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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s soccer team will face Michigan in its lone exhibition on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT) at the U-M Soccer Stadium. The two teams do not meet during the regular season.
“Knowing we didn’t play Michigan this year, we wanted to get the best game we could for an exhibition game and Michigan is going to be good this year,” said Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni. “We want to get as many players who are eligible to play good playing time.
“We’re going to play three periods. We want to develop the top side of our roster, but also the inexperience as well so they can get better. That will only help as when we return to play Western Michigan next week.”
The Hawkeyes return 10 starters and 22 letterwinners from a squad that won eight games in 2018. The team has also added 10 newcomers.
Iowa returns its top two point scorers in third-team All-Big Ten midfielder Natalie Winters and redshirt senior forward Kaleigh Haus. Winters scored five goals and had three assists as a junior, while Haus had nine points (four goals, one assist).
The #Hawkeyes face Michigan in their lone exhibition Friday… @uiowadiianni on the B1G matchup. pic.twitter.com/mPBDCPaEfq
— Hawkeye Soccer (@HawkeyeSoccer) August 14, 2019
The Hawkeyes also welcome back three key defenders — senior Hannah Drkulec and sophomores Riley Whitaker and Sara Wheaton — and three-year starter Claire Graves (0.86 GAA, 43 saves) in goal.
Michigan went 9-9-1 last season and 5-5-1 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines return 22 letterwinners, their top two goal scorers in Nicki Hernandez (8 goals, 6 assists) and Sarah Stratigakis (7 goals, 3 assists), a trio on the back line and their entire goalkeeping contingent.
Iowa opens the regular season with four straight home games, beginning with an Aug. 22 matchup against Western Michigan at 7 p.m. at the Iowa Soccer Complex.