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The ability to finish
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The pair of Hawkeye forwards have been deadly in front of the net as each have scored five goals. Both lead the Big Ten in goals scored and both have been a major reason why the Hawkeyes are in top of the conference in numerous statistical categories.
Iowa is off to a 4-0-0 start and currently sits atop the Big Ten standings heading into the third week of the season. It is the first time ever that the program has started the season with four straight shutouts; only two teams in program history have scored more goals through the first four games (15).
For head coach Ron Rainey, having this pair of Hawkeyes has been a big attribute for the Iowa offense, and for the team.
"Their performances so far have been really exceptional," says Rainey. "We need that. We need their performances, and we need their goals. If we can have two players perform consistently like that, and two or three other players score around seven goals, we can give other teams fits."
While the hot start has certainly given reason for optimism, Rainey has kept his focus on the upcoming schedule, which is going to get significantly tougher. Iowa travels to Iowa State (3-1-0) Aug. 31 and hosts Valparaiso on Sept. 2 before facing a pair of teams (Army and Long Island University–Brooklyn) that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011 at the Black Knight Classic in West Point, N.Y.
After that, the always-rigorous Big Ten schedule begins.
"It's been nice to see these goals from Cloe and Ashley, but the biggest thing for them, and us, is to get those goals against opponents like Iowa State and Big Ten teams, too," says Rainey. "We play Iowa State Friday, a team we know will be the best team we have played so far, and right now we can't look into the stats too much."
For Lacasse, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, it's a matter of keeping pace and surpassing the marks she hit a year ago in one of the best freshman seasons in program history. Lacasse scored 12 goals and added six assists to lead the team with 30 points and become one of the league's premier scorers—all in her rookie campaign.
She is on pace for another stellar season. Lacasse currently ranks first in the Big Ten in shots (20), shots per game (5.0), points (13), points per game (3.25), goals (5), goals per game (1.25), assists (3), and game-winning goals (2).
While Lacasse has received a lot of notoriety for her goal-scoring prowess, it's the little things that stand out to Rainey.
"Goals always get a lot of attention, but we really like the way she's improved her passing, her ability to play with her back to the goal, and having the maturity to know when it's the right time to go one versus one and when it's the right time to find teammates," says Rainey. "Those things have been great to see from her."
Catrell's breakout year has likely been a bit more surprising to those outside the program. Catrell played in 28 games her first two years with the program and netted five goals. The Overland Park, Kan., native has already matched that total through just four games this season.
"She came back this fall with a mindset of wanting to be on the field, wanting to be finishing and scoring, and I think that attitude has translated to a lot of those goals," says Rainey. "Ashley is simply a goal scorer."