Injuries and a slow start dooms Hawks


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Throughout the first half of this season, injuries to several of Iowa’s players have caused issues for the team. That proved especially costly in Thursday’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Maryland.

Sophomore defender Corey Burns was scratched from the starting lineup because of an injury suffered just minutes before the game. To add to the team’s woes, sophomore Natalie Krygier was also unable to start for the Hawkeyes because of an undisclosed injury.

This caused several changes to lineup, including moving senior Melanie Pickert up to the midfield.

“We had to quickly change formations, and we figured with that with having to pull different people, that was the best spot for her,” sophomore Bri Toelle said. “She’s one of our better players when it comes to heading the balls in.”

Toelle, a forward, was in among those changes, and while she played the same position as normal, the Hawkeyes seemed a little clunky at times because they had to develop chemistry with each other on the fly.

The injuries and position changes, along with an early goal from Maryland, sank the Hawkeyes, hopes of continuing their undefeated conference record.

“In the first half, I liked how we came out, but I thought that we gave them a lot of confidence, we let them play and were not tight enough defensively,” head coach Dave DiIanni said. “The goal is a great example — we were not tight enough on [Maryland defender Shade Pratt] for the 10 to 15 minutes.
“It cost us, and we had to chase the game after that.”

The goal that DiIanni referred to happened just 16 minutes into the game. The Terrapins took advantage of senior defender Pickert slipping near the goal to get into a one-on-one situation with junior goalkeeper Hannah Clark.

The ball was sent high over Clark’s head, and she was not able to make a save.

After that, Iowa could not capitalize on several golden opportunities throughout the game to score. In fact, the Hawkeyes had a 6-2 advantage in shots in the second half.

“We know that we sometimes have an issues coming out strong in the first or second half, so at halftime, we talked about changing the tone of the game,” junior Brooke Backes said. “We needed to keep the ball and make it an Iowa game and not a Maryland game.

“We were actually really pleased with our second half.”

Despite Iowa controlling much of time after the intermission, it was still not able to secure a win over a pesky Maryland team that took the momentum from the Hawkeyes every time it seemed to swing toward the home team.

Frustration was certainly mounting for Cloe Lacasse. The senior had several open chances to score but sent the ball flying toward the left side of the goal on at least two occasions.

“I think what you saw is what has happened in every game this year, we catch people flat-footed in, she gets in, and sometimes she scores and sometimes she doesn’t,” DiIanni said. “Today, in the Big Ten those margins for error are very small.

“She’ll be the first one to tell you that we need to put those balls in the back of the goal.”

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

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