Short-rested Hawkeyes to take on ranked Badgers


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By the time the Hawkeyes kick off with No. 12 Wisconsin this evening, 78 hours will have passed since the Iowa soccer team’s 4-2 loss to Michigan on Sunday.

It will be the Hawkeyes’ third game in seven days, and despite the short rest, there is a silver lining to the quirky three games in-a-row schedule. The Hawkeyes will not have another game for nine days, and that will allow them to put something extra into the game against Wisconsin.

“We’re just looking at it in the way that it’s our only game until [Oct. 17], so we can really give everything in order to get the result we want,” senior Emily Scott said. “Everyone’s legs are definitely feeling midseason right now, so a weekend off is going to be amazing for our bodies.”

With that in mind, the buzz around the team is that it will be as good of a chance as any to take down one of the better teams in the conference.

“We’re definitely refocused after the Michigan game — we came into practice today and played really well, so I think we’re ready for Wisconsin,” junior Hannah Clark said. “We’re expecting them to come out and play hard; they’re a good team and will bring a lot to the table.”

Clark, who has 16 shutouts in her career, became Iowa’s all-time leader in shutouts against Michigan State on Oct. 2.

She will have to be at the top of her game against Wisconsin, which has 28 goals on the season and is one of the top offenses in the country.

“Our defense saves us in almost every game — I think teams that don’t have a strong defense struggle, but it’s something we’ve always been strong with,” Scott said. “As long as they keep that up, our offense will continue to get confidence from how strong our defense plays.”

The bottom line for this game is that Iowa’s offense will also have to play well. As Scott mentioned, the defense has been outstanding all year, but it will take a lot of offensive help to win the game.

It would not be a stretch to say that Iowa will need to score at least two — if not three — goals to win the game.

“Honestly I think it’s going to be our best competition so far, so I think we have to go out there and play for 90 minutes,” sophomore Bri Toelle said. “We need to be able to possess the ball in the midfield and control them and just be able to distribute the ball.”

For Iowa, being able to control the ball and score first will be huge in a potential upset bid.
In fact, the Hawks are 9-2 this season when they score first in a game and, except for the game against Michigan, have played very well with a lead.

“We think we play better with a lead and it does a lot for us momentum- and confidence-wise, so that’s one of our goals going into every game,” Scott said. “So far, we’ve had success with that, and honestly, we’re really excited for this game because we know how big it is for us.”

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

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