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The University of Iowa soccer team continues it four-game season-opening home stand Thursday, hosting an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup against Iowa State at 7 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Hawkeyes will round out the weekend, hosting Illinois State at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
• Both games will be streamed live on BTN+ — a paid subscription service.
• Live stats for both contests will be available on hawkeyesports.com.
• Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live game updates.
• Iowa is 2-0 to start the season for the first time since the 2017 season and for the fourth time in head coach Dave DiIanni’s tenure. The Hawkeyes beat Western Michigan (2-0) and Northern Iowa (6-1) to open the season.
• DiIanni is in his sixth season at the helm of the Iowa women’s soccer program. DiIanni signed a five-year contract extension in the summer of 2019.
• The Hawkeyes return 10 starters and 22 letterwinners. Iowa returns players that accounted for 17 of the team’s 20 goals, a trio of defenders that contributed to six shutouts, and the entire goalkeeper contingent.
• Seniors Hannah Drkulec and Isabella Blackman have been voted the Hawkeyes’ team captains for the 2019 season.
Senior Hannah Drkulec was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Aug. 27 after anchoring an Iowa defense in two victories to open the regular season. The Hawkeyes surrendered just four shots in two games and tallied a shutout. Drkulec also had a goal and an assist in the two contests.
What does the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series mean to @bellablackman ? How can the team build on its 2-0 start? #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/QkcBExFxF7
— Hawkeye Soccer (@HawkeyeSoccer) August 28, 2019
I SCORE, YOU SCORE, WE ALL SCORE
The Hawkeyes scored eight goals in their first two games of the 2019 season (Iowa scored 20 total goals in 2018) and seven different players have found the back of the net. Ten different players have tallied an assist and 16 have attempted shots.
• Freshman Gianna Gourley and sophomores Samantha Tawharu and Skylar Alward scored their first career goals.
Iowa’s defense was superb in the first two games of the 2019 season, limiting Western Illinois and Northern Iowa to four combined shots in 180 minutes. The Hawkeyes have a 43-4 advantage in shots in the two games. Sophomores Sara Wheaton and Riley Whitaker have played 159 and 155 minutes, respectively, in the two victories.
Senior Natalie Winters is leading the team with two goals — both coming on penalty kicks. She is a perfect 6-for-6 in her career in penalty kicks.
• Iowa is 9-0-3 over its last 12 games at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Hawkeyes won seven games in 2018 — the most at home since 2013.
• Twenty-five players saw action during the opening weekend of the 2019 season.
• Three Hawkeyes — Devin Burns, Natalie Winters, and Riley Whitaker — were named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors list. Iowa was picked to finish 10th in the preseason poll.
• Iowa started six seniors, four sophomores, and a freshman during the first two games of the 2019 season. Sophomore Jenny Cape and freshman Samantha Cary made their first career starts.
Head coach @uiowadiianni and the #Hawkeyes are ready to be the first ones out of the gates in the 2019-20 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series! pic.twitter.com/NbVW4XVs2a
— Hawkeye Soccer (@HawkeyeSoccer) August 28, 2019
• The Hawkeyes boast a roster featuring 12 seniors and 14 total upperclassmen. The 12 seniors are believed to be the most by a team in the nation.
• The 12 seniors have combined to start 338 games in their collegiate careers.
• Midfielder Natalie Winters has started 57 of 58 games as a Hawkeye, Claire Graves has started 52 contests, and Isabella Blackman has started 48 games.
• has started 57 of 58 career games.
• is a three-time All-Big Ten selection, earning All-Freshman team honors in 2016 and third-team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore and junior. She also earned All-Region honors in 2018.
• led the team with five goals in 2018 en route to being named Iowa’s team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.
Senior Claire Graves currently ranks in the top-five in three career categories in Iowa history. The Indiana native is second in career shutouts (18), third in career victories (26), and fifth in career saves (192).
• The Cyclones are 1-1-0 on the season after splitting two games during their opening weekend in California. Iowa State lost its opener, 3-0, at No. 4 UCLA before downing UC Irvine, 1-0, on Aug. 25.
• Iowa State won both of its exhibition contests, defeating Northern Iowa (4-0) and Drake (2-0).
• Kenady Adams scored the lone goal for the Cyclones in the 1-0 win over the Anteaters, while Dayja Schwichtenberg made six saves in the two games.
• The Cyclones were picked dto finish ninth of 10 teams in the Big 12 Preseason poll.
• The Redbirds opened the season by splitting a pair of road games, downing Omaha, 3-2, on Aug. 23 and falling at Kansas City, 2-0, on Aug. 25. Illinois State plays at Ball State before facing Iowa on Sunday.
• Kate Del Fava scored two of Illinois State’s three goals during the season-opening weekend, while goalkeeper Haley Smith made 12 saves in two contests.
• Illinois State was selected to finish third in the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll behind Loyola Chicago and Drake. Abby Basler and Kate Del Fava were voted to the preseason all-conference team.
• Iowa leads the all-time series over Iowa State, 12-7-2. The Hawkeyes have won nine of the last 11 meetings, but Iowa State was victorious, 2-1, last season in Ames.
• The Hawkeyes have won the last five games in the series in Iowa City, out-scoring the Cyclones, 11-1.
• Iowa and Illinois State have split the two meetings in the series. The Hawkeyes won the first matchup, 3-2, in Iowa City in 2001 before the Redbirds evened the tally with a 1-0 win in Normal in 2002.
• Seniors Kaleigh Haus and Devin Burns return for their third season as Iowa’s starting forwards. Haus was second on the team (to midfielder Natalie Winters) in points (four goals, one assist), while Burns found the net twice. Burns was Iowa’s top offensive weapon in 2017, scoring nine times, but she battled injury last season.
• Iowa’s midfield welcomes back seniors Natalie Winters, Isabella Blackman, Sydney Blitchok, and sophomore Hailey Rydberg. Winters scored five times in 2018, while Blackman started 16 games.
• Iowa has three defensive stalwarts returning in senior Hannah Drkulec and sophomores Riley Whitaker and Sara Wheaton. Wheaton logged 1,613 minutes — the second-most on the team — and Drkulec was third with 1,583 minutes. The trio helped the Hawkeyes post six shutouts.
• Iowa welcomes back both of its goalkeepers in senior Claire Graves and redshirt junior Cora Meyers. Graves tallied seven wins and posted six shutouts, while finishing with a 0.86 goals against average and 43 saves. Meyers started seven contests where she had a 1.64 goals against average and made 18 stops.
• The Hawkeyes welcome 10 newcomers — nine freshmen and a sophomore. Three players — Samantha Cary, Samantha Cramin, and Samantha Tawharu — joined the program in January.
• Tawharu played for the New Zealand Junior National Team, while incoming forward Gianna Gourley was the Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year.
Blair Quinn joined the program as associate head coach, where he will coach the Iowa goalkeepers. Quinn joins the program with 16 years of collegiate coaching experience with his most recent stop being at the University of Houston.
• The 2019 schedule will feature 11 home matches at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
• The Hawkeyes will face six teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including two teams that were in the Sweet 16.
• Three opponents — Penn State (6), Wisconsin (16), and NC State (21) — are in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Top-25, while three additional opponents (Minnesota, Rutgers, and Ohio State) are receiving votes.
• The Hawkeyes will have a variety of themed matches this season, including a Black Out (Aug. 29), Youth Soccer Night (Sept. 13), Greek Night (Sept. 26), Fan Fest with Iowa Field Hockey (Sept. 29), Pink Night (Oct. 3), and Alumni Night (Oct. 11).
• Fans will have opportunities to college several giveaways as well as participate in autograph sessions with the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sept. 5 for their first road contest of the season, facing North Carolina State.