The Iowa soccer team got off to a 2-0 start with two wins over a pair of Mid-Major programs over the weekend.
The Hawkeyes began the season with a 1-0 win over Drake in Des Moines on Friday and then went to 2-0 when they defeated Central Michigan, 3-1, on Sunday in the home opener.
Iowa 1, Drake 0
Lana Bonekemper scored the match’s only goal on a penalty kick in the 74th minute at the Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.
The Hawkeyes held a 19-8 advantage in shots, 5-2 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks.
“We had some good opportunities with restart chances and corner kicks,” said UI head coach Ron Rainey. “At times, we were a bit too direct, shooting from distance when we could’ve been closer.”
Hannah Clark earned her first win of the year in goal for Iowa as she stopped two Drake shots. Andrea Swenson took the loss for Drake after surrendering the only goal and stopping four Iowa shots.
Iowa 3, Western Michigan 1
Melanie Pickert scored twice and Ashley Catrell added a goal and an assist as the Hawkeyes moved to 2-0 following a pair of unanswered goals in the second half.
Pickert got the scoring going with an unassisted tally in the 44th minute. The goal came on a free kick just outside the box and was the only points of the first half. She got the opportunity because Chloe Lacasse was tackled after an aggressive cut to the net.
Pickert opened the Hawkeyes’ scoring in the 44th minute on a free kick. Junior Cloe Lacasse set up the opportunity after drawing a foul off of an aggressive cut just outside the box.
“(Lacasse) gets in and out of space relatively quickly,” said Rainey. “We’ve told her that goals are just as good as assists, and just as good as drawing penalty kicks and fouls just outside the box.”
Western Michgan tied the match in the 69th minute following an equalizer from Megan Ross, who got the ball off a rebound and put it past Clark for the score.
Pickert gave Iowa the lead for good with another tally in the 74th minute. Catrell delivered the assist on that tally and then made it 3-1 with her own goal off a penalty kick in the 80th minute.
It was the first game-winning goal of Pickert’s career.
“(The ball) got back to me, and I took it off my chest and sent it home,” said Pickert.
“Mel did an excellent job keeping that ball alive,” Rainey said. “She was able to finish from a pretty tough angle.”
Senior Alex Melin set up Catrell’s penalty kick when she was taken out by Western Michigan goalkeeper Michelle Watson to earn a yellow card and a Hawkeye penalty kick. Catrell sent the strike into the lower right corner to essentially put the game away.
Iowa held a 16-11 advantage in shots and a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams took six corner kicks.
Clark (2-0) finished with three saves and got the win in goal, while Watson stopped six Iowa shots but was given the loss after allowing three goals.
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday facing UC Davis in a neutral site match in Stockton, Calif., beginning at 6 p.m. (CT).