Hawks burn Flames 4-0


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The Iowa soccer team struck first and didn’t look back as it scored four times against Illinois-Chicago on the way to its second-straight shutout and a 2-0 record for the season.

Despite that, head coach Dave DiIanni was fairly harsh on the team after the game.

“You never want to complain about getting a win, but today was certainly not our best performance as a team or by individuals,” he said. “We looked tired physically and that led us to lack the emotion, fitness, and tactical urgency to play better today as a group.”

While the Hawks defense has been solid through its first two matches, the offense has some question marks after a double overtime 1-0 victory over Northern Iowa on Aug. 22.

Granted, the game against the Panthers was not nearly as close as the score might seem (Iowa had a 10-1 advantage in shots on goal), and it might have a bit to do with how each team defended the Hawkeyes.

“Northern Iowa sat in for the majority of the game, which doesn’t give you as much space to play in,” DiIanni said. “Today, UIC played a higher line with its defenders, and that allowed us better opportunities at goal.”

Senior Cloe Lacasse certainly took advantage of the change and gave the team an excellent look against the Flames. The forward struck twice (8:48, 63:56) and had two other shots on goal as well to lead the Hawks in both categories.

The other two Hawkeye goals were scored by sophomore Bri Toelle (8:17) and senior captain Melanie Pickert (62:00). Freshman Aubree Larson assisted on both of their goals.

Senior keeper Kiley Beck had 2 saves for the Hawks and picked up her second career win in the box.

“Kiley has worked very hard the first three weeks of year to be consistent and fight for minutes,” DiIanni said. “She has managed the games and limited any mistakes these past two games.”

In a move that may be surprising to some, DiIanni noted that she was in a fight for minutes with last year’s starting keeper, junior Hannah Clark. The battle between those two will be something worth watching as the nonconference slate chugs along.

While it is tough to take too much away from these first couple games besides position and minute battles, these are the type of wins that build team confidence and continuity — both of which are sorely need after the abrupt departure of former head coach Ron Rainey, who took a job with Dartmouth after last season.

There will be growing pains this season, but DiIanni believes that with some consistency, success will soon follow.

“The more we can be consistent in our approach to the game off the field, both mentally and physically, the more we will continue to improve,” DiIanni said. “It’s a great group of girls who love to play for one another.”

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