Undefeated Hawkeyes Host Billikens Friday Night

Sept. 11, 2013

Game Notes – Saint Louis

The University of Iowa soccer team returns to action Friday, hosting Saint Louis at 7 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Hawkeyes are 6-0 this season and have a 23-game nonconference winning streak.

Saint Louis opened its 2013 campaign with a 3-2 victory of Western Michigan, but lost its next four contests before tying Evansville, 1-1, on Sept. 8. During their four-game losing streak, the Billikens failed to score a goal while giving up nine to their opponents. Four players lead Saint Louis with one goal each with senior Jenny Hummert leading the team in shots with 19. Hummert was selected as Saint Louis’ most valuable player in 2012. Sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Benben currently holds a 1.93 goals against average, and has played every minute of the 2013 season in goal for the Billikens.

This is the sixth meeting between the schools, with the series tied at 2-2-1. The Hawkeyes won the last match in 2012 by a score of 3-0 in St. Louis. Ashley Catrell scored two goals in the contest with Cloe Lacasse assisting on both. Lacasse also added a goal early in the second half.

The Hawkeyes emerged victorious over Wright State on Sept. 8, 1-0, after an own-goal by the Raiders in the second half served as the contest’s lone goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Clark picked up her fifth shutout of the year, making three saves.

Iowa currently ranks in the top-10 in several NCAA statistical categories. The Hawkeyes’ .833 shutout percentage is tied for the fourth best mark, the 0.167 goals against average is eighth and the .938 save percentage ranks ninth. Iowa is one of 18 teams in the NCAA without a tie or a loss.

Iowa’s defense is currently riding a streak of 380:01 minutes without a surrendering a goal. The Hawkeyes have posted four consecutive shutouts and haven’t allowed a goal since the second game of the season against Western Michigan. The Bronco’s strike is the only goal allowed by Iowa in 2013.

The Hawkeyes continued their dominance over Iowa State on Sept. 6, beating the Cyclones 3-0 in front of a record crowd of 1,594 at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The crowd bested the previous high mark of 975 fans set in the 2011 season. Junior Anne Marie Thomas scored her first goal of the season via an assist from junior Melanie Pickert in the 11th minute. Senior Alex Melin headed the ball into the net off an assist from sophomore Brooke Backes in the 20th minute to push the lead to 2-0, and freshman Bri Toelle sealed the game with a goal in the 64th minute via a second assist from Pickert. The win was the sixth-straight for Iowa in the series. In those six games, Iowa has outscored the Cyclones 19-4.

The Hawkeyes have been dominant in non-league competition dating back to the 2011 season. The Hawkeyes have compiled a 23-0 nonconference record during the stretch. Iowa’s last nonconference loss came during the 2010 season against Nebraska, a year before it joined the Big Ten. Since the 2011 season, the Hawkeyes have outscored their nonconference opponents, 76-9.

After defeating UC Davis on Aug. 30 and Pacific on Sept. 1, the Hawkeyes captured the Pacific Soccer Classic team title. Senior Alex Melin, juniors Melanie Pickert, Caitlin Brown, Cloe Lacasse, and sophomore Hannah Clark were named to the all-tournament team.

Sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Clark was selected as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 3 after posting consecutive shutouts and leading the Hawkeyes to the team title at the Pacific Soccer Classic. The Fort Collins, Colo., native made six saves on the weekend and had a 0.00 goals against average and a 1.000 saves percentage. The honor is the second of Clark’s career.

Sophomore Hannah Clark ranks among the top-three in the Big Ten in three different statistical categories. The Colorado native’s five shutouts and .938 saves percentage are tops among the league’s 12 goalkeepers and her 0.170 goals against average is the second-best figure in the conference.

Seven different Iowa players have scored at least one goal thus far in 2013. Senior Alex Melin and juniors Cloe Lacasse and Melanie Pickert are leading the team with two strikes apiece. Pickert is also tops on the squad with two assists, giving her a team-best six points. Five different Iowa players have notched game-winning goals.

Iowa is a perfect 3-for-3 in penalty kicks in 2013. The Hawkeyes got PK goals from Lana Bonekemper (Drake), Ashley Catrell (Western Michigan) and Cloe Lacasse (Pacific). Iowa was 4-of-4 in penalty kicks the entire 2012 season.

In six games, Iowa has doubled the shot output of its opponents, 96-48. In the first half alone, the Hawkeyes have attempted 57 shots compared to their opposition’s 20.

Junior Caitlin Brown is the only position player to play every minute for the Hawkeyes in 2013. Brown, who has played all 540 minutes along with goalkeeper Hannah Clark, has anchored an Iowa defense that surrenders just eight shots a game.

Junior Emily Scott joined the Hawkeye soccer program this fall after two seasons at Milwaukee. Scott started every game as a freshman at central defender, and played every minute of the 2012 season at the position. The Tinley Park, Ill. native tallied a goal in an exhibition match against her former team on Aug. 17.

In two-plus years, junior Cloe Lacasse has made her mark on the Iowa soccer program. The Sudbury, Ontario, native is currently third for career goals (27), surpassing Katelynn Quinn (25) after her consecutive one-goal games against UC Davis and Pacific. She currently ranks third in career points (68), and fourth in career shots (171). Lacasse has led Iowa in goals scored, points, and shots taken in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Lacasse was named Iowa’s MVP in 2012, scoring goals in each of the team’s first nine matches. She was named to the Madness’ 2012 All-Big Ten first-team by CollegeSportsMadness.com, and was an All-Great Lakes Region second team honoree by the NSCAA.

In the most recent NSCAA Coaches Poll, two Big Ten teams are in the Top 25. Penn State (3-1-1) moved to No. 13 from its previous spot at No. 14. Michigan (5-0-0) maintained its position at No. 11. Illinois received votes. Ohio State and Wisconsin received votes.

Iowa will appear on BTN at least once this season, and the Big Ten Digital Network at least three times. The Hawkeyes’ Sept. 22 contest with Michigan will be broadcast live on BTN. The match will begin at 1 p.m. (CT). The Big Ten Digital Network will broadcast Iowa’s games against Northern Iowa (Sept. 17), Michigan State (Oct. 6), and Ohio State (Oct. 27). The BTN will also be televising the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 6-10.

In his eighth season as Iowa head coach, Ron Rainey is the winningest coach in school history. He has compiled a 71-60-16 record, which includes 29 victories the past two plus seasons. The stretch is the best in program history, including a 13-win season in 2011.

Senior Alex Melin and junior Caitlin Brown have been voted team captains for the 2013 Iowa soccer team.