The Hawkeyes (10-5-1, 4-4) host Minnesota (8-4-3, 4-4) at the Iowa Soccer Complex for the final home game of the regular season on Thursday at 7 p.m. (CT). Iowa then travels to Wisconsin (8-4-4, 3-3-2) to close out the regular season Sunday at McClimon Soccer Fields. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (CT).
• This week’s 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 GOLDEN GOPHERS
• The Gophers have won three of their last four contests to improve to 4-4 in conference play. Minnesota is tied with Iowa in the Big Ten standings as both teams battle for a bid to the conference tournament.
• Minnesota notched shutout wins over Illinois and Northwestern last week, two teams the Hawkeyes bested earlier in the season.
• Defender Makenzie Langdok and goalkeeper Megan Plaschko swept Big Ten weekly defensive honors last week for their efforts against the Illini and Wildcats. Langdok was named Defensive Player of the Week while Plaschko won Goalkeeper of the Week honors for her seven saves through a clean 180 minutes. Plaschko’s eight shutouts on the year are the second-best in the Big Ten.
SERIES HISTORY – MINNESOTA
Iowa is 6-14-4 all-time against the Golden Gophers. The Hawkeyes earned a 2-0 win over Minnesota in the
Big Ten Tournament last season after falling to the Gophers 1-0 in the regular season.
SCOUTING THE BADGERS
• Wisconsin trails Iowa by a single point in the Big Ten standings at 3-3-2 in conference play. The Badgers fell to Nebraska last time out, a team the Hawkeyes recovered from a three-score deficit to defeat last week at Hibner Stadium.
• The Badgers boast a senior heavy lineup; goalkeeper Jordyn Bloomer and midfielder Maia Cella have both earned All-America and first-team All-Big Ten honors in their careers, while Lauren Rice and Cammie Murtha have each earned third-team All-Big Ten honors in their time in Madison.
• Bloomer has posted seven shutouts and a goals-allowed average of .718, each marking the third best totals in the conference.
SERIES HISTORY – WISCONSIN
The Hawkeyes are 6-15-4 all-time against Wisconsin. The Badgers won 1-0 in the 2020 regular season, which
Iowa avenged with a 1-0 win of their own at the Big Ten Tournament.
RUN FOR THE POSTSEASON
The 14 conference schools battle during the regular season to claim the 2021 Big Ten Championship and position themselves for a berth in the Big Ten Tournament. The top eight teams will advance to the conference tournament, which begins Oct. 31 with quarterfinal games on the campuses of the four highest seeds. The Big Ten Tournament culminates Nov. 4 and 7 with all three matches on the campus of the highest remaining seed following the quarterfinal round
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Iowa has posted five shutouts and held 14 opponents to two scores or fewer through 16 games this fall. Redshirt junior Monica Wilhelm has started every game in goal this season, notching 58 saves while allowing just 17 goals through 16 games. Wilhelm tallied a career-best 11 saves against Rutgers on Oct. 10.
Sophomore Macy Enneking has played in one game in 2021, putting together a clean second half as Iowa erased a 3-0 deficit at Nebraska on Oct. 14.
YOU CAN CALL IT A COMEBACK
Iowa orchestrated the largest comeback in program history on Oct. 14, erasing a 3-0 deficit at Nebraska on the road at Hibner Stadium and scoring four unanswered goals.
A goal in the seventh minute of action by Cornhusker Elenore Dale set the tone for most of the first half, and the Huskers took a 3-0 lead six minutes before the break off of a pair of scores from Sarah Weber.
Then, three minutes before the half, Sara Wheaton launched a perfect ball from midfield down to Alyssa Kellar who served the ball to Courtney Powell for a smooth Hawkeye goal.
Iowa continued to chip into the Husker lead when Hailey Rydberg drilled a penalty kick for Iowa’s second score four minutes into the second half to cut Nebraska’s lead to one. Iowa earned the equalizer at the 64th mark when Samantha Cary floated the ball into the box to set up a laser to the back-right corner of the net from Kenzie Roling.
History repeated itself with nine minutes to play, as Cary again sent a ball into the box to force a scrum, and Iowa’s leading scorer Alyssa Walker connected on a header and bounced the game-winner into the lower left corner to give the Hawkeyes the lead.
DIIANNI CLOSES IN ON MILESTONES
Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni is one win away from career win No. 300. DiIanni has 299 career wins in 18 seasons, 11 at Grand Valley State and seven-plus at the University. DiIanni would become the third active Big Ten coach to reach 300 career wins, joining Nebraska’s John Waller (338) and Maryland’s Ray Leone (309).
DiIanni has 78 wins at Iowa since becoming head coach in 2014. Ron Rainey is Iowa’s all-time leader in coaching wins with 80. DiIanni’s 31 Big Ten wins rank No. 1 in school history.
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.
Eleven total Hawkeye position players have registered at least 90 minutes in a game so far this season. They include: Sara Wheaton (15), Samantha Cary (10) Rielee Fetty (nine), Addie Bundy (four), Riley Whitaker (three), Olivia Hellweg (two), Hailey Rydberg (two), Miah Schueller, Aleisha Ganief, Courtney Powell, and Kenzie Roling.
2 FOR THE MONEY
The Hawkeyes are undefeated in their last 31 games when scoring two goals or more. Since the start of the 2018 season, Iowa has a record of 30-0-1 when scoring two goals or more. That includes a 9-0 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).