Week 9 Preview: Northwestern | Illinois

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2016-17 | Hawk Talk Monthly — Oct. 2016 | Purchase Single-Game Tickets | Game Notes

The University of Iowa soccer team returns to the Iowa Soccer Complex this week for a pair of Big Ten matches. The Hawkeyes host Northwestern on Thursday at 7 p.m. (CT) before facing Illinois, in its home finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission is free. 

• Live stats for both games can be found on hawkeyesports.com.
• Both matches will be streamed online via BTN Plus. Visit www.btn2go.com (subscription required) to watch the action.
• Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live game updates.

• Thursday’s match against Northwestern will be a pink out, all fans are encouraged to wear the color pink to raise awareness for breast cancer research. It is also University of Iowa Health Care night. 
• Sunday’s contest is Senior Day — Senior “Shirseys” with the numbers of the team’s graduating seniors, will be distributed to the first 100 fans. There will also be a postgame autograph session.

Four players will be regonized during Senior Day at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Bri Toelle, Amanda Lulek, Tory Harman, and Natalie Krygier will be honored in a pregame ceremony. 

• Eleven different Hawkeyes have scored at least one goal in 2016.  Iowa had eight players score during the 2015 campaign.
• Of Iowa’s 22 goals, 14 have come in the second half or later, with one goal in overtime and 13 in the second half. 
• Senior Bri Toelle is tied for fifth in the Big Ten in shots per game (3.38), and in shots (44).
• 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 careers this season.
• Senior Bri Toelle leads the team in goals (5) and points (12). 
• Junior Karly Stuenkel is second on the team with four goals and three assists for 11 points this season. 
• Iowa had a six-game winning streak from Aug. 21-Sept. 9. It was the longest streak for the program since 2013. 
• Iowa is outshooting opponents by a margin of 214-191, in 13 contests. 

• Northwestern brings a 12-1-1 overall record into Thursday’s match, its only loss this season came against Rutgers, falling 2-0. With a 5-1-1 league record, the Wildcats sit in second place in the Big Ten Conference standings behind Penn State, who is 5-0-1.
• The Wildcats have scored 23 goals in 14 games with Brenna Lovera leading the team with six goals and 12 points, she is tied for the lead in Big Ten game-winning goals with four. Fourteen different players have scored at least one goal this season. 
• Goalkeeper Lauren Clem has played every minute between the posts for Northwestern, making 52 saves, and posting a 0.35 goals against average. Clem leads the league in shutouts and saves percentage.
• Northwestern has posted eight shutouts this season — four of which came against Big Ten opponents. 

• Northwestern leads Iowa in its all-time series, 12-7-1. The Hawkeyes shutout the Wildcats, 1-0, both in the regular season and at the Big Ten Championship during the 2014 season, en route to a 14-7-1 overall record for head coach Dave DiIanni’s debut season at Iowa. 

• Illinois is 5-9-1 this season, including a 5-3-0 home record, and 2-4-1 in Big Ten play. 
• The Fighting Illini are coming off two Big Ten victories, defeating Michigan and Michigan State last week, shutting out the Wolverines, 3-0. 
• Illinois has scored 14 goals this season, with 12 assists off a total of 196 shots, with Patricia George leading the team with three goals and eight points. Five players have scored multiple goals this season. 
• Goalkeeper’s Claire Wheatley and Michelle Denley split time between the posts for Illinois. Wheatley has marked 27 saves, while Denley has posted 22 for a team total of 55. 

• Iowa trails Illinois, 13-7-1, in the all-time series. The Hawkeyes posted five shutouts during the 2015 season, one of which was against the Fighting Illini, where Iowa defeated Illinois, 1-0, on the road.  

Five freshmen have scored their first career goals for the Hawkeyes this season. Devin Burns leads the class with three, while Olivia Fiegel has two, Natalie Winters, Isabella Blackman, and Kaleigh Haus have all scored once. 

Five different Hawkeyes have scored game-winning goals this season. Bri Toelle and Devin Burns have tallied two apiece, while Isabella Blackman, Olivia Fiegel, and Karly Stuenkel have each recorded one. 

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. She is tied for fifth in the Big Ten in shots per game, and fifth in shots.

Freshman Claire Graves has started every game for the Hawkeyes, making 60 saves — the second-most in the Big Ten — and posting a 1.76 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, and then again against Purdue. 
• Graves made a career-high nine saves in the 1-0 loss to Michigan on Sept. 16.

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.

Iowa has earned weekly Big Ten Conference recognition twice during the 2016 season.
• Junior Karly Stuenkel was the Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 6 after scoring three goals and adding an assist in Iowa wins over Colorado State and SIU Edwardsville.
• Forward Olivia Fiegel was the Freshman of the Week on Sept. 13 after scoring goals in road games at Iowa State and Colorado.  The goal against the Cyclones was her first career game-winner.

• 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. 

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.

Iowa will play its final two games on the road of the regular season following Northwestern and Illinois. The Hawkeyes face Maryland on Oct. 21 and Nebraska on Oct. 26.