The University of Iowa soccer team faces third-seeded Minnesota on Sunday in the Big Ten Regional Final at Demirjian Park in Champaign, Illinois. The game will begin at noon (CT).
The Hawkeyes advanced after defeating second-seeded Illinois on Thursday night. The winner of Sunday’s game will move on to the Big Ten Tournament on April 15.
- Sunday’s 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.
- The Hawkeyes finished the 2021 regular season with a 2-7-1 record and were seeded seventh in their bracket heading into Big Ten Regional Weekend. Iowa upset Illinois in the first round thanks to a golden goal from freshman Meike Ingles.
- After a slow start to the season, Iowa has won three of its last five games. The Hawkeye defense has been consistent throughout the year, posting three shutouts and holding opponents to less than two scores in eight of 11 games.
- Things have opened up offensively over the final weeks. After not scoring in their first six games, the Hawkeyes found the back of the net in five of the last six games.
- Juniors Hailey Rydberg and Riley Whitaker were voted team captains for the 2021 spring season.
The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois in round one of the Big Ten Regional Weekend on Thursday. The Hawkeye defense held the Illini in check after giving up a season-high three goals in the previous meeting between the two teams. The offense, meanwhile, produced multiple scores for the first time this season. Josie Durr rocketed the first goal of the game at the start of the second half, and Meike Ingles called game in the 93rd minute with a strike of her own.
ENNEKING AT GOALKEEPER
Freshman goalkeeper Macy Enneking made six saves in goal for her third victory of the season on Thursday against Illinois. Enneking has given up just three goals in 504:14 minutes of game time this season, holding opponents to one score (3) or a shutout (2) in each of her four starts. The Hilliard, Ohio, native has notched 28 saves for a .903 save percentage.
GOAL YOU VERY MUCH
Five different Hawkeyes have scored this season, including strikes from redshirt junior Josie Durr, juniors Sara Wheaton and Samantha Tawharu, sophomore Gianna Gourley, and freshman Meike Ingles.
- Ingles and Gourley each scored game-winners. Ingles strike was also the first of her career.
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 11 contests, while Johnston has started six games. Ingles and Ganief have each started nine 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 seven of 12 games this season. Junior Hailey Rydberg (33) and freshman Meike Ingles (26) lead the way in shot attempts, taking 44 percent of the team’s shots.
Seven Iowa position players have played the entirety of multiple games this season. They are: Sara Wheaton (10), Rielee Fetty (8), Samantha Cary (7), Diane Senkowski (6), Aleisha Ganief (5), 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 entered the year with 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.
- Minnesota finished the regular season with a 5-3-3 record.
- The Golden Gophers did not play Nebraska in the first round of Big Ten Regional Weekend, as scheduled, due to COVID-19 concerns. The game was declared a no contest and Minnesota advanced to the second round.
- Iowa lost to Minnesota, 1-0, in the regular season meeting on March 14 . The Hawkeyes were shorthanded at the defender position, missing junior Sara Wheaton and freshman Aleisha Ganief due to injury. The Gophers’ lone score came in the 69th minute when Minnesota’s Sophia Boman drilled in a goal from the top of the penalty arc.
- Minnesota ranks third in the Big Ten in shot attempts (157), while Iowa is second in the conference in saves (58).
- Iowa is 5-14-4 all-time against Minnesota.
The winner of Sunday’s game will advance to the Big Ten Tournament on April 15.