tournament, and it will play three-seeded Penn State. Earlier in the season, Iowa defeated the Nittany Lions on their home field, 3-2. The game will be played Friday.

“I’m really excited for the team and for the players,” Rainey said. “I really think that they want to do more and so we just want to give it our best shot when we play this Friday.”

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