The University of Iowa soccer team will open regular season play at home, hosting Missouri on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) and Creighton on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Admission is free.
• Both games will be streamed live on BTN Plus on BTN2GO, a paid subscription service.
• Live stats for both contests will be available on hawkeyesports.com by visiting the Iowa soccer schedule page.
• Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live game updates.
• Iowa has 17 letterwinners and eight starters returning from a team that won nine games last year and advanced to the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2015.
• The Hawkeyes return their team Offensive Player of the Year Devin Burns and Co-Defensive Player of the Year Morgan Kemerling.
• Burns led the team with nine goals, five assists, and 23 points.
• Iowa’s top-three goal scorers return this season — Burns (9), Olivia Fiegel (6), and Kaleigh Haus (5).
• The team’s top-three assist leaders also return in Burns (5), Natalie Winters (5), and Haus (4).
• Missouri finished the 2017 season with a record of 8-12-1, which included an SEC Tournament quarterfinals loss to Texas A&M.
• The Tigers have won both of their exhibition games, defeating Missouri State, 6-0, on August 7, and Oklahoma State, 2-1, on August 10.
• Missouri returns its leading goal scorer — Sarah Luebbert — who found the back of the net seven times in 2017. Luebbert also led the Tigers with eight assists and 22 points.
• In the SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Missouri was picked to finish 10th.
• Creighton went 4-11-3 last season.
• In two exhibition games, the Bluejays tied Drake, 2-2, on August 8 and defeated Northern Illinois, 3-1, on August 10.
• The Bluejays were picked to finish ninth in the Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
• Taryn Jakubowski returns as Creighton’s leading goal scorer after scoring five times in 2017.
• Iowa is 1-8 all-time against Missouri with the last meeting coming in 2016. Iowa won 2-1 in overtime in Columbia. Isabella Blackman scored the game-winning goal in the 95th minute.
• The Hawkeyes fell to Creighton, 5-3, when the two teams last met in 2016. Iowa leads the all-time series, 5-2.
RETURNEES BY NUMBERS
• Offensively, the Hawkeyes return 80 percent (25 of 31) of the team’s goals from 2017 and 68 percent (21 of 31) of the team’s assists. Iowa has two starting defenders returning, Morgan Kemerling and Leah Moss.
B1G PRESEASON HONORS
• Three Hawkeyes — juniors Devin Burns, Kaleigh Haus, and Natalie Winters — were named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List. Burns led the team with nine goals and 23 points, Haus finished third on the team with five goals and 14 points, and Winters started all 19 games and has started all 38 games of her collegiate career.
• Iowa was picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten in the preseason coaches’ poll.
EXPERIENCE IN NET
• Claire Graves started every game in goal as a sophomore, posting a 9-8-2 record.
• Graves logged a team-leading 1,713 minutes while finishing fifth in the Big Ten in saves (75). She recorded a career-high seven shutouts last season.
• As a sophomore, Graves posted a 1.21 goals against average and made four or more saves in 11 matches.
US NATIONAL TEAM EXPERIENCE
• Junior Natalie Winters competed with the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team this summer.
• Winters helped lead the U.S. to a first place finish in the Tournoi Maurice Revello Sud Ladies Cup in France.
• Iowa adds 11 newcomers to the 2018 squad, including the 2017-18 Gatorade Illinois Girls Soccer Player of the Year Haley Rydberg.
• Three freshmen — Hailey Rydberg, Riley Whitaker, and Sara Wheaton — were in the starting lineup in Iowa’s exhibition loss to Illinois State. Seven of the nine freshmen saw action against Illinois State.
BURNS X 2 X 2
For the third straight season there will be a Burns tandem on the Iowa soccer roster. It was Corey and Devin Burns in 2016 and 2017. Corey is now playing professionally in Denmark, but the sister duo continues with freshman Riley Burns joining the Hawkeyes’ roster and her sister Devin.
• The Hawkeyes will rely on veteran leadership with junior forwards Devin Burns, Kaleigh Haus, and Olivia Fiegel, who combined for 20 of the team’s 31 goals last season.
• Haus and junior Emma Tokuyama earned the start in the exhibition match against Illinois State, while freshman Skylar Alward and Adrianna Naumoski saw significant minutes.
Senior Morgan Kemerling and redshirt junior Kaleigh Haus are Iowa’s team captains for the 2018 season.
• Iowa will play five contests against NCAA Tournament teams in 2018.
• The Hawkeyes will face four opponents who are ranked in the preseason United Soccer Coaches top-25 — Penn State (4), Washington State (21), Ohio State (23), and Rutgers (24) — and three more teams that are receiving votes.
• Iowa is 11-8-1 all-time in season openers.
• The Hawkeyes are 3-1 in season openers under head coach Dave DiIanni. Iowa beat Richmond, 5-1, in last season’s opener.
COACHING STAFF CHANGES
The Hawkeyes have added Katelyn Longino as an assistant coach and Drago Ceranic as a volunteer assistant coach to the 2018 coaching staff. Longino joins Iowa following coaching stints at Valparaiso, Xavier, and Columbus State. Ceranic coached with the Cedar River Soccer Association since 2009 and has been a part of Iowa’s Olympic Development Program since 2016.
FISHBUNE SCORES HALL OF FAME NOD
• Former Hawkeye Sarah (Lynch) Fishbune is part of the 30th National Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame class. She is the first Iowa women’s soccer player to earn the hall of fame nod.
• Fishbune was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten performer, freshman All-American, and earned All-Region honors.
• She scored a school-record 20 game-winning goals from 1999-2002. Fishbune is Iowa’s all-time leader in goals (46), is third all-time in career assists (20), and she shares the school record for career points (112).
ON THE HORIZON
The Hawkeyes will travel to Minneapolis for a neutral-site match against Washington State on August 24. Iowa will be home August 26 to host Indiana State.