After notching the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history, the University of Iowa soccer team will face the third-overall seed in UCLA on Friday in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be played in Buies Creek, North Carolina, beginning at 2 p.m. (CT) and will be streamed live on ESPN3.
- Friday’s game will be streamed live on ESPN3.
- Live stats will be available on NCAA.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 Cinderella Big Ten Tournament run, DiIanni has led the Hawkeyes to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in program history.
- In 2019, Iowa went 15-5-1 to earn an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history. This year, the Hawkeyes caught fire late to win the Big Ten Tournament for the first time in school history and earn the league’s automatic bid.
- The Hawkeyes defeated Big South champion Campbell in the first round on Tuesday to keep the miracle-season alive. The 1-0 victory marked the Hawkeyes’ first NCAA Tournament win in program history.
- Iowa is the lowest seeded team to ever win a Big Ten Tournament. As the No. 12 seed, the Hawkeyes reeled off four straight victories over a two seed (Illinois), three seed (Minnesota), one seed (Penn State) and three seed (Wisconsin). In a “normal” year, Iowa wouldn’t have even qualified for the postseason.
- Iowa’s “Revenge Tour” was complete as the Hawkeyes avenged regular season losses to all four teams.
- After starting winless through their first seven games, the Hawkeyes have gone 7-2 since March 21. Likewise, after not scoring in their first six games, six Iowa players have combined for 10 goals since March 18.
- Freshman Meike Ingles found the back of the net for three game-winners in victories over Illinois, Minnesota and Penn State. She also had an assist on junior Jenny Cape’s game-winner against the Badgers. Ingles was named the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player for her dominating performance.
- Goalkeeper Macy Enneking was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the tournament after posting two shutouts and making 14 saves. She was also named to the all-tournament team along with Ingles, Samantha Tawharu, and Hailey Rydberg.
- Junior Sara Wheaton was the hero last time out against the Camels, scoring the game’s only goal in the fourth minute play. Iowa recorded its seventh shutout of the season to win, 1-0.
- Juniors Hailey Rydberg and Riley Whitaker were voted team captains for the 2021 spring season.
The Hawkeyes notched their first-ever NCAA Tournament win against Big South champion Campbell on Tuesday. Sara Wheaton fielded a corner kick from sophomore Samantha Cary in the opening minutes of the game and launched in a goal off a deflected ball through a scrum near the net.
- The Camels entered the game with the nation’s third best shots per game average (19) and eighth best SOG average (8.67); however, Iowa out-shot Campbell in both categories (5/12) and shut out the Camel offense that scored 26 goals in 12 games this season. Freshman Macy Enneking recorded three clutch saves to secure the historic, 1-0, victory.
Iowa made history this postseason, winning the program’s first-ever Big Ten Tournament Championship. The underdog-Hawkeyes shocked No. 4 Penn State with a 1-0 victory in the semifinals before defeating Wisconsin in the title match to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes carried that momentum to the Big Dance, where they secured the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory with Tuesday’s shutout against Campbell.
- Previously, Iowa fell in the tournament at Notre Dame, 4-1, during the 2013 season and lost 1-0 at Kansas last season.
- Five of the current Hawkeyes started the game in Lawrence — Samantha Cary, Sara Wheaton, Josie Durr, Samantha Tawharu and Gianna Gourley. Hailey Rydberg, Skylar Alward and Jenny Cape all entered as reserves.
- Friday marks Iowa’s first ever appearance in the Round of 32. With a victory, they would achieve the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance.
CAROLINA ON THEIR MINDS
Hosted in Cary, North Carolina, the NCAA Tournament consists of six single-elimination rounds, with the second round taking place April 30-May 1 and the final to be held on May 17.
- Iowa defeated Campbell on its home turf last time out, as the Camels were slated to host the game long before seeding took place. The Hawkeyes will play a truly neutral site game against UCLA on Friday in Buies Creek, North Carolina.
RIDING THE STARTERS
The Hawkeyes have utilized just three subs during each of their previous three outings at the Big Ten Tournament. Natalie Massa, Gianna Gourley, and Olivia Hellweg are the only subs who checked in for Iowa in its games against Penn State, Wisconsin, and Campbell. Iowa has averaged just 47:20 bench minutes across those three contests.
- The Hawkeyes played without starter Samantha Cary in the Big Ten Tournament final after she was issued two yellow cards in the semifinal win over Penn State.
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 14 shots across five victories.
- 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.
- The Michigan native also notched an assist against Wisconsin and was named the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
ENNEKING AT GOALKEEPER
Freshman goalkeeper Macy Enneking has tallied 48 saves across nine games this season, including seven wins and six shutouts. Enneking leads the Big Ten in save percentage (.929) and goals against average (.349).
- The freshman received Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors for her standout performance at the conference tournament. She has allowed just one postseason goal and came up with a career-high nine saves in Iowa’s win over No. 4 Penn State on April 15 in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
- Enneking has given up just three goals in 866 minutes of game time this season, holding opponents to one score or fewer in each of her nine starts. The Hilliard, Ohio, native has made six or more saves in four of her nine starts.
- Enneking 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. She was also selected as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on March 22.
GOAL YOU VERY MUCH
After not finding the back of the net in the first six games, six different Hawkeyes have scored over the final 10. Freshman Meike Ingles leads the team with three strikes and juniors Samantha Tawharu and Sara Wheaton have scored twice.
Six Hawkeye freshmen have started games this season. Rielee Fetty has started a freshman-high 15 contests, while Meike Ingles and Aleisha Ganief have 13 starts each. Enneking made her first career start at Maryland and has been in goal the past nine 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 eight of 16 games this season. Junior Hailey Rydberg (40) and freshman Meike Ingles (34) 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 (13), Rielee Fetty (12), Diane Senkowski (10), Samantha Cary (9), Hailey Rydberg (6), Aleisha Ganief (5), Josie Durr (5), Samantha Tawharu (3), and Meike Ingles (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.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
- UCLA won the Pac-12 championship this year with a 9-1-1 conference record (12-1-2 overall). The only hitch in the Bruins’ steam-rolling season came on March 26 in a 2-1 overtime loss to Arizona State. UCLA led the conference from start-to-finish and clinched the Pac-12 title with two games left to play.
- The Bruins have out-scored opponents, 33-11, this season while posting seven shutouts.
- Most recently, UCLA overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie rival USC to close out the regular season. The Bruins received a first round bye at the NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 overall seed.
- In her eighth season as head coach, head coach Amanda Cromwell has guided UCLA to three College Cups, five quarterfinals and six Round of 16 appearances, with three Pac-12 titles, and the 2013 national title.
- UCLA dominated Pac-12 awards season, as Cromwell was named Coach of the Year, Lauren Bryzkcy received Goalkeeper of the Year honors, Delanie Sheehan won Midfielder of the Year, and Reilyn Turner earned Freshman of the Year honors.
- Tuesday’s game will be the first meeting between the two schools.
- Iowa doesn’t face the PAC 12 often; the Hawkeyes’ only game against the conference is a 4-1 loss to Colorado in 2016. A game against Washington State was scheduled, but then cancelled, in 2016.
The winner of Tuesday’s game will advance to the Sweet 16 to face the winner of Rutgers vs. Clemson on May 5 in Buies Creek.