Iowa Kicks Off Big Ten Play

Sept. 22, 2009

This Week
The University of Iowa soccer team opens Big Ten play this week in Minneapolis, MN, against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Game time is set for Wednesday (Sept. 24) at 7 p.m.

Scouting the Opponents
Head Coach Mikki Denney Wright is in her sixth season as leader of the Gophers. Wright led her team to the NCAA tournament in 2008 for the first time in eight years. The team also tied for first place in the Big Ten.

Cat Parkhill has played every minute in goal this season for Minnesota, stopping 24 shots and posting a 0.65 GAA.

Katie Bethke is Minnesota’s leading scorer, with a career high six goals and 11 points. Bethke has collected a least one point in each victory.

Series History
Iowa trails the Gophers 3-8-1. Iowa’s last victory over Minnesota came in 2007, when the Hawkeyes won 1-0. In 2008, Iowa fell to the No. 25 Gophers, 1-0.

Seydel Starts 70th
Senior midfielder Alex Seydel is scheduled to start her 70th consecutive game as a Hawkeye when Iowa faces Minnesota on Thursday. Seydel has started every game of her career, recording six goals-three this season.

Seydel is among the top-five active players in the Big Ten for consecutive starts.

McLaughlin Is Big Ten Player of the Week
Keli McLaughlin earned the Big Ten’s co-Offensive Player of the Week award this week.

McLaughlin recorded three of Iowa’s five goals in the team’s shutouts against in-state foes Iowa State (2-0) and Northern Iowa (3-0).

The award marks the second week in the row that an Iowa player was named the conference’s best player of the week. Last week, Alyscha Mottershead was named Offensive and Freshman Player of the Week.

The back-to-back honors is the first time in the soccer program’s history that two members of the team have been named Big Ten Player of the Week in the same season. Previous Hawkeyes to earn this award are Stephanie Hyink (2008), Katelyn Quinn (2003) and Britta Vogele (2002).

Seydel Converts Again
Alex Seydel converted a penalty kick over the weekend to score in Iowa’s win over Iowa State. The goal is her third of the season, all coming from penalty kicks.

Seydel scored three goals in the previous three seasons, and has doubled her career goals with her efforts this season.

Iowa in Big Ten Rankings
Iowa continues to excel in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes lead the conference in two categories and are second place in two others.

The team sits in first place in goals scored with 23, three more than second place Michigan State, Purdue and Ohio State. Iowa also leads in goals per game with an average of 2.56.

Iowa is second in the points category, averaging 7.22 a game, with 65 total this season.

The Hawkeyes have recorded five shutouts in nine games which is also good enough for a second place spot in the Big Ten. Iowa is tied with Michigan State, Indiana and Minnesota.

Historical Start
Head Coach Ron Rainey along with his assistants Eileen Narcotta and Shane Meridith have led the Hawkeyes to a 7-2 start. That is the best start in the program’s 13 year history.

The previous best start to a season was by the 2000 squad with a 6-3 record.

Hawkeyes on the BTN
The Hawkeyes will make their lone appearance on the Big Ten Network on October 4 when they entertain Wisconsin at 1 p.m.

Big Ten Play
The conference kicks off Big Ten play this week. Iowa’s match up with Minnesota marks the first game between conference teams.

Friday, Indiana will travel to Northwestern and Wisconsin entertains Purdue.

Sunday’s games include Indiana at Wisconsin, Penn State at Michigan State and Purdue at Northwestern, while Ohio State hosts Michigan and Illinois welcomes Minnesota.

Up Next For Iowa
The Hawkeyes face the final in-state team on the schedule on Sept. 30. Iowa travels to Des Moines to compete against Drake. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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