No. 20 Penn State Awaits Iowa in B1G Semifinals - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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No. 20 Penn State Awaits Iowa in B1G Semifinals
Hawkeyes face Nittany Lions at 11 a.m. (CT) in Champaign, Ill.
Sophomore Hannah Clark and the UI soccer team faces No. 20 Penn State on Friday in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Sophomore Hannah Clark and the UI soccer team faces No. 20 Penn State on Friday in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
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Nov. 7, 2013

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    Game Notes vs. No. 20 Penn State (B1G Tournament) Get Acrobat Reader

    The seventh-seeded University of Iowa soccer team makes its first Big Ten semifinal appearance in school history, facing third-seeded and 20th-ranked Penn State on Friday at 11 a.m. (CT) in Champaign, Ill. The match will be televised live on the BTN from the Illinois Soccer Stadium.

    Both Friday semifinal games will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Dan Kelly will handle the play-by-play, while Danielle Slaton will serve as the color commentator. Fans can also follow the action live on GameTracker and via Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer).


    The Hawkeyes are 1-6-1 in eight all-time tournament games, which includes a 1-0 victory over No. 7 Michigan on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. The triumph was the first postseason victory in Iowa soccer history.

    Iowa has played Penn State three times in Big Ten Tournament play, falling 3-1 in 2007, 1-0 in 2008 and 2-0 in 2012. The Hawkeyes are the seventh seed for the first time. They have been the No. 3 seed once and the No. 6 and No. 8 seeds three times each.

    With its 1-0 triumph over No. 7 Michigan in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, the Iowa soccer team...
    • Posted the first postseason victory in program history. Iowa had previously been 0-6-1 in seven all-time Big Ten Tournament appearances.
    • Notched its 14th victory of the season, setting a new program record for wins in a single season. Iowa has won 12 or more games in each of the last three seasons for the first time in program history.
    • Defeated its second ranked opponent of the season, a program first, and posted a victory over its highest ranked foe all-time.
    • Recorded its second victory over a top-10 RPI team this season. Michigan had an RPI of No. 6 entering Wednesday's game, while Penn State, who Iowa beat 3-2 on Oct. 25, had an RPI of nine. The Nittany Lions had an RPI of four at the time of their loss to the Hawkeyes.

    • Iowa did not make a substitution in the quarterfinal victory over Michigan. The Hawkeyes' core 11 played all 90 minutes. Iowa has used 13 players total in its last four games with the starters playing all but 77 minutes.
    • Iowa will be facing its fifth ranked opponent Friday against No. 20 Penn State. The Hawkeyes are 2-2 this season against ranked foes with wins over No. 16 Penn State (3-2) and No. 7 Michigan (1-0).
    • The winner of Friday's semifinal matchup will square off against either Nebraska or Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. Iowa fell 2-1 to the Huskers on Oct. 3 in Lincoln, and it downed Indiana, 2-1, on Oct. 12.

    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.

    The seventh-seeded Iowa soccer team upset No. 2 seed and seventh-ranked Michigan, 1-0, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. After playing a defensive first half, the Hawkeyes tallied the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute, courtesy of a strike by freshman Bri Toelle. Iowa's defense held the Wolverines in check for the final 28 minutes and sophomore Hannah Clark made three saves in goal en route to her ninth shutout of the season.

    The 20th-ranked Nittany Lions bring a 14-5-1 overall record into Friday's Big Ten Tournament semifinals. Penn State advanced with a 2-0 victory over sixth-seeded Wisconsin on Wednesday.

    The Nittany Lions lead the conference with 57 goals on the year with forward Maya Hayes pacing the team with 19 strikes and 43 points. Tani Costa has nine goals and six assists, while Raquel Rodriguez and Mallory Weber have six goals apiece.

    Britt Eckerstrom has started 20 games in goal, where she has posted a 1.43 goals against average with 78 saves, a .736 saves percentage and two shutouts.

    Penn State leads the all-time series over the Hawkeyes, 17-1-0. Iowa won for the first time in 18 tries in 2013, downing the Nittany Lions, 3-2, on Oct. 25 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes got goals from Katie Nasenbenny, Ashley Catrell and a game-winner from Cloe Lacasse in the 75th minute. Tani Costa netted both Penn State goals.

    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.

    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.

    Junior Cloe Lacasse was selected as the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week 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.

    Sophomore Hannah Clark is among the Big Ten leaders in three statistical categories. The Colorado native's nine shutouts are tied for the conference lead, while her 0.45 shutouts per game and 0.98 goals against average each rank second in the conference. Iowa's nine shutouts this season are the second-most in school history (10, 2012).

    Junior Cloe Lacasse has scored the game-winning goal in two of Iowa's last three victories, a 3-2 triumph over No. 16 Penn State on Oct. 25 and a 2-0 victory over Purdue on Nov. 2. The Ontario native now has 10 career game-winning strikes, the second-most in school history. Former Hawkeye Sarah Lynch holds the school record with 20 career game-winning goals.

    Since arriving on campus in 2010, Alex Melin has been a constant in the Iowa lineup. The Wisconsin native has started all 79 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.

    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 set career highs in goals (5) and points (14) this season, while attempting a career high 48 shots. The Canton, Mich., native has scored two game-winning goals, the first two of her career.

    Pickert has also been a key component of an Iowa defense that is tied for second in the Big Ten with eight shutouts.

    Iowa has scored the game's first goal in 15-of-20 matches this season. The Hawkeyes are unbeaten (14-0-1) when notching the game's first goal and 8-1-0 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 1,835 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 10.5 shots per game.

    The Hawkeyes are tied for sixth in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Great Lakes Region rankings that were released Nov. 5. Big Ten teams occupy eight of the 10 teams ranked.

    Eight different Iowa players have scored at least one goal in 2013. Junior Cloe Lacasse leads the Hawkeyes in goals (6), assists (7) and points 19), while senior Ashley Catrell and junior Melanie Pickert each have five strikes. Lacasse's seven assists are tied for the eighth-most in the Big Ten.

    In 20 games, Iowa has out shot its opponents, 330-209. The Hawkeyes have limited the opposition to 87 shots on goal and a .094 shot percentage.

    Offensively, Iowa has a 33-20 advantage in goals.

    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 was 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 second in career goals (31) and game-winning goals (10), and third in points (82) and shots (219).

    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 79-65-18 record, which includes 39 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.

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