Iowa soccer ties Missouri in season opener

The Iowa women’s soccer team was unable to capitalize in key moments to draw with Mizzou.

Iowa%27s+Natalie+Winters+kicks+the+ball+during+the+Iowa%2FRutgers+soccer+game+on+Thursday%2C+Oct.+5%2C+2017.+Iowa+won+the+match+1-0.+

David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan

Iowa's Natalie Winters kicks the ball during the Iowa/Rutgers soccer game on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. Iowa won the match 1-0.

James Geerdes, Sports Reporter

Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni’s fifth season at the helm of the Hawkeye soccer program began with neither a win nor a loss on Aug. 17 at the Iowa Soccer Complex.

The Missouri defense matched Iowa’s in the season-opener, resulting in a 0-0 draw. Iowa failed to capitalize on numerous opportunities throughout the match, but a slow start seemed to plague the Hawkeyes.

DiIanni’s squad began to pick up the tempo toward the end of the first half, but it fell stagnant after the second-half kickoff. Iowa defenders repeatedly cleared the ball to fend off Mizzou’s attacks.

But neither team was able to find the back of the net.

Iowa began pouring on pressure as the final few minutes of regulation ticked away. Diving Tiger goalie Mercedes Sapp saved a shot in the 79th minute from Hawkeye Rose Ripslinger.

Iowa had another opportunity in the 83rd minute with a corner kick, but the ball fell short of the front of the goal and was cleared by the resilient Tiger defense.

The referee awarded a free kick to Iowa in the 86th minute. Natalie Winters rocketed a ball straight to Sapp, who happily snared it for the save.

Regulation ended knotted at nil, and the match headed to overtime.

DiIanni’s squad kept up the pressure in the extra minutes. Winters took another free kick in the 105th and tried to cross it in front of the goal, but Missouri defenders fended it off.

The final whistle blew with no goals for either team, resulting in a draw.

Iowa will next play Creighton at the Soccer Complex in a Aug. 19 match at 1 p.m.

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