IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa soccer team swept the opening weekend of its spring slate on Saturday (March 2) at the Indoor Practice Facility against Minnesota and Western Illinois.
The Hawkeyes began the day with a 4-1 victory over the Golden Gophers in a game that included a hat trick from senior forward Devin Burns and a converted penalty kick from senior midfielder Natalie Winters.
Iowa went on to top Western Illinois, 7-0, in an afternoon contest where redshirt freshman Monica Wilhelm got her first career start and played the full 90 minutes.
Senior forward Emma Tokuyama tallied her first career hat trick, while freshman forward Samantha Cramin scored her first goal as a Hawkeye. Sophomore midfielder Hailey Rydberg tallied two goals of her own and sophomore forward Skylar Alward found the back of the net once.
“First off, it was great to get everyone playing time. I think that gives us and the players an opportunity to gauge where they are at fitness wise, technically, and tactically,” said head coach Dave DiIannai. “Seeing players play for the first time, that is invaluable game experience for us. Both games were a little bit different.”
“The Minnesota game I thought was the best we have been defensively in my entire time at Iowa. Our mentality, shape, and tactically they were very prepared and were difficult physically throughout the game. I was really impressed with the mentality defensively. Everything we did in training was reflective in the game and it was consistent for 90 minutes. We played with no subs in that group and it showed that our fitness level is well ahead of where it should be at this time.”
Iowa continues spring play, March 10, in Ames, Iowa, against Drake at 12:15 p.m. (CT) and Iowa State at 2:45 p.m.