The University of Iowa soccer team travels to Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday to close out the regular season against Nebraska. Kickoff at Hibner Stadium is set for 1 p.m. (CT).
- The game will be streamed live on BTN+.
- Live stats will be available on hawkeyesports.com.
- Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live in-game updates.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Head coach Dave DiIanni is in his seventh season at the helm of the soccer program. In 2019, DiIanni led the Hawkeyes to a 15-5-1 overall record and an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.
- Iowa has won two of its last three games, posting victories over Maryland and Purdue. The Hawkeyes are 2-7-1.
- Iowa’s defense has been strong, holding opponents to one or fewer goals in six of 10 games this year and posting three shutouts.
- After not scoring the six games of the season, Iowa’s offense has found the back of the net in three of the last four outings. Sophomore Gianna Gourley, junior Samantha Tawharu, and junior Sara Wheaton have each scored one goal this season. Tawharu and Gourley scored the game-winners.
- Juniors Hailey Rydberg and Riley Whitaker were voted team captains for the 2021 spring season.
A first half goal from Samantha Tawharu propelled Iowa to a, 1-0, victory over Purdue on March 28. Hailey Rydberg came up with a breakaway steal in the 20th minute, then sent a precise pass that perfectly set up the strike. From there, the defense held firm against an onslaught of 16 total Boilermaker shot attempts, earning Iowa’s third shutout of the season. Freshman goalkeeper Macy Enneking held down the fort with six saves, helping the Hawkeyes close out their home slate with a win.
ENNEKING AT GOALKEEPER
Freshman Macy Enneking has allowed just one score in 322:03 since making her collegiate debut at Rutgers on March 18. The Hilliard, Ohio, native has notched 18 saves at a .947 save percentage. She has posted two shutouts, each of which have come in the last three games. Enneking earned her first career Big Ten honors on March 22, when she was named Co-Freshman of the Week for posting a shutout against Maryland in her first career start. She followed up that performance with a personal-best six saves in consecutive games against Penn State and Purdue.
LIMITING PENN STATE
The Hawkeyes held Big Ten regular-season champion Penn State to one goal on March 25 at the Iowa Soccer Complex. It was the Nittany Lions’ lowest offensive output in a game this season.
Six Hawkeye freshmen — Aleisha Ganief, Meike Ingles, Rielee Fetty, Jalyn Mosley, Maggie Johnston, and Macy Enneking — have all started games this season. Fetty has started a freshman-high nine contests, while Johnston has started six games. Ingles and Ganief have each started seven contests and Mosley has been in the starting 11 three times before being injured in the win at Maryland. Enneking made her first collegiate start against the Terps.
The Hawkeyes have out-shot their opponents in half of their games this season, including the majority of their losses. Junior Hailey Rydberg (23) and freshman Meike Ingles (16) lead the way in shot attempts, taking 41 percent of the team’s shots.
Seven Iowa position players have played the entirety of multiple games this season. They are: Sara Wheaton (9), Samantha Cary (6), Rielee Fetty (6), Diane Senkowski (4), Aleisha Ganief (4), Hailey Rydberg (3), and Samantha Tawharu (2).
A year after having one of the most veteran teams in the nation, the Hawkeyes have one of the youngest. Iowa has only one senior on the 2021 spring roster in Diane Senkowski. Eighteen of the 28 players on the roster are underclassmen.
- The Hawkeyes have 28 players on the 2021 roster, which includes 10 freshmen/redshirt freshmen.
- Junior Samantha Tawharu and sophomore Gianna Gourley return after combining to start 16 games (eight apiece) during their first Hawkeye seasons. Junior Skylar Alward scored two goals in 18 games as a reserve as a sophomore.
- The Hawkeye midfielder are anchored by junior Hailey Rydberg. The St. Charles, Illinois, native started 11 games as a sophomore and has 24 career starts. Junior Josie Durr entered the season with three career goals in 33 career games (11 starts).
- Along with sophomore Monica Wilhelm, the Hawkeyes have a total of three underclassmen at the goalkeeper position in redshirt freshman Sabrina Shaw and freshman Macy Enneking.
- The Hawkeyes welcome eight newcomers to the mix in 2021, including two players — Enneking and Jayln Mosley — who joined the program last January.
- Forward/defender Aleisha Ganief played on the Canadian National Team, joining Tawharu, who was a part of the New Zealand Youth National Team prior to becoming a Hawkeye.
NEW DIGS ON THE HORIZON
Construction is underway on the new soccer operations facility at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The $4 million facility, which is expected to open in time for the 2021 fall season, will include a spacious locker room and lounge area, multi-purpose space, athletic training space, visiting team and official locker rooms, and a press box.
- In 25 seasons, head coach John Walker has led Nebraska to 12 NCAA Tournaments, eight Sweet 16 appearances, two Elite Eight appearances, and numerous conference regular season and tournament titles (both as a member of the Big Ten and Big 12).
- Nebraska enters Saturday’s game one spot behind Iowa in the Big Ten standings, sitting 1-5-3 overall.
- The Huskers defeated Purdue at home on March 4, 2-1, for their only win on the season. Their three shutout-draws came against teams that defeated the Hawkeyes (Minnesota, Wisconsin, No. 19 Rutgers).
- In their last game, Nebraska fell to Big Ten regular-season champion, Penn State, 3-0.
- Eleanor Dale is Nebraska’s leading scorer (2) and shot-taker (9-12). Reagan Raabe, Dakota Chan, and Marissa Popoola have also scored for the Huskers.
- Iowa is 2-10-1 against Nebraska, posting victories in the last two meetings. The Hawkeyes defeated No. 22 Nebraska, 2-1, at Hibner Stadium in 2018. Then, Iowa won, 1-0, at home in 2019.
The Hawkeyes will return to action next week for the Big Ten Wildcard Weekend. Details will be announced at the conclusion of the regular season.