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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa soccer team scored its first goal 10 minutes into the 2019 season before finishing off a 2-0 shutout of Western Michigan on Thursday night at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
The Hawkeyes struck first when senior Hannah Drkulec played a ball into the box, where senior Kaleigh Haus headed it past Bronco goalkeeper Hannah Sargent, giving Iowa a 1-0 lead.
“We worked on that a week ago in practice, coach Blair (Quinn) was having us work on getting the ball off our foot and looking up to that ball,” said Drkulec. “It was nice to feel familiar with her doing it and making a great run. It was awesome for her to get that head on the ball.”
Iowa out-shot Western Michigan, 5-0, in the first half and 16-2 for the game. The Hawkeyes doubled their lead in the 83rd minute when the Broncos were whistled for a hand ball in the box. Senior Natalie Winters capitalized, firing the penalty kick into the bottom right corner.
“We got the good goal early with the service in and we had two other chances, in a game like this with them sitting as deep as they do — Devin Burns’ chance and Olivia Fiegel’s chance — would have opened the game up.
“It was a good first game. We were a bit sloppy offensively until the end when we got tighter and played quicker. It was a good start for a team that we didn’t have any video on.”
Senior Claire Graves didn’t face a ton of shots — two on the night — but she came up big on a save in the second half with the Hawkeyes leading 1-0. It was the Indiana native’s only save of the game, and it led to her first shutout of the season and the 18th shutout of her career.
- Haus’ strike was the 11th of her career, while Winters scored for the 10th time. She is now a perfect 5-for-5 in penalty kicks for her career.
- Samantha Cary and Jenny Cape made their first career starts, while Melina Hegelheimer, Samantha Tawharu, and Gianna Gourley made their Hawkeye debuts.
- Iowa had a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday, hosting Northern Iowa at 1 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Admission is free.