UI Soccer Makes Most of Opening Weekend

Aug. 21, 2012

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The early torchbearer for University of Iowa athletics is the women’s soccer team, which dominated two weekend matches before any other Hawkeye varsity team has taken the field, court, or course.

During decisive victories against Eastern Illinois and North Dakota, UI sophomore forward Cloe Lacasse had as many shots (nine) as the two opponents combined. Plus, Lacasse found the net three times, while UI goal keepers Hannah Clark and Kiley Beck posted two shutouts.

“It’s always good to start with two wins, and now we know what to work on,” said Lacasse, a native of Ontario, Canada, who had the game-winner Sunday against North Dakota. “It felt good to start our scoring; everyone got into the game, so we could see what they have.”

Iowa began the season with a 5-0 win against Eastern Illinois on Friday, and added a 3-0 victory over North Dakota on Sunday. The Hawkeyes out-shot their opponents 43-9.

“The first weekend we saw some things that were good; we saw some things we need to work on,” UI head coach Ron Rainey said. “It’s something we can take into training this week and try to make ourselves better.”

Rainey didn’t need a stat sheet to rattle off an area he wants to see improvement. “We ran ourselves offside too many times,” he said.

Eighteen times to be exact — five times Friday and 13 times Sunday.

“The first weekend we saw some things that were good; we saw some things we need to work on. It’s something we can take into training this week and try to make ourselves better.”
Ron Rainey
UI head soccer coach

“That’s just mentally not being focused on what you need to do on the attacking third of the field,” Rainey said.

Last season the Hawkeyes bolted to nine consecutive victories out of the gate. Sunday’s result left them with a 2-0 start for the third time in Rainey’s seven seasons as head coach (2008, 2011, 2012). It has happened seven times in the history of the program that began in 1997.

“A big thing for us is how we approach this week,” Rainey said. “How do we make ourselves better? Classes are going on, we are practicing, and we have two games on the weekend.”

The Hawkeyes host Loyola Chicago on Friday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. (CT), before tackling their first road test Sunday, Aug. 26, at Northern Iowa.

On paper, it promises to be a busier weekend for Clark and Beck. Neither was credited with a save against Eastern Illinois; Beck had three and Clark had two against North Dakota.

“Sometimes you don’t get as much action as you want, so you stay focused and mentally ready,” Clark said. “When we’re not getting shots, we have to be ready for when we do get them.”

Clark, a freshman, is 2-0; Beck is a sophomore. All of this nonconference action is valuable.

“They’ve done well with everything that has come to them,” Rainey said. “They’ve made all the saves they should make, and a lot of their evaluation is still going on in practice.”

The primary reason the Hawkeye student-athletes are in Iowa City — classes — commenced Monday. Now their time-management skills will be tested.

“It’s about going to class and doing all the work so they can come out to the practice field and be able to expend positive energy so we can get better as a soccer team,” Rainey said.

The Hawkeyes are 2-1-1 all-time against Loyola and 9-0 against Northern Iowa.