Sept. 24, 2009
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 season)
Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the Sept. 21 edition of the Official Sports Report (OSR) for the University of Iowa. OSR is a daily e-newsletter exclusively about the Iowa Hawkeyes. Click HERE to learn more.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was an uneventful weekend for University of Iowa soccer player Emily Moran. When you’re a goalkeeper, being lonely around the net is a good thing.
Moran played 125-minutes, 23-seconds against Iowa State (Friday) and Northern Iowa (Sunday) and collected three saves without allowing a goal. The Hawkeyes, off to a school-record 7-2 start, won both matches by shutout — 2-0 against the Cyclones and 3-0 against the Panthers.
“The defenders are picking up a lot of it,” said Moran, who sports a 0.71 goals against average (GAA) after nine matches. “The shots that I do get are pretty easy because they’re showing the angles I need.”
Iowa has won its last three matches by shutout and has five white-washings for the season. Hawkeye opponents have gone 325:30 without scoring a goal. The last time Iowa was scored upon was in the 35th minute of a 4-1 victory against Loyola-Chicago on Sept. 11.
“Our team has started to have some traits where we have defended people well without giving up opportunities,” UI head coach Ron Rainey said. “Emily does a nice job for us. Her presence in goal gives her teammates a lot of confidence. She’s a good shot-stopper and I think she’s getting better at using her voice to allow our defense to press up and win balls, so there aren’t shots. That’s part of a goalkeeper’s job, too.”
Moran, a sophomore from Kent, Ohio (Theodore Roosevelt High School), played the majority of the season in 2008 as a freshman. She saw action in 21 games (5-7-0 record) with two shutouts and a 1.12 GAA. So far this season, she has a record of 7-2 with four shutouts and an 84.2 save percentage.
Moran is quick to credit teammates for making life easier.
“It starts with the forwards getting immediate pressure when we lose the ball,” Moran said. “Then our midfielders get in behind, forcing them to one side of the field. Then our defenders being able to play one-on-one and win the ball. Everybody’s been doing their part, so it’s been great.”
Twenty-nine Hawkeyes — including five goalkeepers — saw action against Northern Iowa.
“It’s great to see everybody get in and getting reps,” Moran said. “We challenge each other in practice and it’s great to be able to see them get challenged on the game field as well.”
Iowa puts a five-game winning streak on the line when it opens the Big Ten Conference season at Minnesota tonight, beginning at 7 p.m. inside Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The defending league champion Gophers are 6-2-1 and average slightly less than two goals per game. They have not lost at home since the 2007 season. A year ago against Minnesota, Moran compiled seven saves, but a goal in the 46th minute held up for a 1-0 Gopher victory.
“There’s still a ton to work on,” Rainey said. “Now we head into the Big Ten season and we get to compare ourselves against conference opponents. But it’s been a good couple weeks.”
Three Big Ten schools — Purdue (15th), Indiana (19th) and Ohio State (21st) — are ranked in the top 25 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll released Sept. 22.