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Iowa takes early lead in Cy-Hawk Series
September 8, 2013 - Andy Heintz
The first round of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series goes to the Iowa Hawkeyes.
In front of a record crowd, the Iowa soccer team stayed unbeaten with a 3-0 rout of its instate rivals on Friday.
It was the Hawkeyes’ sixth straight win over Iowa State and a record 1,596 fans filled up the seats at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
“The energy was excellent,” said Iowa coach Ron Rainey. “The weather was perfect, and I don’t see how our kids couldn’t be fired up about that.”
Rainey said the crowd had an enormous effect on Friday’s contest, amplifying the intensity of an already fierce rivalry game. The crowd shattered the previous record of 975 fans that watched the Iowa-Iowa State game in 2011.
Iowa began its scoring in the 11th minute as junior Anne Marie Thomas scored off a header following a free kick from junior Melanie Pickert. It was Thomas’ second game-winning goal of her career.
Nine minutes later, Iowa made it 2-0 after senior Alex Melin found the back of the net. Melin’s second goal of the season was assisted by sophomore Brooke Backes.
“It was nice to get those goals early,” said Rainey. “It allowed us to keep doing what we’re good it in the second half.
“When our possessions are good in front, it opens up space behind and allows us to take those chances near the end-line.”
Iowa would wait awhile to make it 3-0 but the Hawkeyes eventually got a final goal in the 64th minute off another free kick from Pickert. The Hawkeye defender’s kick from 25 yards out was perfectly placed into the box where freshman Bri Toelle shot the ball past Iowa State goalkeeper Maddie Jobe. It was the first goal of Toelle’s career.
“It’s my job to get it (in the box), and it’s their job to finish,” Pickert said. “I’m happy they finished.”
Iowa goalkeeper Hannah Clark, a sophomore who earned Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors last week, recorded her third straight shutout of the year behind a defense that allowed just four shots on goal in 90 minutes.
Clark needed to make just one save on the day.
“Our defenders are putting heavy pressure on the ball, making sure there aren’t many shots,” Clark said. “Every time someone takes a shot, we’ve got bodies in front of the ball and someone is making contact.”
The Hawkeyes have now won 23 straight matches against non-conference foes.
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