Gourley's Game-Winner Gives Iowa 1-0 Win Over Nebraska

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Freshman Gianna Gourley’s first career game winning goal in the 80th-minute propelled the University of Iowa soccer team to a 1-0 shutout victory over Nebraska on Thursday night at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
The Hawkeyes improve to 11-2 overall, 3-2 in Big Ten Conference play.
Gourley capitalized late in the second half off an assist from senior Isabella Blackman to break the scoreless game. The strike was Gourley’s third goal of the season.
The Huskers pushed forward offensively in the final 10 minutes, even bringing goalkeeper Aubrei Corder into the offensive box.  Iowa withstood the barrage to post its sixth shutout of the season.
Senior Claire Graves earned the victory, making two saves in the shutout.
“I was impressed with how we followed the game plan. We wanted Nebraska to have to play the length of the field and we did a nice job of taking away some of their top players. We didn’t stop them all game, but we slowed them down and made them have to move the ball 90 yards.
“Gianna is having to fill in some big shoes for Kaleigh Haus, and I thought she was nervous early on. She played herself into the game.  What a goal to the back post, to be composed. 
“I was impressed with our composure. We missed some chances throughout the game to go up.  For our team to stay committed to the game plan and stay committed to pressing and creating chances, I was happy with our group.”
“Melina had a great run down the line with a lot of speed and Bella recovered the ball and had a great pass to me. I cut in and saw the open lane.  When I cut in I knew I was going to slot it back post because that’s the goalie was cheating near post.”
“In the flow of soccer, you can’t really set up anything. You’re not planning for anything to happen. When those moments come, as a midfielder those are the best moments when you see that split ball and you see the defenders moving out of space and your teammate running through. That’s what we play for.  It was awesome for Gianna to make that run and finish that ball.”
– The Hawkeyes are unbeaten in their last three matchups against Nebraska (2-0-1).
– Gourley made her first career start in the victory and she is the eighth different Hawkeye to notch a game-winning goal this season.
– The victory is Graves’ 34th of her career, one behind Emily Moran for second on the all-time wins list.
– Iowa has recorded at least one assist in each of its 11 wins this season.
– Five Hawkeyes played all 90 minutes in this contest: Isabella Blackman, Samantha Cary, Hannah Drkulec, Sara Wheaton, and Riley Whitaker. Whitaker has played 90 minutes in 10 of the Hawkeyes’ 13 games this season.
The Hawkeyes travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State on Sunday at noon (CT). Follow along on BTN Plus. Iowa returns home to face Rutgers on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT). Admission is free.

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