Mid-season Iowa soccer report card


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With nine games in the book, the Iowa soccer team stands at an impressive 3-0 in conference play (8-1 overall) and sits all alone at the top of the Big Ten standings.

Under first-year head coach Dave DiIanni, the Hawkeyes are ranked No. 13 in the country by Soccer America, and they eye making the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

Offense: C+

Seemingly every game, the Hawkeyes score a goal early and proceed to play defense the rest of the game in an attempt to preserve the lead.

It’s a strategy that has worked just fine and led the Hawkeyes to 8 wins, but in its lone loss (2-1 to Iowa State on Sept. 5), Iowa scored early, but faded late and allowed 2 goals. Iowa was not able to respond after being scored on, which is worrisome.

The Hawkeyes average just over 1 goal per game in conference play, and that needs to go up if they want to have a realistic shot at a Big Ten title.

Another thing working against the Hawkeyes is that senior star forward Cloe Lacasse is drawing double and triple teams every time she so much as looks at the ball. She scored seven times in her first six games but has not had registered a goal in Big Ten play.

The Hawks are not quite in dire straits offensively, but they do need to improve in order to build on an encouraging first half of the season.

Defense: A

Iowa is a devilishly good defensive team and that might actually be an understatement. The Hawks have given up just 4 goals in nine games and none so far in three league contests.

In fact, the Hawkeyes shut out the second-highest scoring team in the Big Ten (Illinois) and only allowed 3 shots on goal in that game.

It wouldn’t exactly be a stretch to call Iowa the best defense in the conference right now. The team is playing at high level, and a lot of that has to do with senior defenders Melanie Pickert and Caitlin Brown along with junior goalkeeper Hannah Clark.

All three have a high level of chemistry with one another and play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses as only tenured teammates can.

Penalties and Corners: B-

For starters, the Hawkeyes are near the bottom of the Big Ten in corner kicks taken. They have obviously still been successful in the win column, but it is telling of how little Iowa attacks the opponent’s goal.

They have, however, made good use of the kicks they have taken and even bent in an unassisted corner that was the eventual winner against Northwestern on Sept. 14.

As far as penalties go, Iowa is toward the top of the conference in fouls and off-sides calls. They have had several goals waved off this season simply due to being off-side and will need to clean that aspect of their game up in the coming weeks.

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

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