The Hawkeyes take a two-game road trip to Indiana this week. First, Iowa plays Indiana at 7 p.m. (CT) on Thursday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. That game will be televised on BTN. Iowa heads to West Lafayette on Sunday for a 12 p.m. (CT) battle with the Boilermakers.
- Thursday’s match against Indiana will be televised on BTN, while Sunday’s game will be streamed live on BTN Plus (subscription).
- Links to streaming and live stats can be found at hawkeyesports.com/soccergameday.
- Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live in-game updates.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
- Indiana fell to Michigan State its1-0 last time out to open Big Ten play. The Spartans capitalized off an early steal in the 16th minute and held on the rest of the way.
- The Hoosiers have notched six wins on the season, including a 6-0 victory over Southeast Missouri State, who Iowa faced earlier in the year.
- Freshman Levy Jordan leads the team with four goals, followed by a trio of Hoosiers with three goals apiece.
- Jen Blitchock leads the team in points (nine).
SERIES HISTORY – INDIANA
Iowa is 9-15-1 against the Hoosiers, all-time. Indiana won last season, 2-0.
SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS
- Purdue enters the week on a four-game win streak with victories over common-opponent Saint Louis, Kansas State, Colorado, and most recently a 3-1 win at Nebraska. Their only loss on the season came at the hands of Notre Dame, 2-1.
- Defender Nicole Kevdzija earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week this season for sinking the game winning shot against Gonzaga; forward Sarah Griffith earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors the same week for posting a hat trick against Ball State.
- Griffith’s five goals and 11 total points lead the Boilermakers.
SERIES HISTORY – PURDUE
Iowa is 10-7-4 all-time against Purdue, including a 1-0 win last season in Iowa City.
HAWKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Iowa is ranked seventh in the United Soccer Coaches North Region.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Nine different Hawkeyes have combined for 17 goals this season. Fifth-year senior Alyssa Walker and freshman Kenzie Roling have led the way offensively, putting up four goals for eight points each. Forward Courtney Powell as has scored twice. Defenders Samantha Cary, Sarah Wheaton, Natalie Massa, and Riley Burns, as well as forwards Maggie Johnston and Samantha Tawharu have each scored one goal apiece. Senior captain Hailey Rydberg has put up a team-best six assists, with freshman Addie Bundy posting the next-highest with four assists. Iowa has outshot opponents 164-64 this season.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Hawkeye defense shutout opponents in six of its final 10 games last year, allowing more than one goal only a single time in that span. That dominance has carried over into the 2021 season, with Iowa posting four early shutouts and keeping all opponents below two scores through nine games this fall. Redshirt junior Monica Wilhelm has started every game in goal this season, notching 23 saves while allowing just five goals through nine games. Wilhelm tallied a season-best seven saves against Northwestern last week.
POWELL PLAYS FOR FAMILY
Graduate student Courtney Powell transferred to Iowa from Iowa State last season as a tribute her father, a lifelong Hawkeye fan who passed away due to COVID-19. Her season-high 81 minutes and early goal were crucial in putting the Cyclones away in Iowa’s 2-1 Cy-Hawk victory Aug. 26.
The following players have played 90 minutes in at least one game this season: Sarah Wheaton (eight), Rielee Fetty (six), Samantha Cary (five), Addie Bundy (two), Olivia Hellweg (two) and Kenzie Roling.
2 FOR THE MONEY
The Hawkeyes are undefeated in their last 28 games when scoring two goals or more. Since the start of the 2018 season, Iowa has a record of 26-0-1 when scoring two goals or more. That includes a 6-0 record in 2021, 2-0 in 2020, 13-0-1 in 2019 and 5-0 in 2018. The Hawkeyes won their final two games in 2017 when scoring two-plus goals. The last time Iowa lost a game while netting at least two goals was Oct. 1, 2017 at Michigan State (L, 3-2).
The Hawkeyes boast a veteran senior class. Nine seniors provide leadership and production on both sides of the ball. The class scored six of Iowa’s 11 goals last season while defenders Sara Wheaton and Riley Whitaker helped lead Iowa to seven shutouts. Other returning seniors include defender Riley Burns, midfielders Hailey Rydberg, Olivia Hellweg, and Josie Durr, as well as forwards Samantha Tawharu, Jenny Cape, and Skylar Alward. Graduate transfers Courtney Powell and Alyssa Walker also bring experience to the squad. Walker ties freshman Kenzie Roling for the most goals scored through nine games (four) while Rydberg’s six assists tie for the best in the Big Ten.
IOWA HAWKEYES NEED-TO-KNOW
- Three Hawkeyes — Hailey Rydberg, Sara Wheaton, and Samantha Cary — were named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List. Iowa was picked to finish seventh out of 14 teams in the preseason coaches’ poll.
- Seniors Sara Wheaton and Hailey Rydberg were voted team captains this season.
- Head coach Dave DiIanni is in his eighth season at the helm of the soccer program. Last spring, DiIanni’s team posted a 7-9-1 record, finishing the season on a red-hot postseason run that saw the Hawkeyes win the program’s first Big Ten Tournament title and reach the NCAA Tournament Second Round for the first time in school history. Iowa lost just one senior from that youthful squad heading into this season.
- Over the past two seasons, Iowa has made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in program history.
- Last spring, the Hawkeyes lost two-time Iowa Offensive Player of the Year Devin Burns and veteran goalkeeper Claire Graves but discovered a group of new young playmakers as the season continued. Sophomore Meike Ingles closed out her rookie campaign with four postseason goals, earning Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player honors. Sophomore Macy Enneking was named the conference tournament Most Outstanding Defensive Player, and was an unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection.
- Those two headline a group of impactful underclassmen this season, though the team also features a robust class of nine senior leaders anchored by midfielder Hailey Rydberg, who was a captain last season and voted the team’s Most Valuable Player. Senior Sara Wheaton is the returning Iowa Defensive Player of the Year.
- The Hawkeyes welcome nine newcomers in 2021, including seven freshmen and two graduate transfers. Courtney Powell was Iowa State’s top offensive weapon last spring, leading the team in points (8), goals (4), shots (29) and shots on goal (23). She is joined by Alyssa Walker, who scored four goals for Richmond last season and previously earned second-team Atlantic-10 All-Conference honors in 2019.
The Hawkeyes came back from a 1-0 second half deficit to defeat Northwestern in their Big Ten opener. The game’s only flurry of scoring began with a Wildcat goal in the 62nd minute of play, which fifth-year senior Courtney Powell quickly answered with a score of her own in the 65th minute off assists from Samantha Tawharu and Addie Bundy. Just 60 seconds later, sophomore Maggie Johnston notched her first career score off assists from Tawharu and Bundy to secure the Iowa win.
ROLING, WHEATON EARN BIG TEN WEEKLY HONORS
Freshman Kenzie Roling and senior Sara Wheaton were recognized as the Big Ten’s freshman and defensive players of the week for Week 1, the conference office announced Aug. 24.
Roling, a freshman from Waverly, Iowa, scored goals in each of Iowa’s wins at DePaul and St. Louis. Her first-half goal against the Blue Demons evened the score 1-1 and her first-half goal against the Billikens proved to be the game-winner in a 1-0 Hawkeye win. Including Iowa’s preseason exhibitions, Roling scored in each of the Hawkeyes’ first four competitions this season. Following her week one performance, she was named an honorable mention on TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week.
Roling is the first Iowa freshman to score in consecutive matches since Oct. 3-5, 2008, when Alyssa Cosnek scored in wins over Indiana and North Dakota State (Cosnek also scored in each of Iowa’s first two matches that season, the last Hawkeye rookie to score in the team’s opening two contests)
Wheaton, a senior team captain from Chandler, Arizona, played all 90 minutes in both wins week one, leading a defense that allowed just one score and five shots on goal. The Hawkeyes shutout a nationally ranked Billikens team that was held scoreless just two times in 17 games last season.
The weekly conference honors are career firsts for Roling and Wheaton.
CHECK OUT THE NEW DIGS
The new soccer operations facility at the Iowa Soccer Complex is up and running. The $4 million facility is located behind the west sideline and includes a spacious locker room and lounge area, multi-purpose space, athletic training space, visiting team and multipurpose locker rooms, and a press box. Construction of the new facility was funded entirely by private support.
Iowa returns home for games against Maryland on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. (CT) and Michigan State on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex.