Iowa junior forward Cloe Lacasse scored a goal in each of the Hawkeyes’ last two matches and the Iowa soccer team improved to 4-0 on the year following shutout wins over UC Davis and Pacific on Friday and Saturday.
Lacasse’s first goal of the season came Friday evening as the Hawkeyes won 1-0 over UC Davis. Lacasse then combined with Alex Melin for the two goals scored against Pacific in a 2-0 victory. It was the 26th an 27th goals of Lacasse’s career.
The win gives Iowa its 22nd straight nonconference victory, a streak that UI head coach Ron Rainey says does not weigh on the minds of his players or coaching staff whatsoever.
“To be totally honest, I don’t think many of our players even know about it,” he said. “Our primary focus is recovering and getting ready for our next game.”
Hannah Clark was stellar in goal during both wins for Iowa. She made four saves against UC Davis and then stopped two more shots against Pacific for her second straight shutout. Her goals against average on the season also dipped to 0.25.
“Hannah and our defenders have been terrific, and they did a good job of clearing balls tonight,” Rainey said. “UC Davis was a very dynamic attacking team, and we did a good job defending them tonight.”
Iowa was able to exploit a short-handed Tigers squad after defender Brittni Beeman was issued her second yellow card in the 21st minute. The ejection left Pacific with just 10 players.
“It was a physical match, very similar to the style of a Big Ten match,” said Rainey.
Melin took advantage of the situation by scoring her first goal of the season in the 38th minute. It was her 11th career goal.
“Alex did a really good job composing herself on that shot,” Rainey said. “She settled herself, and delivered a nice shot with her left foot.”
Lacasse delivered the Hawkeyes second and final goal of the match via a penalty kick in the 77th minute after being brought down by a Pacific player in the box.
Rainey was pleased with his team’s effort and ability to capitalize on Beeman’s first-half ejection, but he doesn’t expect to hold a similar advantage in any upcoming games.
“Being a player short made it hard for them to get behind us,” he said. “Overall, we’re not going to play many teams that will be a player down.”
The Hawkeyes outshot their opponents for the fourth straight match, shooting 16 times with nine on goal. Pacific had 11 shots with only two on goal.
“We had to over-communicate a bit after the red card,” Rainey said. “With 11 players on the field, you’re matched up with the same person for the entire match. All of a sudden, you’re defending a different player every time.”
The Hawkeyes will return to action Friday, hosting Iowa State at 7 p.m. at the Iowa Soccer Complex in the first event of the 2013-14 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
Five Hawkeyes picked for all-tourney team
Five members of the University of Iowa soccer team -- Clark, Lacasse, Melanie Pickert, Caitlin Brown and Melin -- were selected to the all-tournament team at the Pacific Soccer Classic.
Clark was named as top goalkeeper after earning two shutouts. She made six saves in those contests as well.
Lacasse scored two of Iowa’s three goals and Melin tallied the game-winning goal in the win over Pacific, while Pickert and Brown were both key members to the Iowa defense that surrendered just 20 shots in two matches.