Iowa escapes Butler 3-2


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When senior Melanie Pickert put Iowa up 3-1 in the 68th minute, fans started to leave, assuming that the rest of the match would consist of the Hawks playing glorified keep-away in an effort to chew the rest of clock and secure a win.

A very pesky Butler team had other ideas.

With barely four minutes to play, the Bulldogs sent a rocket past the outstretched arms of junior keeper Hannah Clark and suddenly, they were down by just a goal.

Following a bad pass, Butler regained possession and sent a shot at the goal. Clark made the save, but seconds later the Bulldogs were awarded a penalty kick.

With less than 30 seconds on the clock, they had a chance to tie the game.

Luckily for Iowa, the balls trajectory was right into the hands of Clark, and she safely threw the ball down the pitch.

A sigh of relief was had by the home fans in attendance, and the Hawks escaped with a 3-2 victory and improved to 4-0 on the season.

Despite the win, head coach Dave DiIanni recognized that this was a close call against a team that very nearly beat a good Nebraska squad on Aug. 29.

“We did not come out with the necessary focus or energy to even start the game — both teams looked like they didn’t want to be on the field,” DiIanni said. “As soon as we didn’t put away a couple shots in the second half and made some subs, it opened it up a little bit.”

The beginning on the game, which he refers to, saw senior Cloe Lacasse scored goal No. 36 in her career and gave Iowa a 1-0 lead heading into the break, but little else in the way of action.

In fact, the team looked rather lackluster, and the athletes certainly took notice.

“We’re not necessarily content with what happened today; obviously, we got the result that we wanted,” Lacasse said. “There are a lot of things that we need to clean up so teams like this can’t come back on us.”

Her goal, which came in the 14th minute and was set up nicely by sophomore Bri Toelle, came during a bit of a scramble around the keeper.

In the midst of the madness, Toelle knew exactly which player she was looking to pass to.

“We’ve been playing together for over a year now, so we just kind of feel each other out, and she passed me the ball, and I knew that if I touched it back to her kick, she’d slot it in,” Toelle said. “It was just a trust thing, and honestly, a lot of that comes from from the field chemistry and getting to know your teammates.”

Speaking of teammates that people should get to know, freshman Aubree Larson scored her second goal in as many games early in the second half for Iowa’s other goal of the day.

Lacasse assisted on the play — her 21st all time — which moved her into second-place in school history.

While certainly not a replication of the other dominating performances they have had during their nonconference slate, the Hawkeyes put another mark in the win column.

“You can always learn by winning games; you don’t have to lose to learn what you need to get better,” DiIanni said. “The kids know, they know they should have played better — Butler’s a good team, a top-100 RPI team, so that’s a good win.

“Wins are good, but we need to be better, more consistent, and I think that’s the difficult thing.”

Follow @JordyHansen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa soccer team.

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