The University of Iowa soccer team returns to the Iowa Soccer Complex on Friday to host Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes then travel to South Bend, Indiana, for a Sunday matchup at Notre Dame, beginning at noon in Alumni Stadium.
• Friday’s game will be streamed online on BTN+, while Sunday’s game will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.
• 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.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Iowa is 6-0 to start the season for the first time since the 2013 season and for the first time in head coach Dave DiIanni’s tenure. The Hawkeyes won their first eight games in 2011 and 2013 and a school-record nine straight games to open the 2012 season.
• The Hawkeyes have scored a Big Ten-best 18 goals through the first six games of the 2019 season. The figure is tied for eighth nationally.
• Iowa is receiving votes — sitting at No. 29 — in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 rankings, and is receiving consideration for the TopDrawerSoccer Top-25. The Hawkeyes moved up to No. 3 (from seventh) in the United Soccer Coaches North Region rankings.
• The Hawkeyes defeated No. 14 NC State on Sept. 6 in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was the team’s third-highest rated opponent Iowa has defeated in school history.
• Seniors Hannah Drkulec and Isabella Blackman were voted the Hawkeyes’ team captains for the 2019 season.
DRKULEC, GRAVES EARN B1G HONORS
Seniors Hannah Drkulec and Claire Graves were named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week, respectively, on Sept. 10, after leading Iowa to two shutout victories over No. 14 NC State and UNC Greensboro. Iowa’s defense surrendered 10 shots in two games, Drkulec scored against UNCG, and Graves had four saves.
• Graves was also named honorable mention on TopDrawerSoccer’s National Team of the Week on Sept. 10.
• Drkulec was also 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.
It started with an emphasis on team defense… it ended with a win over the third highest ranked opponent in program history… 🗣 @hannah_drkulec on how the #Hawkeyes continue their momentum this weekend. pic.twitter.com/EiY3SNy9Hh
— Hawkeye Soccer (@HawkeyeSoccer) September 11, 2019
AMONG THE NATION’S BEST
The Hawkeyes are eighth nationally in goals (18), ninth in points (51), 10th in corner kicks per game (7.83), 11th in shots per game (19.5), 13th in scoring offense (3.00), 15th in shots on goal per game, and 16th in assists (15).
• The Hawkeyes are leading the Big Ten in goals, scoring 18 times in six games. The figure is two ahead of Penn State and three ahead of Michigan State.
• Senior Natalie Winters has three goals, which are tied for third in the Big Ten. Kaleigh Haus, Gianna Gourley, and Devin Burns have two goals apiece, tying for fourth in the conference.
• Iowa also has a Big Ten-best 15 assists with Emma Tokuyama, Samantha Tawharu, Melina Hegelheimer, and Gianna Gourley being tied for third in the league with two assists apiece.
• As a team, Iowa ranks first in the Big Ten with 119 shots — 19 more than Rutgers — while senior Devin Burns is second in the league with 24 shots.
IOWA’S DEFENSE HAS…
• allowed seven or fewer shots in five of its six games. Iowa allowed two shots against Western Michigan and Northern Iowa.
• posted three shutouts, including back-to-back against No. 14 NC State and UNC Greensboro.
— Hawkeye Soccer (@HawkeyeSoccer) September 11, 2019
I SCORE, YOU SCORE, WE ALL SCORE
• The Hawkeyes have scored 18 goals in six games (Iowa scored 20 total goals in 2018) and 10 different players have found the back of the net. Thirteen different players have tallied a point this season.
• Freshman Gianna Gourley, sophomores Samantha Tawharu, Skylar Alward, and Jenny Cape, and senior Emma Tokuyama have scored their first career goals.
• Iowa scored six goals in its 6-1 victory over Northern Iowa on Aug. 25 — the most for the program since 2017. The six goals (and six assists in the game) are tied for the most in a single game in the Big Ten this season.
DOWN GOES NO. 14
• The Hawkeyes’ 1-0 victory at No. 14 NC State was the program’s third-highest ranked victory in its history and the highest ranked opponent since 2013.
• Iowa defeated No. 7 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals in 2013. The program also knocked off 12th-ranked Wisconsin in 1999.
Senior Natalie Winters is tied for the team lead with three goals — with two coming on penalty kicks. She is a perfect 6-for-6 in her career in penalty kicks.
• Winters scored the game-winning goal in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series victory over Iowa State. It was her second game-winning strike of the season and the fourth of her career.
• Iowa is 11-0-3 over its last 14 games at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Hawkeyes won seven games in 2018 — the most at home since 2013.
• The Hawkeyes are 2-0 on the road this season, a year after going 1-7-0 away from Iowa City.
• Iowa has used the same starting lineup in five of the first six contests.
• Sophomore Riley Whitaker has played all 90 minutes in four of Iowa’s six games this season.
• Iowa is out-shooting its opposition, 119-31, and the Hawkeyes have a 47-13 advantage in corner kicks. The Hawkeyes have 20 or more shots in four games.
• Senior Emma Tokuyama (Illinois State) and sophomore Samantha Tawharu (NC State) have scored their first career game-winning goals this 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.
• 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 362 games in their collegiate careers.
• Midfielder Natalie Winters has started 63 of 64 games as a Hawkeye, Claire Graves has started 58 contests, and Isabella Blackman has started 54 games.
SENIOR NATALIE WINTERS…
• has started 63 of 64 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.
GRAVES CLIMBING IOWA RECORD BOOKS
Senior Claire Graves currently ranks in the top-five in three career categories in Iowa history. The Indiana native is second in career shutouts (20), third in career victories (29), and fifth in career saves (201).
SCOUTING NORTHERN COLORADO
• Northern Colorado enters Friday’s game with a 2-4-1 record on the season. The Bears have won two of their last three contests, defeating Grand Canyon (2-1) and Austin Peay State (3-0).
• Three players — Taylor Bray, Cara Quinn, and Britney Donais — are tied for the team lead with two goals apiece. Bray and Quinn have a team-best five points.
• Northern Colorado was the preseason favorite to win the Big Sky Conference.
SCOUTING NOTRE DAME
• The Fighting Irish are a perfect 6-0-0 this season with victories over Big Ten foes, Northwestern (4-0) and Michigan (1-0). Notre Dame is receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches top-25.
• Notre Dame faces South Carolina in Columbia on Sept. 12 before hosting Iowa on Sept. 15.
• The Fighting Irish have only allowed one goal this season (to Western Michigan) and didn’t surrender a shot to Oakland in their 1-0 win Sept. 8.
• Nine different Notre Dame players have scored this season with Eva Hurm leading the way with three strikes. Eleven of the team’s 13 goals have come in the second half.
• Mattie Interian and Brooke Littman have split time in goal, combining for a 0.17 goals against average, 13 saves, and five shutouts.
• Iowa won the only previous meeting in the series against Northern Colorado during the 2006 season, posting a 3-0 victory in Iowa City.
• Notre Dame has won both of the previous meetings over the Hawkeyes. The Fighting Irish downed Iowa, 4-1, in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament in South Bend before posting a 2-0 victory in Iowa City in 2017.
• Sunday’s game will be Iowa’s second meeting with an ACC opponent in as many weeks, as the Hawkeyes defeated No. 14 NC State on Sept. 6 in Raleigh.
The Hawkeyes open Big Ten Conference play Sept. 20, traveling to Bloomington, Indiana, to face Indiana at 2 p.m. (CT).