Pickert's 2 Strikes Propel Hawkeyes

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Aug 25, 2013

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Two goals by junior Melanie Pickert propelled the University of Iowa soccer team to a 3-1 victory over Western Michigan in its regular season home opener Sunday at the UI Soccer Complex.

Pickert opened the Hawkeyes’ scoring in the 44th minute on a free kick. Junior Cloe Lacasse set up the opportunity after drawing a foul off of an aggressive cut just outside the box.

“(Lacasse) gets in and out of space relatively quickly,” said UI head coach Ron Rainey. “We’ve told her that goals are just as good as assists, and just as good as drawing penalty kicks and fouls just outside the box.”

The game would remain 1-0 until 69:59 when Western Michigan’s Megan Ross connected off a rebound of a blocked shot by UI goalkeeper Hannah Clark, knotting the match at 1-1. Nicole Hatcliffe fired a shot from the left side of the net, which Clark got a hand on, but Ross corralled the ball and fired for the equalizing score.

The Hawkeyes answered less than five minutes later when Pickert notched her second strike at the 74:46 mark. Senior Ashley Catrell entered the ball into the box on a corner kick, where it was deflected by Bronco goalkeeper Michelle Watson. Pickert gathered the ball before pounding it into the far corner to put Iowa back on top, 2-1.

“(The ball) got back to me, and I took it off my chest and sent it home,” said Pickert.

“Mel did an excellent job keeping that ball alive,” Rainey said. “She was able to finish from a pretty tough angle.”

The strike was Pickert’s first career game-winning goal and the two goal game was the first of her career.

Iowa added an insurance goal in the 80th minute, courtesy of Catrell’s first goal of the season. Senior Alex Melin set up the strike when she was taken out by Watson to earn a yellow card and a Hawkeye penalty kick. Catrell sent the strike into the lower right corner to make the score 3-1 and essentially put the game away.

Clark picked up the victory in goal for the Hawkeyes, making three saves in 90 minutes. Iowa out-shot Western Michigan, 16-11, in the contest, which included nine shots on goal.

The win moves Iowa’s record to 2-0 this season and extending its nonconference win streak to 20 games dating back to the 2010 season.

The Hawkeyes return to action Friday, Aug. 30, facing UC Davis in a neutral site match in Stockton, Calif., beginning at 6 p.m. (CT).