Sept. 12, 2012
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SAINT LOUIS, Mo. — The University of Iowa women’s soccer team finished the nonconference schedule perfect for the second straight season Wednesday night at Hermann Stadium. The Hawkeyes (9-0-0), the only unbeaten team in the Big Ten, defeated Saint Louis (1-4-2), 3-0.
Iowa used two goals from junior Ashley Catrell and four points from sophomore Cloe Lacasse to stay perfect on the season, and to win its 18 consecutive nonconference match. Iowa has outscored its opponents 71-8 in that stretch. Iowa’s last nonconference defeat came on Sept. 19, 2010 – 725 days ago.
Junior Ashley Catrell (28′, 52′) and Lacasse (59′) each scored goals for the Hawkeyes, who have outscored their opponents 30-3 this season. Catrell and Lacasse have scored a combined 17 goals.
“The team definitely battled today, playing their third game in six days,” said head coach Ron Rainey. “I’m excited about the way we finished, and I’m excited that our players were making great plays up until the last minute to keep the shutout. It was a team win that we are pleased with.”
The Hawkeyes and Billikens spent the first 20 minutes feeling each other out, with both teams being limited in quality changes. Iowa would begin to change that tide in the 19 minute mark, when a Lacasse header from sophomore Katie Nasenbenny’s cross nearly scored. Iowa created a great scoring opportunity in the box one minute later, but Catrell’s shot was blocked at the last moment by a defender.
A free kick by sophomore Melanie Pickert from 30-yards out had both pace and accuracy to it, but Walsh preserved the stalemate. Iowa wouldn’t settle with that, however, and would break that stalemate in the 27th minute courtesy of a superb pass. Lacasse dribbled the ball near the end line in the right side of the box, and found an unmarked Catrell at the doorstep of the goal. Catrell scored with ease, marking her sixth goal of the season to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 advantage. Lacasse tallied her fifth assist on the play. The Hawkeyes have taken a lead into halftime all nine games this season, and have outscored its opponets 17-0 in the first half.
Iowa held an 8-4 advantage in shots and a 4-3 advantage in shots on goal in the period. The Hawkeyes also earned three corners in the first half. Freshman Hannah Clark started in goal for the Hawkeyes, saving three shots to keep Saint Louis off the scoreboard.
Iowa’s offense came out of the break hungry for more goals in the second period, scoring goals in the 52nd and 59th minute to take a comfortable command of the match.
Iowa took a 2-0 lead when Lacasse distributed another assist, hitting a short cross from the left side of the box to Catrell. The Overland Park, Kan., native scored from five yards out to tally her seventh goal of the season.
After contributing to two goals on the passing end, Lacasse finally was paid back with a goal of her own just seven minutes after the previous goal. Lacasse scored from 15 yards out from the right wing. Lacasse has 11 goals this season and has scored in every match. The sophomore form Sudbury, Ontario also has five six assists and 28 points this year.
Iowa would use the advantage to substitute 10 players from the bench in the second half, and would go on to preserve an Iowa shutout, its sixth of the season and second straight. Iowa is three shutouts away from tying the program record of nine, which was set last season. Freshman goalkeeper Meg Goodson played the final half for the Hawkeyes, notching six saves.
The Hawkeyes finished with 13 shots, seven of which went on goal. The Hawkeyes also had five corners in the match. Iowa has outshot its opponents 168-99 this season with an 83-43 advantage in shots on goal. Iowa’s average margin of victory this season sits at exactly three goals, which ranks best in the Big Ten.
“I told the team to be excited and proud of what they’ve done in nonconference play the past two seasons,” said Rainey. “But, we know Illinois is an incredible opponent, so I think the team is already looking forward to that match. We’re excited to start Big Ten play, and we’re excited to keep improving.”
Iowa will return to the pitch, and open Big Ten action, on Sunday against Illinois. Start time is set for 2 p.m. at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium. The match will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.