Aug. 15, 2012
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The University of Iowa soccer team will begin the 2012 season Friday with a match against Eastern Illinois. Iowa will meet the Panthers at 7 p.m. at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
The Hawkeyes will take the pitch two days later, hosting North Dakota on Sunday. The match will begin at 1 p.m. at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
Scouting The Opponents
The Panthers return 14 letterwinners from last year’s squad that finished 5-12-2. Head coach Summer Perala, entering her fourth season as head coach, return’s two all-conference selections. Eastern Illinois has advanced to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in 13 straight seasons.
North Dakota went 6-9-3 last season, and enters 2012 as a first year member of the Big Sky. UND will begin their season on Aug. 17 at Northern Iowa before traveling to Iowa City. North Dakota and head coach Kristen Gay return eight starters from last year.
Head coach Ron Rainey
Iowa head coach Ron Rainey enters his seventh season at the helm of the program as the winningest coach in program history. Rainey has 53 victories in six seasons with the Hawkeyes, and sports a 143-119-34 overall coaching record.
Rainey guided Iowa to it’s most successful season in program history last season, as Iowa went 13-4-3 and had its highest winning percentage ever. Rainey has guided the Hawkeyes to three Big Ten Tournaments, and has helped five Hawkeyes earn All-Big Ten honors.
Assistant Coach Hirings
The Hawkeyes will have two new faces on the sidelines this fall. Rainey announced Julie Hanley as an assistant coach in March, replacing Jaimel Johnson. Johnson joined the University of Texas soccer program. Hanley served as a graduate assistant at Illinois State the past two seasons. She was a goalkeeper for the University of Kansas from 2005-09, and finished second in program history in career wins and shutouts.
Rainey announced Nick Flohre as an assistant coach in July to fill the void left by Shane Meridith. Meridith was named head coach at his alma mater, Earlham. Flohre has served as the Girl’s Assistant Director of Coaching at the Ohio Elite Soccer Academy the past five seasons. He has a USSF `B’ Coaching License and has coached collegiately on the Wesleyan men’s team and Tulane’s women’s team.
The Hawkeyes finished 13-4-3 last year, marking the best season in program history.
Iowa went undefeated in nonconference play, jumping out to an unblemished 8-0 record. The Hawkeyes would go on to a 5-4-2 Big Ten record, its most conference wins since 2000. Iowa advanced to the Big Ten Tournament for the third time under Rainey.
Iowa returns 16 letterwinners and 10 players with starting experience from last season.
Returning starters (number of starts in parentheses) include Cloe Lacasse (20), Alex Melin (20), Katherine Lewis (20), Melanie Pickert (20), Caitlin Brown (19), Jade Grimm (11), Dana Dalrymple (9), Katie Nasenbenny (2), Anne Marie Thomas (1) and Allie Adam (1).
Strength of Schedule
Iowa will play 20 matches this fall, ten of which will be hosted at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
Iowa will face two teams that are ranked in the first NSCAA/Continental Tire Women’s Rankings in Penn State (No. 9) and Illinois (No. 19), as well as one team receiving votes in Ohio State.
The Hawkeyes will meet five teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011; Army, LIU-Brooklyn, Illinois, Ohio State and Penn State.
Hawkeyes on T.V.
Iowa will appear live on Big Ten Network at least twice this season.
Iowa’s Big Ten opener against Illinois on Sept. 16 will be televised live. The match begins at 3 p.m. in Champaign, Ill. The Hawkeyes will appear live on BTN on Sept. 30 when they travel to Michigan State. The match will begin at 1 p.m. in East Lansing, Mich.
The BTN will also be televising the Big Ten Tournament.
Iowa set or tied nine school records in last season.
The Hawkeyes tied the record for most wins (13) and most shutouts (9).
Iowa broke the record for best winning percentage (.737), most home wins (8), fewest defeats (3), longest win streak (9), longest unbeaten streak (12), fewest goals allowed (17), goals against average (.85)
2011 Team Awards
Iowa gave out five team awards following last season; Most Valuable Player (Alex Melin), Offensive Player of the Year (Cloe Lacasse), Defensive Player of the Year (Melanie Pickert), Newcomer of the Year (Katie Brown) and Hawk Award winner (Sarah Langlas).