Iowa falls in double overtime to Badgers


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WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — Sometimes fate is a cruel mistress. Iowa has suffered numerous bouts of injury and bad luck over the season.

In its 1-0 double-overtime Big Ten championship loss to Wisconsin on Sunday, the Hawkeyes dealt with both as the Badgers netted a corner kick in the 104th minute.

“It’s tough to lose that way, but it’s really how we scored that way in the semifinals — Cloe floats a ball off the line, and it happens to just find that right way,” Hawkeye coach Dave DiIanni said. “I’m just really proud of them, and my only disappointment is that we wanted to spend one more week together.”

Wisconsin’s goal was the lone score in a game that was almost entirely defensive game that featured junior goalkeeper Hannah Clark once again shining for Iowa. She repeatedly fended off shots from a trigger-happy Wisconsin team that racked up 23 shots with 8 on goal in the first half.

She held Wisconsin scoreless until the end of the first overtime, but an apparent arm injury forced her out and senior Kiley Beck in.

Beck let a rebound ball after a corner slip by her, and the game ended as the ball made its way into the back of net.

“We knew we had to sacrifice some things just because all the injuries and everything,” senior Cloe Lacasse said. “We pushed and concentrated on the middle and the outside; and they pushed us on the outside, you have to give and take.”

However, the Hawks were not able to “take” as much as they wanted, and the Badgers limited Iowa to just six shots in the game and shut down Iowa’s premier offensive threats — senior Cloe Lacasse and sophomore Bri Toelle for long stretches of the first period.

It was obvious that the Hawkeyes were missing senior first-team All-Big Ten selection Melanie Pickert, a solid defender who also has a knack for scoring when the team needs it most.

“With Mel out, we took a big hit on our offense with Emily Scott having to slip back to [Pickert’s] position and what a job she did,” DiIanni said. “She hadn’t played defender this year at all, but Wisconsin is the best attacking team in the conference, and you saw that today.”

With Scott and several other players in different positions, Iowa played with the bits and pieces that it had left. Even worse, the luck the Hawkeyes enjoyed through the first two rounds of the tournament ran out.

Iowa still has a slim chance to grab a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but no one is counting on it as something ensured.

“The heart of these girls is phenomenal and I think all of them — they just wanted to play, and they want to win,” assistant coach Erica Demers said. “We had a great run, and I’m so proud of them, and I thought they battled back tough against them.”

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