Oct. 28, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — After a harrowing conclusion to the regular season, the University of Iowa women’s soccer team can finally exhale. The Hawkeyes extended their season by grabbing the eight seed in the Big Ten Tournament, moving past Indiana on the final day of the season to earn the final tournament seed.
Iowa (12-5-3, 3-5-3), who defeated Wisconsin on Saturday to advance, will meet top-seeded Penn State (16-2-1, 10-1-0) on Wednesday in the first round of action. First touch is set for 12:30 p.m. (CT) at the Jerry Yeagley Field in Bloomington, Ind.
“The team is excited to represent Iowa at the tournament and to face Penn State in the first round,” said Iowa head coach Ron Rainey, who has guided Iowa to four appearances in the conference tournament. “Penn State is a great program and we are excited to prepare for our match the next couple days.”
All opening round matches will be played Wednesday, while the semifinals will be played on Friday. The championship match is set for 11 a.m. on Sunday. The quarterfinals will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network. The semifinals and finals will be available on BTN and BTN2Go.
The winner of the Iowa-Penn State match will meet either fourth-seeded Minnesota (11-7-1, 6-4-1) or fifth-seeded Illinois (9-7-2, 6-4-1) in the semifinals. On the bottom side of the bracket, second-seeded Ohio State (13-4-1, 8-2-1) will meet seventh-seeded Nebraska (7-11-1, 4-7-0) and third-seeded Michigan (13-4-2, 7-2-2) will face sixth-seeded Wisconsin (12-6-1, 5-5-1).
Iowa faced the Nittany Lions in the regular season, and went toe-to-toe with the then fourth ranked team in the nation. Penn State would escape with a 2-1 victory in Iowa City. The Nittany Lions captured the regular season conference championship for the 15th consecutive season this year.
The Hawkeyes advanced to the Big Ten Tournament as a six seed last season, falling to Michigan State in penalty kicks in the opening round. Rainey also led Iowa to the tournament in 2007 and 2008. Iowa also advanced to the tournament in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The tournament was eliminated in 2009 and 2010, but was reinstated in the 2011 season.
A victory would give the Hawkeyes their first postseason victory in program history, and would tie the program’s mark for most wins in a season, which was set in 1999 and 2011 with 13 wins.