Oct. 27, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Facing the conclusion of their season with a draw or loss, the University of Iowa women's soccer team came through in the clutch on Senior Day with a victory over Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at the Iowa Soccer Complex and advanced to the Big Ten Tournament for the seventh time in program history.
Iowa entered the match with their hopes of reaching the postseason for the second straight season still alive after Ohio State defeated Indiana on Friday night, leaving the door open for Iowa to move past the Hoosiers in conference standings with a win. The Hawkeyes (12-5-3, 3-5-3) would do just that, defeating the Badgers (12-6-1, 5-5-1), 2-1, with goals from senior Dana Dalrymple (42') and sophomore Cloe Lacasse (46').
Seniors Allie Adam, Gabby Ainsworth, Stef Campbell, Dalrymple, Jade Grimm and Kat Lewis were honored before the match, and would be sent off the pitch in style with the season-extending victory. Iowa is second in program history for wins in a season (12), and will have a chance to tie the mark set by last year's team Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament.
"I'm just really proud of the team," said Iowa head coach Ron Rainey. "It was a really important win for a number of reasons. I thought what was great is that we had a really good week of practice, and that carried over to this game."
The Hawkeyes played the first half with the pedal to the metal, outshooting Wisconsin 11-1 in the first period. Iowa came painfully close to scoring on a number of chances, but would finally get on the board just before intermission.
After a corner kick from Grimm, sophomore defender Melanie Pickert took a shot in the box that was blocked. Lacasse tracked down the ball, and sent a pass from inside the box to Dalrymple, who scored from eight yards out in the 42nd minute..
"It was really special," said Dalrymple on her goal. "It's the last time I'll every play on this field, so it was an emotional experience. To get a goal and a win, that was crucial for us."
Freshman Meg Goodson started in goal for the Hawkeyes, but Iowa's stout defense didn't allow the Badgers to test Goodson with a shot on frame. The Van Meter, Iowa, native has a 0.78 goals against average this season.
Iowa started the final half of play much like they did the first, and would be rewarded with a goal from Lacasse at the 46:55 mark. The Sudbury, Ontario, native got the ball at her feet in the attacking third, and maneuvered past two Badger defenders to take a shot from 15 yards out. The shot beat goalkeeper Genevieve Richard, giving Iowa a vital two-goal advantage.
The Badgers delayed Iowa's celebration, making it a one-goal match in the 70th minute as junior forward Paige Adams scored her seventh goal of the season.
With Wisconsin pressing for an equalizing goal, the Hawkeye defense refused to break in the final 20 minutes of play. The Badgers took three shots in that stretch, two of which were saved by freshman goalkeeper Hannah Clark. After a Wisconsin foul with 10 seconds remaining, Iowa ran out the clock and sealed the thrilling victory.
Lacasse led the offense with three points with a goal and an assist. She took seven shots, which ties her high mark for shots in a match this season. Lacasse moves to second in program history for season goals (13) and points (33), and third in career goals (25) and points (63).
Junior Ashley Catrell, Pickert and Dalrymple also had two shots. Clark made two crucial saves for Iowa in the second half. She has a 0.94 goals against average this season.
The tournament seeds and brackets will officially be announced on Sunday following the conclusion of all conference matches. The tournament will be hosted by Indiana, and runs from Oct-31-Nov. 4.
Iowa is guaranteed the No. 8 seed, which will pit them against top-seeded Penn State, who won their 15th consecutive Big Ten championship. The No. 1 vs. No. 8 seed match will be this Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. (CT) at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The Hawkeyes went toe-to-toe with the Nittany Lions in the regular season, falling 2-1 on Oct. 14 in Iowa City.
"We told the team that we want to enjoy this for a bit, and then start looking forward to playing Penn State," said Rainey. "We will have to play our best game of the year. Their program is very, very good, but I feel like we competed well against them last time, and we need that to carry over to Wednesday.
SENIOR KAT LEWIS
On how special it is to win on senior day in such an important match...
This one is really special, considering how much was on the line. It was our last home game and it was a win to continue our careers for the seniors. It's a big win for the program, and we're all really happy right now.
On how beneficial a two-goal lead is to a defender...
It helps a lot, especially with a bit of a weird goal that Wisconsin got in the second half. It was important to have that buffer with a two goal advantage.
On what contributed to the win...
I think we came out with energy, and I feel like we had no doubts that we were going to win coming into the game. That's the type of attitude we had, and it showed in how we played.
On how exciting and rewarding it is to advance to the Big Ten Tournament...
We're all really excited. It's our second year in a row making it. We play Penn State, a team we've already seen. We know what they do, and we played them tough last time. Hopefully, we can get down there and keep this going.
SOPHOMORE Cloe Lacasse
On scoring a goal in the second half to give the team a big 2-0 advantage...
Coming out of the half, we had a 1-0 lead so we knew Wisconsin would be pushing for a goal too. It's a big motivation when you get that second goal, and it gave us the advantage down the stretch.
On how the team handled all the pressure they faced...
You can really tell we were playing with desperation. We had to win. It was this or the end of the season, and we all were very motivated to keep our season going and make it to the Big Ten Tournament.
On the team's emotions when the clock hit 0:00...
We were all so excited, because we knew that Indiana lost yesterday and coming in to the day, we knew that we still had a shot with a win. We were pretty ecstatic and ready to go, and it was an even better feeling once we finally had won.
SENIOR MIDFIELDER Dana Dalrymple
On scoring a goal and getting the win on senior day...
It's really special. It's the last time that I'll ever play on this field, so it was an emotional experience. To get a goal and get a win, it's crucial for us. We wanted to get into the tournament, and we met that goal with this win. It feels good to reach that goal, because I'm not ready to quit playing yet. The fact that we aren't done yet is a really great feeling.
On how big of a relief it was when the final horn sounded...
I kept checking the clock about every 10 seconds towards the end. I think we did a great job of holding them off and staying very strong throughout the match. I'm really proud of the team. We did a great job today.
On the excitement of advancing to the Big Ten Tournament...
It's a great feeling. I said this before, but this was a huge goal of ours to get back into the tournament. We're really looking forward to getting another chance with Penn State, and I think we're going to be confident heading into that game.
HEAD COACH Ron Rainey
On his thoughts about Iowa's big performance to keep the season alive...
I'm just really proud of the team. It was a really important win for a number of reasons. The first half, we created a bunch of chances and finally got one towards the end of the half. I thought what was great is that we had a really good week of practice, and that carried over to this game. It was great to start out in the second half quick and get that second goal to create that buffer, because Wisconsin played quite well in the second half.
On what it means for the program to advance to the Big Ten Tournament...
Right now, it means everything to us. I'm very proud of the team and how they battled all the way through it. These one goal games can go either way, and it was nice to be on the right side of one.
On Cloe Lacasse's performance with one goal and one assist...
She's finally getting healthy, and she's been able to practice more and score more often in practice. That is something that has been very helpful for her confidence. In the same regard, we have high expectations from Cloe. She's a great player, and we need her to play that way for us to be successful.
On the effort from his freshmen goalkeepers...
The goalkeepers have done a great job all year, and that continued today. Hannah made some key saves at the end. We want them to keep looking and film, keep working hard and improving.
On moving forward to Big Ten Tournament...
We told the team that we want to enjoy this for a bit, and then start looking forward to playing Penn State. We will have to play our best game of the year. Their program is very, very good, but I feel like we competed well against them last time, and we need that to carry over to Wednesday.