June 16, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa soccer program will face eight NCAA Tournament qualifiers — three at the Iowa Soccer Complex — during the 2014 season, first-year head coach Dave DiIanni announced Monday.
The Hawkeyes open the season with an exhibition game at DePaul on Aug. 14 before hitting the road for a pair of contests to open the regular season. Iowa plays at Northern Iowa on Aug. 22 and Illinois-Chicago on Aug. 24. The Flames will be competing in their first season as a Division I program in 2014.
Iowa opens its home slate Aug. 29, hosting Fresno State under the lights in Iowa City before squaring off with Butler to open the month of September. The Hawkeyes close out its nonconference slate the following weekend, traveling to Ames, Iowa, for their annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup against Iowa State on Sept. 5 before playing at Colorado State on Sept. 7.
Iowa begins Big Ten Conference play with four of its first five contests at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Hawkeyes open league action with Illinois on Sept. 11 and Northwestern on Sept. 14. The Illini went 11-9-3 in 2013 and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Following a Sept. 20 matchup against NCAA qualifier Minnesota in Minneapolis, Iowa will host Big Ten newcomers Maryland and Rutgers on Sept. 26 and Sept. 28, respectively. Maryland went 10-10-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season, while Rutgers was 13-4-5 en route to an American Athletic Conference runner-up finish and an NCAA Tournament berth.
The Hawkeyes hit the road for three-straight matches to start October, facing Michigan State (Oct. 2), Michigan (Oct. 5) and Wisconsin (Oct. 8). The Wolverines went 18-4-1 in 2013 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.
Iowa closes out the regular season with four of its final five contests against NCAA qualifiers. The Hawkeyes host Indiana (Oct. 17) and Purdue (Oct. 19) in their final two home dates, and the program will recognize its nine seniors prior to the home finale against the Boilermakers.
The final three regular season games will be on the road with Iowa facing Ohio State (Oct. 23), Penn State (Oct. 26) and reigning Big Ten regular season and tournament champion Nebraska on Oct. 31. The Buckeyes played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, while the Nittany Lions and Cornhuskers advanced to the NCAA second round last season.
The top eight teams in the regular season standings will advance to the 2014 Big Ten Tournament, which will be held at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex in West Lafayette, Indiana, from Nov. 5-9.
The Hawkeyes return nine starters and 19 letterwinners from the 2013 squad that won a school-record 15 games. Iowa advanced to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament and earned the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.