Cary, Rydberg, Wheaton Named Big Ten Players to Watch

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa soccer players Hailey Rydberg, Sara Wheaton and Samantha Cary have been named to the 2021 Big Ten Players to Watch List, the league announced Monday.

Cary has started 37 of Iowa’s 38 games the past two seasons, playing the entirety of nine contests last season. The St. Charles, Missouri, native has logged one goal and four assists as a Hawkeye. Cary helped lead the Hawkeye defense to seven shutouts last spring and earned Iowa’s Hawk Award.

Wheaton also contributed Iowa’s stifling defense last season at the defender position. Hailing from Chandler, Arizona, she has tallied four goals while starting in all but one game each of the past three seasons. Wheaton led the Hawkeyes in 90 minutes performances last season with 14 full games played was voted Iowa’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Rydberg was a Big Ten All-Tournament Team selection last season and voted Iowa’s team MVP. Rydberg started all 17 games and attempted a team-high 44 shots. The midfielder registered two assists, including one on the game-winner in Iowa’s Big Ten Tournament semifinal victory at No. 4 Penn State.

The Hawkeyes kick off the regular season this week at DePaul on Thursday at 4 p.m. (CT). The Big Ten season gets underway Sept. 19 in Iowa City against Northwestern.