The Hawkeyes return for a two-game homestand this week. Iowa plays Maryalnd at 7 p.m. (CT) on Thursday in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes then host Michigan State at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
- Both games 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 TERRAPINS
- Maryland posted a pair of draws last week againt Nebraska (0-0) and Northwestern (1-1). The Terrapins are 0-1-2 in Big Ten play with a loss against Ohio State to kick off the conference slate.
- The Terrapins return six graduate students athletes and 14 upperclassmen from that finished 0-10-2 in last season’s conference-only schedule.
- Fifth-year senior Alyssa Poarch leads the team offenseivley with two goals and six points. Poarch was named a Big Ten Player to Watch along with senior Mikayla Dayes and fifth-year senior Malikae Dayes.
SERIES HISTORY – MARYLAND
Iowa is an even 4-4-0 all-time against Maryland. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terps 1-0 last season in College Park.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
- The Spartans are 2-1 in Big Ten play with wins over Indiana (1-0) and Minnesota (2-1) and a loss versus Wisconsin (1-0).
- On offense, Zivana Labovic’s nine points and four goals lead the team, while Ava Cook’s 40 shots through 10 games marks the fourth-most in the conference.
- Keeper Lauren Kozal was named Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week on Sept. 21. Kozal posted a shutout victory against Indiana.
SERIES HISTORY – MICHIGAN STATE
The Hawkeyes are 8-11-5 against the Spartans, winning the most recent meeting between the two schools 3-0 in 2019.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Nine different Hawkeyes have combined for 17 goals this season. Fifth-year senior Alyssa Walker leads the way offensively with five goals and 10 points. Forward Kenzie Roling has also put up four goals for eight points of her own, while 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 five assists. Iowa has outshot opponents 189-90 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 success has carried over into the 2021 season, with Iowa posting four early shutouts and keeping all opponents below two scores through 11 games this fall. Redshirt junior Monica Wilhelm has started every game in goal this season, notching 29 saves while allowing just nine goals through 11 games. Wilhelm tallied a season-best seven saves against Northwestern on Sept. 19.
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.
Nine Hawkeye position players have recorded at least 90 minutes in a single game this season. They are: Sara Wheaton (10), Rielee Fetty (seven), Samantha Cary (six), Addie Bundy (three), Olivia Hellweg (two), Aleisha Ganief, Courtney Powell, Riley Whitaker, 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 leads the team in goals scored through 11 games (five) 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 suffered two close losses in last week’s road trip to Indiana. First, Iowa fell 2-0 on the road against the Hoosiers last Thursday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. On Sunday, foward Alyssa Walker blasted in a go-ahead goal with three minutes to play at Purdue. The Boilermakers answered, though, with a score of their own in the final 60 seconds of regulation to force overtime. Purdue would go on to win with a score in the first overtime period.
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 travels to Rutgers on Sunday, Oct. 10, for a 7:05 p.m. match at Yurcak Field.