IOWA CITY, Iowa — After Mother Nature put a damper on the University of Iowa soccer team’s scheduled spring opener, the Hawkeyes are ready for take-two.
Iowa will host Division II Grand Valley State on Saturday at 9 a.m. (CT) at the Iowa Turf practice facility. It’s the first of four scheduled spring competitions for the Hawkeye soccer program. The original opener at Marquette was canceled March 25.
“We’re excited to begin the stage of our spring training where we get to compete against players outside of our program,” said Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni. “We have made a lot of growth this winter both individually and as a team and these next four games will allow us to evaluate where we’re at in different environments and competitions.”
Saturday’s game will be unique for DiIanni, facing a program he built into a Division II power during his 11-year stint in Allendale, Michigan. The Lakers won three NCAA Division II National Championships in a five-year stretch under his watch and he was a three-time NSCAA Coach of the Year.
“Playing an outside opponent is exciting, but to be able to host Grand Valley is even more special,” said DiIanni. “Jeff (Hosler) has done an exceptional job there the last four years.
“Our team has bought in physically, mentally, and emotionally this semester and to play a program that has had as much success as they have will be a great opportunity for us. We look forward to evaluate where we’re at on Saturday.”
The Lakers advanced to the Elite Eight in 2017, finishing with a 20-4-0 overall record.