The University of Iowa soccer team opens Big Ten play this weekend, hosting Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) and Michigan State at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Admission is free.
• Live stats for both contests will be available on hawkeyesports.com
• Friday’s game vs. Michigan will be streamed online on BTN Plus, while Sunday’s contest will be televised on BTN. Lisa Byington will handle the play-by-play and Jackie Santacaterina will handle the color commentary.
• Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live game updates.
• Friday night is Dad-Daughter Date Night, there will be fun pregame activites in the Grant Field complex from 6-7 p.m. The first 500 fans through the gate will receive free Pancheros chips and guacamole during Friday’s match against Michigan. There will also be post game fireworks.
• Sunday’s match against Michigan State is the Hawks Nest Tailgate, which includes free hot dogs, bacon cheeseburgers, and refreshments for the first 100 UI students at the game. There will also be a postgame autograph session with players.
• Eleven different Hawkeyes have scored at least one goal in 2016. Iowa had eight players score during the 2015 campaign.
• Iowa has started at least five freshmen in every game this season.
• Seven players – Karly Stuenkel, Natalie Winters, Rachele Armand, Morgan Kemerling, Amanda Lulek, Hannah Drkulec, and Claire Graves – have been in the starting lineup in each of the first eight matches.
• Eight players – Rose Ripslinger, Devin Burns, Natalie Winters, Isabella Blackman, Kaleigh Haus, Rachele Armand, Morgan Kemerling, and Olivia Fiegel – have scored the first goals of their career this season.
• Iowa had a six-game winning streak from Aug. 21-Sept. 9. It was the longest streak fro the program since 2013.
• Michigan brings a 4-1-1 record into Friday’s game after posting a pair of shutout victories over Ole Miss and UC Riverside.
• Michigan has scored 15 goals in six matches with eight different players finding the back of the net. Junior Ani Sarkisian leads the Wolverines with four goals and three assists.
• Goalkeeper Sarah Jackson has made 18 saves in 450 minutes, producing a 0.60 goals against average.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
• The Spartans bring a 3-3-1 record to Sunday’s match, dropping a 2-1 match against Oregon State in overtime last week, before downing Detroit at home, 2-0, on Sept. 11 for their second shutout of the season.
• Four players are responsible for the Spartans seven goals with Marisa Oleksiak leading the team with three strikes.
• Kaitlyn Collin is the lone goalie for MSU, she has made 47 saves, with a 1.10 goals against average.
• Michigan leads the all-time series over Iowa, 3-16-2. The Hawkeyes fell 0-1 last season against the Wolverines. Iowa’s last victory over Michigan came in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, the Hawkeyes defeated a seventh ranked Michigan team, 1-0.
• Iowa trails Michigan State, 6-9-5 in the all-time series.
• The Hawkeyes defeated MSU in double overtime during the 2013 season and again posting a 1-0 victory over the Spartans in the 2014 regular season, during head coach Dave DiIanni’s first season at Iowa.
Five freshmen have scored their first career goals for the Hawkeyes this season. Devin Burns and Olivia Fiegel are leading the class, finding the back of the net twice each. Natalie Winters, Isabella Blackman, and Kaleigh Haus have all scored once.
TOELLE PACES TEAM
Senior Bri Toelle leads the team with five goals and 12 points this season. The Virginia native tied her career best five goals from last season. She led the team with 15 points and five assists in 2015.
FIEGEL EARNS FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Olivia Fiegel earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after scoring two goals on three shots this past weekend. Her first career goal came against Iowa State, scoring the game winner, the second was the team’s lone goal against Colorado.
HAWKEYES ON TV
• Iowa will appear on BTN/BTN Plus 10 times this season. The Hawkeyes match against Michigan State on Sunday will be broadcast on BTN.
• BTN Plus will stream Iowa’s matches against Michigan (Friday), Ohio State (Sept. 25), Purdue (Sept. 30), Minnesota (Oct. 6), Wisconsin (Oct. 9), Northwestern (Oct. 13), Illinois (Oct. 16), Maryland (Oct. 21), and Nebraska (Oct. 26).
• Through the first eight games of the season, the Hawkeyes are one of the top offensive teams in the nation. Iowa ranks in the top 20 in the country in four different offensive categories — tied for 13th in goals (21), tied for 14th in points (61), tied for 14th in assists (19), and tied for 19th in scoring offense (2.63).
• Iowa is also atop the Big Ten statistical rankings in goals, points, and assists.
• The Hawkeyes have scored two or more goals in six of eight games, including 5 strikes in a victory over SIUE. They were the most goals since 2012.
• Iowa’s five goal output is tied for the high water mark in the Big Ten this season.
• Iowa had seven assists and 17 points against SIUE – the most in a Big Ten game this season.
Freshman Claire Graves has started every game for the Hawkeyes, making 28 saves — the fifth-most in the Big Ten – and posting a 1.85 goals against average. The Indiana native made seven saves en route to her first career victory at Missouri and she posted her first career shutout in a 1-0 victory over Eastern Michigan. Sophomore Emma Rigby has appeared in three contests, making five saves without allowing a goal in 89:57 minutes in goal.
STUENKEL X 2
Junior Karly Stuenkel tallied the second two-goal game of her career in Iowa’s 4-1 victory over Colorado State on Sept. 2. The St. Charles, Illinois, native is one of two Hawkeyes (Bri Toelle) to tally a two-goal game this season. Toelle had her first career multi-goal game in Iowa’s 3-2 win over Wyoming. Stuenkel was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 6.
• Iowa’s nine player freshmen class was ranked as the 28th-best recruiting class in the nation by BigSoccer.com.
• Two freshmen — Natalie Winters and Hannah Drkulec — have national team experience. Winters has competed in six U18 Women’s National Team camps, while Drkulec played on the Croatian Women’s National Team in 2015.
Juniors Rachele Armand and sophomore Aubree Larson are Iowa’s team captains for the 2016 season. Larson will miss the entire season because of injury.
COACHING STAFF CHANGES
The Hawkeyes have two new additions to the coaching staff for the 2016 season in interim assistant coach Nate Castillo and volunteer assistant Chris Early. Both are UI alums. Castillo joins the program after serving as a high school assistant coach at City High in Iowa City, while Early was an assistant coach at Northwestern State last season.
ON THE HORIZON
The Hawkeyes will travel east for a pair of road matches beginning with Penn State on Sept. 23 and Ohio State on Sept. 25.