Week 6 Preview: Illinois, Northwestern

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The No. 25 University of Iowa soccer team opens a three-game home stand Thursday, hosting Illinois at 8 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex.  The Hawkeyes will then host Northwestern on Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission is free.


• Thursday’s game will be televised live on BTN with Chris Vosters and Kayla Sharples on the call.  Sunday’s game will be streamed online via 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 tied a school record, winning its first nine games of the 2019 season.  The Hawkeyes also started 9-0-0 in 2013.  
• The Hawkeyes fell 1-0 at Purdue on Sept. 22, despite out-shooting the Boilermakers, 10-3.  It was Iowa’s first loss since last November.
• The Hawkeyes are ranked 25th by TopDrawerSoccer and receiving votes (sitting 26th) in the United Soccer Coaches poll.  Iowa had the highest ranking in school history, coming in at No. 19 by United Soccer Coaches on Sept. 17 and 21st by TopDrawerSoccer on Sept. 16.
• Iowa is also ranked fourth in the United Soccer Coaches North Region rankings.
• The Hawkeyes have scored a Big Ten-best 27 goals through the first 10 games of the 2019 season.  The figure is fifth nationally.
• Iowa has already surpassed its 2018 win total (8-7-3).
• Iowa is 2-0-0 this season against ACC foes, defeating No. 14 NC State, 1-0, on Sept. 6 and Notre Dame, 3-2, on Sept. 15. The victory over the Wolfpack was the team’s third-highest rated opponent Iowa has defeated in school history.

Senior Hannah Drkulec was named a Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 17 following her first career two-goal game in the road win at Notre Dame.  One of the two strikes was Drkulec’s first career game-winner.
• Drkulec became the third Big Ten student-athlete all-time to garner Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors in the same season (Lisa Grubb, Ohio State, 2001; Izzy Rodriguez, Ohio State, 2018).  She was named Defensive Player of the Week on Aug. 27 and Sept. 10.  
• The defender was also named to TopDrawerSoccer’s National Team of the Week on Sept. 17.
• Drkulec is Iowa’s first Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honoree since Devin Burns in Sept. 2017.

The Hawkeyes debuted in the United Soccer Coaches poll on Sept. 17, coming in at No. 19.  It was Iowa’s highest ranking in school history and the first time the program has been in the United Soccer Coaches poll (previously NSCAA).  
• Iowa also joined TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 25 for the first time since 2014, when the Hawkeyes were ranked 25th.  

• Senior Claire Graves was named the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week on Sept. 10 after posting back-to-back shutouts of No. 14 NC State and UNC Greensboro.  She was also named honorable mention on TopDrawerSoccer’s National Team of the Week on Sept. 10.

The Hawkeyes rank among the top 15 in the nation in four categories.  Iowa is first in penalty kicks (1.000), seventh in goals (27), eighth in points (75), and 14th in scoring (2.70).  
• Senior Natalie Winters is 12th nationally with three game-winning goals and first in penalty kicks (1.000, 3-for-3).
• Senior Claire Graves is eighth nationally and tied for the Big Ten lead with six shutouts.

• The Hawkeyes are leading the Big Ten in all six offensive categories — goals (27), points (75), shots (166), goals per game (2.70), assists (21), and assists per game (2.10).
• Seniors Devin Burns, Hannah Drkulec, and Natalie Winters are tied for seventh in the Big Ten with four goals.
• Freshman Melina Hegelheimer and senior Devin Burns are tied for sixth in the league with three assists and ninth in assists per game (.30).
• Devin Burns is fifth in the conference with 30 shots and sixth in shots per game (3.00).  Burns is also tied for sixth in points (11).
• Senior Natalie Winters is tied for second in game-winning goals with three.

• allowed seven or fewer shots in seven of its 10 games.  Iowa allowed just two shots in three games — wins over Western Michigan, Northern Iowa, and Northern Colorado — and three shots in the road loss at Purdue.
• posted five shutouts, including back-to-back-to-back against No. 14 NC State, UNC Greensboro, and Northern Colorado.  

• Iowa is out-shooting its opposition, 165-57, and the Hawkeyes have a 63-29 advantage in corner kicks.  The Hawkeyes have 20 or more shots in four games.
• Seven different Hawkeyes have scored a game-winning goal this season, including career firsts from: Hannah Drkulec, Samantha Tawharu, Emma Tokuyama, and Sara Wheaton.
• The Hawkeyes have scored three or more goals in five games this season, including three  in four straight contests for the first time since the 2016 season.
• Senior Devin Burns registered a point in straight games — goals against UNC Greensboro and Northern Colorado and assists at Notre Dame and at Indiana.

The Hawkeyes have scored 27 goals in 10 games (Iowa scored 20 total goals in 2018) and 13 different players have found the back of the net. Fifteen different players have tallied a point this season.
• Freshmen Gianna Gourley, Sara Wheaton, and Samantha Cary, sophomores Samantha Tawharu, Skylar Alward, and Jenny Cape, and senior Emma Tokuyama have scored their first career goals this season.  
• 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.

• 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 has scored four goals — with three coming on penalty kicks.  She is a perfect 7-for-7 in her career in penalty kicks.

The Hawkeyes are undefeated in five games at home this season and unbeaten in their last 15 games at the Iowa Soccer Complex, posting a 12-0-3 record.  Iowa won seven games at home in 2018 — the most since 2013.

• The Hawkeyes are 4-1 on the road this season, a year after going 1-7-0 away from Iowa City. 
• Iowa posted a 1-0 road win at Indiana in its Big Ten Conference opener.  It was the Hawkeyes first victory in a league opener since 2014 and the first on the road in school history.

Iowa has five position players that are a part of the 90-minute club.  The club includes: Riley Whitaker (7 games), Hannah Drkulec (4), Sara Wheaton (4), Samantha Cary (4), and Isabella Blackman (3).

• The Hawkeyes’ offense has come out fast, scoring in the game’s first seven minutes in four contests — (UNI (6:58), Illinois State (0:47), UNC Greensboro (3:52), Northern Colorado (6:09).
• Iowa has scored first in eight of 10 games this season.  The Hawkeyes fell behind in the road win at Notre Dame, but responded by scoring three times in a 10-minute stretch in the 3-2 victory.

• 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 386 games in their collegiate careers. 
• Midfielder Natalie Winters has started 67 of 68 games as a Hawkeye, Claire Graves has started 60 contests, and Isabella Blackman has started 58 games.

Senior Claire Graves currently ranks in the top-five in three career categories in Iowa history.  The Indiana native is second in career shutouts (22), third in career victories (32), and fifth in career saves (210).

1. Hannah Clark, 26
2. Claire Graves, 22

1. Hannah Clark, 36
2. Emily Moran, 35
3. Claire Graves, 32

1. Britta Vogele, 489
2. Emily Moran, 350
3. Hannah Clark, 321
4. Claire Graves, 210

• Senior Devin Burns has scored four goals during the 2019 season, giving her 18 career goals, which are tied for sixth-most in school history with Bri Toelle.  Linzy Wolman is fifth with 21 goals.
• Burns is also tied for third all-time with nine career game-winning goals.
• She currently has 47 career points — five points shy of tying Toelle (52) for sixth place all-time.

• The Hawkeyes were picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten preseason poll.
• Seniors Hannah Drkulec and Isabella Blackman were voted the Hawkeyes’ team captains for the 2019 season.

• The Illini bring a four-game winning streak into Thursday’s game in Iowa City with victories over Illinois State (3-2), Butler (2-1), Colorado College (2-0), and Northwestern (3-1).  
• Illinois, who is receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll, coming in at No. 29, is 7-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in Big Ten play this season. The Illini’s only loss came on a neutral field against San Francisco by the score of 3-0 on Sept. 1.
• The Illini have scored 19 goals, fourth most in the Big Ten, with seven different players finding the back of the net.  Hope Breslin, Makena Silber, and Maggie Hillman each have four strikes.
• Goalkeeper Jaelyn Cunningham has surrendered 12 goals in eight games, where she has a 1.50 goals against average.  Cunningham has made 31 saves and posted one shutout.

• The Wildcats have lost three straight games heading into Thursday’s road game at Nebraska.  Northwestern is 2-5-1 overall, 0-1-0 in Big Ten play, with victories over William & Mary and at Cincinnati.  
• Northwestern and Iowa have both played one common opponent in Notre Dame.  Iowa was victorious in South Bend, 3-2, while the Wildcats fell, 4-0.
• Northwestern has scored six goals in eight contests, tying for last in the Big Ten with Minnesota and Nebraska.  The goals have come from six different Wildcat players, including Iowa City native Regan Steigleder.
• Mackenzie Wood has played all but 11 minutes in goal for Northwestern, where she has posted a 1.60 goals against average, allowing 13 goals and making 24 saves.

• Iowa is 8-14-1 all-time against Illinois and 7-13-2 all-time against Northwestern.
• The Hawkeyes have won three of the last four meetings over the Fighting Illini, including a 1-0 road win in 2017.  
• Iowa is 2-2-1 against Northwestern under head coach Dave DiIanni.  Last season the two teams battled to a 1-1 draw in Iowa City, a result that kept both teams out of the Big Ten Tournament.

The Hawkeyes return to action Oct. 3, hosting Nebraska at 7 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex.

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