The University of Iowa soccer team’s Big Ten Tournament run continues with a championship game appearance against Wisconsin on Sunday at Jeffrey Field in University Park, Pennsylvania. The game will begin at 11 a.m. (CT) and be televised on BTN.
• Sunday’s game will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network with Dean Linke (play-by-play) and Jackie Manny (color) on the call.
• 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. With a win Sunday, DiIanni would lead the Hawkeyes back to the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season. In 2019, Iowa went 15-5-1 to earn an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.
• It is the third time in school history Iowa has advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship game. The Hawkeyes did it in consecutive seasons in 2013 and 2014. The 2014 season was DiIanni’s first in Iowa City.
• The Hawkeyes have downed the No. 2 seed (Illinois), No. 3 seed (Minnesota) and No. 1 seed (Penn State) to advance to the title game.
• After not scoring in the regular season, freshman Meike Ingles has found the back of the net for three game-winners in victories over Illinois, Minnesota and Penn State. Ingles leads the team with three goals.
• The Hawkeyes have won five of their last seven games, including four of their last five heading into Sunday’s contest.
• Things have opened up offensively over the second half of the season. After not scoring in their first six games, five Hawkeyes have combined for eight goals since March 18.
• Juniors Hailey Rydberg and Riley Whitaker were voted team captains for the 2021 spring season.
Freshman Meike Ingles scored the game-winning goal in the 48th minute to put Iowa on top and the Hawkeye defense withstood a barrage of Penn State attempts to post their first ever victory in Happy Valley. Freshman Macy Enneking made a career-high nine saves en route to her fourth shutout of the season. Iowa played the final 30 minutes of the contest with 10 players as sophomore Samantha Cary was issued her second yellow card at the 61:18 mark.
PENN STATE SUPERLATIVES
• Iowa’s 1-0 win at Penn State was the team’s first ever in University Park. The Hawkeyes were 0-12 in Happy Valley heading into tournament play.
• The win is Iowa’s third all-time over the Nittany Lions and the first since 2013.
• Fourth-ranked Penn State is the highest ranked opponent Iowa has defeated in program history. The Hawkeyes beat No. 7 Michigan in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.
• Iowa held the Nittany Lions’ high-powered offense scoreless for the first time this season. The Hawkeyes limited Penn State to one goal over 180 minutes in two games.
B1G TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Hawkeyes are making their third Big Ten Tournament title game appearance in school history.
• As the No. 7 seed in 2013, Iowa defeated Michigan and Penn State to advance to the championship game. The Hawkeyes fell, 1-0, to top-seeded Nebraska.
• A year later — in head coach Dave DiIanni’s first season — Iowa moved through the tournament with wins over Rutgers and Northwestern as the fifth seed before falling 1-0 in double overtime to Wisconsin.
RIDING THE STARTERS
• The Hawkeyes utilized just two subs during the 1-0 victory over Penn State on April 15 when Iowa played with 10 players for the final 30 minutes. Four Iowa position players — Hailey Rydberg, Rielee Fetty, Diane Senkowski, and Josie Durr — logged all 90 minutes. Reserves Natalie Massa (12) and Olivia Hellweg (29) played 41 combined minutes.
MEIKE “POSTSEASON” INGLES
Freshman forward Meike Ingles attempted 20 shots without scoring a goal during the Hawkeyes’ regular season slate. In the postseason, Ingles has three goals — all game-winners — on 11 shots in victories over Illinois, Minnesota and Penn State.
• Ingles had the golden goal in Iowa’s 2-1 overtime win against the Fighting Illini, she scored 62 seconds into the game in a 2-0 triumph over Minnesota and she found the net for the third time early in the second half in Happy Valley.
ENNEKING AT GOALKEEPER
Freshman goalkeeper Macy Enneking notched a career-high nine saves in Iowa’s 1-0 shutout victory over No. 4 Penn State on April 15 in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. It was Enneking’s fifth win and fourth shutout of the season.
• The Hilliard, Ohio, native has given up just three goals in 686 minutes of game time this season, holding opponents to one score or fewer in each of her seven starts.
• Enneking has notched a conference-best .930 save percentage this season. She has posted a 0.39 goals against average, while making 40 saves.
• Enneking has made six or more saves in four of her seven starts and she has shutout victories over Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State.
• She was selected as a unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman team selection — the only unanimous honoree. It is the second straight year a Hawkeye was honored and Enneking is the first Iowa goalkeeper to earn the distinction since Emily Moran in 2008.
GOAL YOU VERY MUCH
After not finding the back of the net in the first six games, five different Hawkeyes have scored over the final eight. Freshman Meike Ingles leads the team with three strikes and junior Samantha Tawharu has scored twice.
Six Hawkeye freshmen have started games this season. Rielee Fetty has started a freshman-high 13 contests, while Meike Ingles and Aleisha Ganief have 11 starts each. Enneking made her first career start at Maryland and has been in goal the past seven contests, while Maggie Johnston (6) Jalyn Mosley (3) also were among the starting 11 before going down with injuries.
The Hawkeyes have out-shot their opponents in seven of 14 games this season. Junior Hailey Rydberg (35) and freshman Meike Ingles (31) lead the way in shot attempts, taking 46 percent of the team’s shots.
Seven Iowa position players have played the entirety of multiple games this season. They are: Sara Wheaton (11), Rielee Fetty (10), Samantha Cary (8), Diane Senkowski (8), Aleisha Ganief (5), Hailey Rydberg (4), Josie Durr (3) and Samantha Tawharu (2).
A year after having one of the most veteran teams in the nation with 14 seniors in 2019, 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.
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.
• The Badgers scored two second-half goals to rally past Rutgers for a 2-1 victory to move to the Big Ten title game. Wisconsin is 7-3-2 overall this season.
• Wisconsin has allowed just nine goals this season with Jordyn Bloomer posting a 0.66 goals against average with seven shutouts. Bloomer, who earned Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year honors for a second straight season, has 42 saves and a .824 saves percentage.
• Offensively, the Badgers have scored just 12 goals in 13 games. Emma Jaskaniec has four of the strikes, while seven different players have scored.
• This is the second time Iowa and Wisconsin have met in the Big Ten Tournament. The Badgers won 1-0 in double overtime in the 2014 title game.
• The Badgers are 15-5-4 all-time against Iowa, including a 1-0 win in the season opener in Loves Park, Ill. Claire Odmark scored in the 10th minute and Jordyn Bloomer made one save in the shutout.
• Iowa is 0-6-2 in the series dating back to 2013 and the Hawkeyes have scored three goals in the eight games. Iowa’s last win came in 2012 by the score of 2-1 in Iowa City.
The winner of Sunday’s championship game will earn the Big Ten’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.