Defense sets the soccer tone

Wisconsin+midfielder+Rose+Lavelle+tries+to+evade+the+Iowa+defense+in+the+Big+Ten+soccer+championship+game+at+the+Boilermaker+Soccer+Complex+on+Sunday%2C+Nov.+9%2C+2014.+The+Badgers+defeated+the+Hawkeyes+in+double+overtime%2C+1-0.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FJoshua+Housing%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Defense sets the soccer tone

Wisconsin midfielder Rose Lavelle tries to evade the Iowa defense in the Big Ten soccer championship game at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. The Badgers defeated the Hawkeyes in double overtime, 1-0. (The Daily Iowan/Joshua Housing)

Wisconsin midfielder Rose Lavelle tries to evade the Iowa defense in the Big Ten soccer championship game at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. The Badgers defeated the Hawkeyes in double overtime, 1-0. (The Daily Iowan/Joshua Housing)

Wisconsin midfielder Rose Lavelle tries to evade the Iowa defense in the Big Ten soccer championship game at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. The Badgers defeated the Hawkeyes in double overtime, 1-0. (The Daily Iowan/Joshua Housing)

Wisconsin midfielder Rose Lavelle tries to evade the Iowa defense in the Big Ten soccer championship game at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. The Badgers defeated the Hawkeyes in double overtime, 1-0. (The Daily Iowan/Joshua Housing)


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Limiting opponents’ shots has been key in Iowa soccer’s first two wins

By Courtney Baumann
[email protected]

Although the Iowa soccer team is only two games into its season, the team’s game plan is becoming clear to many: win with defense.

Iowa has allowed 14 shots over the course of two games — 8 against Pacific and 6 against Nebraska-Omaha — which is just one more than its average allowed per game last season.

Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, the defense is filled with plenty of Division I experience. Corey Burns and Amanda Lulek, both juniors, have combined to start 54 games throughout their first two years as Hawkeyes. Junior transfer Rachele Armand has also seen some game time in the ACC at Louisville before injuring herself and missing her sophomore year.

“Rachele Armand … she’s just a stud right now. She’s been so consistent,” coach Dave DiIanni said. “Corey Burns has been great; she’s played a lot of minutes in her career. With Amanda Lulek, they’re kind of bracketing Kyrie Seying, who’s a freshman fish out of water … We’re hard to break down and hard to play against.”

In order to come together as a complete defense, Burns and Lulek have taken up the responsibility of showing the freshmen — such as Seying — the ins and outs of the team.

The focus for the upperclassmen has been making the younger ones feel welcome by building the players up.

“I think we’re really giving them confidence and making sure it’s not too harsh but constructive criticism, where it’s like, ‘Just next time make sure you do this,’ or something like that,” Burns said. “It’s more about the confidence … making sure we’re building that instead of bringing it down.”

Burns and Lulek have made a conscious effort to not only help mold the younger players into athletes who will make a difference on the field but to make Armand feel comfortable on the team as well.

“They’ve helped her adapt really quick,” DiIanni said. “She’s really enjoyed her time here, and she’s rewarded us by playing some great soccer.”

Both games also happened to be shutouts (1-0, 4-0, respectively), which is not only a credit to the defensive line but to senior goalkeeper Hannah Clark as well. Clark, who was the only captain named by DiIanni for this season, has tallied 8 saves so far.

In 2014, Clark was tied for fourth in the Big Ten for saves and third in save percentage. DiIanni said she is not willing to settle for that this year.

“I think Hannah Clark should have been an All-Big Ten player last year, and that’ll be a goal for her this year,” he said. “She has aspirations to be something even bigger than just an Iowa Hawkeye soccer player.”

Clark has put in work over the off-season to prove herself not only to her coach and teammates but other teams and coaches as well in order to make those aspirations a reality.

However, she did not hesitate to give credit where credit is due to other Hawkeyes.

“A lot of it goes to technical work with goalkeepers, just keep on getting repetitions in,” Clark said. “The defense above us are working hard, the midfielders are working hard, and the forwards are working hard, so we have a good team in front of us.”