Hawkeyes Set for 1st B1G Road Trip - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Hawkeyes Set for 1st B1G Road Trip
Iowa set to play at Illinois and Northwestern this weekend
Freshman Amanda Lulek and the Iowa soccer team opens road Big Ten play Friday at Illinois.
Freshman Amanda Lulek and the Iowa soccer team opens road Big Ten play Friday at Illinois.
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Sept. 25, 2013

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    Game Notes -- at Illinois/Northwestern Get Acrobat Reader

    The University of Iowa soccer team continues Big Ten Conference play by traveling to Champaign, Ill. to face Illinois at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes will close out the weekend in Evanston, Ill., squaring off against Northwestern on Sept. 29 at Lakeside Field beginning at 1 p.m. (CT).

    Illinois enters Friday's contest with a 5-2-2 record and an 0-0-1 mark in Big Ten play. Four of the Illini's first nine games have yielded overtime, setting the school record for most to start a season. Illinois tied Ohio State, 1-1, in its Big Ten opener on Sept. 20. The Illini are led by junior Jannelle Flaws, who is second in the Big Ten in goals (9) and shots (41). Illinois has scored the most goals among Big Ten teams (29). Freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley leads the Big Ten in saves (42), averaging 4.67 per game and has allowed 19 goals in nine games. Janet Rayfield leads the Illini in her 12th season as head coach.

    Illinois leads the all-time series over Iowa, 12-5-1. Last season, the Fighting Illini edged the Hawkeyes, 2-1, in Champaign when Iowa was ranked No. 25 nationally. Alex Melin scored the Hawkeye goal in the 22nd minute.

    The Wildcats hold a 2-5-2 overall record, and an 0-1-0 record in Big Ten play prior to their match against Nebraska on Sept. 27. Northwestern took No. 9 Penn State to two overtimes in its Big Ten opener, before falling, 3-2. The Wildcats led 2-0 in the 80th minute before giving up two late-match goals, which forced overtime. Six players have scored for Northwestern, with three players tied for the team lead with two goals. Senior Kate Allen leads the team with 17 shots on goal and three assists. Sophomore Rachel Bergman and freshman Jenna Hascher have seen action in goal for the Wildcats, allowing a combined 13 goals this season.

    Northwestern leads the all-time series over Iowa, 10-4-1. The Wildcats won last year's match in Evanston, 1-0. Iowa's last victory came during the 2011 season, winning 6-1 in Iowa City.

    Iowa fell to No. 15 Michigan, 2-1, in its Big Ten opener at the Iowa Soccer Complex on Sept. 22. Freshman Bri Toelle scored her second career goal in the contest. The Hawkeyes had three near-misses on goal in the final 10 minutes, sending two shots and a header high over goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin. Michigan is currently ranked No. 13 in the latest NSCAA poll.

    The Hawkeyes are ranked 10th in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Great Lakes Region rankings that were released Sept. 24. Big Ten teams take up nine of the 10 spots in the poll; Penn State (1), Michigan (2), Wisconsin (3), Nebraska (4), Ohio State (6), Illinois (7), Indiana (8), and Minnesota (9).

    Iowa's defense posted a scoreless streak of 435:36 from Aug. 25 to Sept. 13. During the stretch, the Hawkeyes tallied four straight shutouts.

    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.

    Junior Melanie Pickert scored her career-best third goal in Iowa's 3-2 victory over Saint Louis. The defender blasted a free kick from 40 yards out to net the first goal of the contest. The Canton, Mich., native has career-highs in goals (3) and points (8) in 2013, while being a key part of an Iowa defense that has posted five shutouts.

    Sophomore Hannah Clark ranks among the top-five in the Big Ten in three different statistical categories. The Colorado native's five shutouts and 0.56 shutouts per game are second among the league's 12 goalkeepers and her 0.67 goals against average ranks fifth.

    Seven different Iowa players have scored at least one goal thus far in 2013. Seniors Alex Melin, Ashley Catrell, and junior Melanie Pickert are leading the team with three strikes apiece. Junior Cloe Lacasse has a team-best five assists, and Melin has two game-winning goals, which are tied for the third-most in the Big Ten.

    In nine games, Iowa has more than doubled the shot output of its opponents, 150-65. The Hawkeyes have limited the opposition to 28 shots on goal and a .092 shot percentage. Offensively, Iowa has a 17-6 advantage in goals.

    Junior Caitlin Brown is the only position player to play every minute for the Hawkeyes in 2013. Brown, who has played all 720 minutes along with goalkeeper Hannah Clark, has anchored an Iowa defense that surrenders just 7.2 shots per game.

    Iowa currently leads the Big Ten in corner kicks attempted with 59 averaging 6.55 per game. The Hawkeyes have allowed 21 corners on the year.

    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.

    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.

    In two-plus years, junior Cloe Lacasse has made her mark on the Iowa soccer program. The Sudbury, Ontario, native is currently third in career goals (27), points (72), game-winning goals (8) and fourth in shots (185). 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.

    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.

    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 was broadcast live on BTN. The Hawkeyes fell to the Wolverines, 2-1. 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 73-61-16 record, which includes 33 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.

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