Iowa Faces No. 23 Notre Dame in NCAA 1st Round

Nov. 13, 2013

NCAA Tournament Notes — at No. 23 Notre Dame

The University of Iowa soccer team will make its first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, facing No. 23 Notre Dame on Friday at Alumni Stadium in South Bend, Ind. The game is set to begin at 6 p.m. (CT).

Fans can watch the NCAA first round matchup live online and free of charge at Live stats will be available via GameTracker on, and Twitter updates will be sent out at @hawkeyesoccer.

? In its 17th year as a program, the Hawkeyes are making the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history Friday at Notre Dame.
? It is the third time in the state of Iowa history that a Division I team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament (Iowa State, 2005; Drake, 2006).
? Iowa has won a school-record 15 games this season and has won 12 or more games in each of the past three seasons. It is the best three-year stretch in school history.
? Iowa posted the first two postseason wins in program history, downing No. 7 Michigan (1-0) and No. 20 Penn State (1-0) at the 2013 Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes finished as runner-up after falling to No. 18 Nebraska, 1-0, in the title game.
? The Hawkeyes are 3-3 against ranked foes in 2013. The victory over No. 7 Michigan was the highest ranked team Iowa has defeated all-time and the three wins are the most in a single season for the program.
? Iowa is one of a Big Ten-record eight schools to advance to the NCAA Tournament along with Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State and Indiana.

? The Hawkeyes are receiving votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I poll. Iowa has 42 votes, which puts the team at No. 26 in the rankings.
? Iowa did not make a substitution in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal victory over No. 7 Michigan, and used just one sub in the semifinal win over Penn State. The Hawkeyes’ played 14 players in the championship game against No. 18 Nebraska, the most players used since Oct. 19 at Wisconsin.
? Over the last four games, sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Clark is 3-1 with a 0.25 goals against average. She has 20 saves, a .952 save percentage and three shutouts, included two over ranked foes.
? Junior Melanie Pickert and sophomore Hannah Clark were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. The defensive duo helped Iowa to a pair of shutouts and surrendered just one goal in three games. Clark had a 0.33 goals against average and made 14 saves, while Pickert scored the game-winning goal in the semifinal win over No. 20 Penn State.

Junior Emily Scott has two games of NCAA Tournament experience, having helped lead Wisconsin-Milwaukee to NCAA berths in each of the past two seasons. The Panthers lost 3-1 at Notre Dame last season and 2-1 against Ohio State in 2011.

Sophomore Hannah Clark tied a career-high, making eight saves to lift Iowa to a 1-0 shutout victory over No. 20 Penn State in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 8. The Colorado native withstood 25 Nittany Lion shots to preserve the shutout — the 10th for the Hawkeyes this season. The 10 shutouts are a team and individual school record and lead the Big Ten.

Iowa finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in the final Big Ten regular season standings. It is the third top-five showing in the program’s 17-year history. The Hawkeyes finished third in 1999 and tied for fifth in 2011 and 2013.

Juniors Cloe Lacasse and Melanie Pickert were tabbed as second team All-Big Ten honorees for the 2013 season. The pair are the sixth and seventh such honorees in school history and the first for the program since 2011. Freshman Amanda Lulek was selected to the All-Freshman team, while senior Alex Melin received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

A penalty kick goal in the 30th minute by Nebraska’s Jaycie Johnson sent the Huskers to a 1-0 victory over Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. Nebraska sagged back defensively in the second half, making it difficult for the Hawkeye offense. Iowa had six shots — none on goal — en route to being shut out for the first time in 2013.

The Fighting Irish are making their 21st-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after posting an 11-7-1 record in its first season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Six of Notre Dame’s seven losses were decided by one goal, including four in double overtime. The Irish finished fifth in the regular season standings with a 7-5-1 conference record, which included a 1-0 win over No. 1 North Carolina, a 5-0 triumph over No. 21 Maryland and a 1-1 draw with No. 13 Wake Forest. Notre Dame lost in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament to No. 5 Virginia Tech, 2-1. Fourteen different Irish players have scored this season for a team that holds a 40-18 goal differential. Lauren Bohaboy paces the team with seven strikes and four assists, while Morgan Andrews, the ACC Freshman of the Year, has five goals and five assists. Cari Roccaro (four goals, two assists) was first team All-ACC, Andrews was second team, and Mandy Laddish (two goals, five assists) was third team. Kaela Little has played all but 41:57 minutes in goal for Notre Dame this season, posting a 0.93 goals against average with 70 saves and five shutouts.

Friday’s meeting will be the first in the series between Iowa and Notre Dame. The Hawkeyes have faced three current ACC opponents, downing Wake Forest (2-1; 2000) and falling to Miami (Fla.) (2-1; 1998) and Boston College (2-1; 2002).

Freshman Bri Toelle picked the most opportune time to tally the first game-winning goal of her career. The Colorado native scored in the 62nd minute to send the Hawkeyes to a 1-0 victory over No. 7 Michigan in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 6. Toelle’s initial shot at Wolverine goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin was saved, but Toelle collected the rebound and fired it into the lower right corner of the net for the game-winner. The strike was her fourth goal this season.

Sophomore Hannah Clark is among the Big Ten leaders in three statistical categories. The Colorado native’s 10 shutouts lead the Big Ten, while her 0.47 shutouts per game and 0.94 goals against average rank second in the conference.

Since arriving on campus in 2010, Alex Melin has been a constant in the Iowa lineup. The Wisconsin native has started all 81 games of her Hawkeye career.

Iowa defeated No. 16 Penn State for the first time in school history on Oct. 25 by a score of 3-2 — the first win in 18 tries. Junior Cloe Lacasse scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute, securing the Hawkeyes’ first win over a ranked opponent since 2008. Iowa posted its second-straight win over the Nittany Lions on Nov. 8 in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.

Junior Katie Nasenbenny has been named to the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District team. The midfielder from LaGrange, Ill., is now eligible to earn Academic All-America honors following the conclusion of the season.

Junior Melanie Pickert has posted career highs in goals (six) and points (16) this season, while attempting a career high 49 shots. The Canton, Mich., native has scored three game-winning goals, the first three of her career. Pickert, a second team All-Big Ten selection, has also been a key component to an Iowa defense that has a Big Ten-leading 10 shutouts.

Iowa has scored the game’s first goal in 16-of-22 matches this season. The Hawkeyes are unbeaten (15-0-1) when notching the game’s first goal and 9-1-0 when netting the first goal in the first half.

Juniors Caitlin Brown and Emily Scott are the only two position players to play every minute for the Hawkeyes in 2013, logging 2,015 minutes apiece. Goalkeeper Hannah Clark, who has also played every minute of the season, has thrived with Brown and Scott leading a defense that allows only 11.1 shots per game.

Eight different Iowa players have scored at least one goal in 2013. Junior Cloe Lacasse leads the Hawkeyes in goals (six), assists (seven) and points (19), while junior Melanie Pickert has six goals and senior Ashley Catrell has five goals. Lacasse’s seven assists are tied for the ninth-most in the Big Ten.

In 22 games, Iowa has out-shot its opponents, 360-245. The Hawkeyes have limited the opposition to 99 shots on goal and a .086 shot percentage. Offensively, Iowa has a 34-21 advantage in goals.

Two Hawkeyes — junior Cloe Lacasse and sophomore Hannah Clark — were named Big Ten Players of the Week in 2013. Lacasse was the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 4 after scoring both goals in Iowa’s 2-0 victory over Purdue to send the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament. The two-goal performance was forward’s first of the season and sixth of her career. The honor is Lacasse’s first Offensive Player of the Week nod. She is the first Iowa player to receive the accolade since Keli McLaughlin in 2009. Clark was tabbed 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.

In two-plus years, junior Cloe Lacasse has made her mark on the Iowa soccer program. The Sudbury, Ontario, native is currently second in career goals (31) and game-winning goals (10), and third in points (82) and shots (223). 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, and was an All-Great Lakes Region second team honoree by the NSCAA.

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. The win was the sixth-straight for Iowa in the series. In those six games, Iowa has out scored the Cyclones 19-4.

In his eighth season as Iowa head coach, Ron Rainey is the winningest coach in school history. He has compiled a 80-66-18 record, which includes 40 victories the past two plus seasons.

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

The Hawkeyes have been dominant in non-league competition dating back to the 2011 season. The Hawkeyes have compiled a 25-0 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 out scored their nonconference opponents, 81-12.

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.