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WEST POINT, N.Y. — The University of Iowa women’s soccer head coach Ron Rainey earned his 150th career victory as Iowa defeated Army Friday night in the Black Knight Classic. The Hawkeyes improved their record to 7-0-0 for the second straight season with a 2-1 win over the Black Knights (3-4-0) at Clinton Field.
Sophomore Cloe Lacasse and senior Dana Dalrymple each scored a goal to help Iowa remain the only unbeaten team remaining in the Big Ten. Lacasse opened with a goal in the 23rd minute, and Dalrymple scored the game-winning goal in the 66th minute. The Hawkeyes are off to their second best start in program history.
Rainey also registered his 60th victory as head coach of the Hawkeyes, with a 60-54-13 record at Iowa. Rainey has a 150-119-34 career record in 15 years coaching.
“This was a great game, and Army was a tremendous opponent,” said Rainey. “It was a fun match for all the players and coaches to be a part of, and it was very rewarding for us to be able to win this contest.”
The Hawkeyes kept a clean sheet in the first half, holding Army to just two shots on goal. The Iowa defense, just as it has throughout the season, rarely found itself in danger. Freshman Hannah Clark started in goal for the Hawkeyes, recording two saves without allowing a goal. The Fort Collins, Colo., native improved her record to 5-0-0 this season as freshman Meg Goodson would start at goalkeeper for Iowa in the second half.
On the other side of the pitch, Iowa established an attacking mentality from the very first touch. Iowa earned a corner kick 30 seconds into the match, and a shot from sophomore Cloe Lacasse on the corner sailed just over the cross bar.
Lacasse would find redemption later in the first half, scoring the match’s first goal to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 advantage. After a corner from the Black Knights, Iowa started a counter attack with Dalrymple and Lacasse leading the way. Dalrymple passed to Lacasse, who fired a shot from 25-yards out that bounced off the near side post and in for goal in the 23rd minute.
The Hawkeyes would go into half with the one goal advantage. Iowa has never trailed or been tied after the first half, and has outscored its opponents 13-0 in the first half. Lacasse led Iowa in the opening period with one goal, five shots and three shots on goal. Dalrymple registered a goal, an assist and two shots.
“In the first half, we created good scoring opportunities and played very solid defensively,” said Rainey. “In the second half, Army scored a great goal and it turned into a back-and-forth battle between two teams that I thought were playing very well.”
Army would score the equalizer in the 57th minute off a well-placed header by junior Joey Molacek from a crossed ball by freshman Brooke Hepfer.
The Hawkeyes quickly responded to the Army goal with a goal of their own in the 66th minute to recapture the lead, a lead Iowa would keep for the rest of the match. After an Army foul, sophomore Melanie Pickert’s shot on a free kick bounced off the crossbar and went outside the box. Dalrymple gained possession and quickly tucked a shot below the crossbar, yet above the hands of Army’s sophomore goalkeeper Linda Rosas to put Iowa ahead 2-1.
With the Black Knights in all-out attack mode for the final 20 minutes, the match turned into a sprint to the finish line with both teams creating scoring opportunities. A second equalizer never came for Army, as Goodson recorded four saves to keep Iowa in the lead until the clock ran out. The Hawkeyes improved their nonconference win streak to 16 matches, outscoring their opponents 64-8 in that stretch.
“We responded well to Army’s goal,” said Rainey. “Our team needed a match like this. We were tested the entire time, and the speed of play was similar to that of a Big Ten game. Now, we will set our sights on LIU-Brooklyn.”
Lacasse finished with seven shots while Pickert had four, and junior Alex Melin, Dalrymple and sophomore Katie Nasenbenny each registered three shots. Lacasse ranks second in the Big Ten with eight goals this season. The Sudbury, Ontario, native has 20 points. Iowa outshot Army 22-14 and held a 10-7 advantage in shots on goal. The Hawkeyes also had a 6-4 advantage in corners. The Hawkeyes have outshot their opponents 141-71 this season with a 69-30 advantage in shots on goal.
The Hawkeyes will finish play at the Black Knight Classic on Sunday against LIU Brooklyn (1-4-0). The Hawkeyes and Blackbirds will play at 10 a.m. at Clinton Field.