Fifth-seeded Iowa (12-5-2, 5-4-1) travels to Piscataway, New Jersey, to take on top-seeded Rutgers (16-2-0, 10-0-0) at Yurcak Field in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, Nov. 4. The winner will advance to the Big Ten Tournament finals on Nov. 7 hosted at Yurcak Field.
• The game will be broadcast live on BTN and streamed on the FOX Sports App.
• 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 SCARLET KNIGHTS
• Rutgers is ranked fourth nationally and won the Big Ten regular season championship outright, finishing undefeated in conference play.
• The Hawkeyes fell to the Scarlet Knights 1-0 in the regular season at Yurcak Field. The match was a defensive battle, with Rutgers scoring the only goal of the day off a penalty kick at the 75 minute mark.
• Rutgers leads the Big Ten in goals (53), assists (52), shots (361), and shots on goal (188). Freshman Riley Tiernan is the conference assist leader, while senior Frankie Tagliaferri is second in the Big Ten in goals, shots on goal, and points.
SERIES HISTORY – RUTGERS
Iowa is 3-6-0 all-time against the Scarlet Knights. Each of Iowa’s wins have been at home or at a neutral site. The Hawkeyes are winless in three trips to Piscataway, dropping a pair of 2-1 matches and falling 1-0 on a penalty kick during the 2021 regular season.
EYE ON #4? ON THE ROAD? DEJA VU?
Iowa shut out No. 4 Penn State in the semifinals of the 2020 Big Ten Tournament. Freshman Meike Ingles’ goal in the 47th minute capped a defensive clinic in the Hawkeyes’ 1-0 victory. The win was Iowa’s third ever all-time against Penn State and its first ever in Happy Valley. The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions are the highest ranked team the Hawkeyes have defeated in program history. The win sent Iowa to the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the third time in school history.
RUN FOR THE POSTSEASON
Four quarterfinal match winners advanced to the semifinals on Nov. 4, including No. 1 Rutgers, No. 2 Purdue, No. 3 Michigan and No. 5 Iowa. The tournament culminates at the championship match on Nov. 7. The final rounds will be hosted at Rutgers’ Yurcak Field, as the Scarlet Knights are the highest remaining seed following the quarterfinal round. The Big Ten Tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which kicks off its first round Nov. 12-14.
HAWKEYES AIM TO DEFEND TOURNAMENT TITLE
Iowa has won five straight games in the Big Ten Tournament, including a quarterfinal win at Michigan State last Sunday and four straight wins at the 2020 Big Ten Tournament.
The Hawkeyes won the program’s first Big Ten Tournament title in school history in 2020 (spring 2021). Iowa’s Big Ten tournament run included wins over Illinois (2-1, OT), Minnesota (2-0), Penn State (1-0) and Wisconsin (1-0). The Hawkeyes were the No. 12 seed, the lowest ever to win the Big Ten tournament title; all conference schools qualified for the event due to the shortened season.
Sophomore Meike Ingles closed out her rookie campaign with four postseason goals, earning Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player honors. Ingles attempted 20 shots without scoring a goal during the Hawkeyes’ regular season slate last year, but netted three goals — all game-winners — on 13 shots across Iowa’s four Big Ten tournament victories. Sophomore Macy Enneking was named the conference tournament Most Outstanding Defensive Player, and was an unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection.
5 HAWKEYES EARN BIG TEN POSTSEASON HONORS
Five Hawkeyes earned Big Ten Conference postseason honors, the league office announced Oct. 28. Sara Wheaton was named to the All-Big Ten second team. Alyssa Walker and Hailey Rydberg picked up third-team honors. Addie Bundy was a unanimous selection on the All-Freshman team, and Riley Whitaker was one of 14 players to earn the conference sportsmanship award.
The 2021 postseason team marks the first time in 21 years Iowa has three players named to one of the top three All-Big Ten teams. In 2000, Sarah Lynch (first team), Julie Atkocaitis (second team) and Kate Walse each earned all-conference recognition.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Iowa has posted seven shutouts and held 17 opponents to two scores or fewer through 19 games. Redshirt junior Monica Wilhelm has notched 58 saves while allowing just 17 goals through 16 starts. Wilhelm tallied a career-best 11 saves against Rutgers on Oct. 10. Sophomore Macy Enneking has seen action in four games in 2021, including three starts. She has tallied 23 saves and allowed one goal in that span.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Eleven different Hawkeyes have combined for 30 goals this season. Fifth-year senior Alyssa Walker leads the way offensively with nine goals and 20 points. Forward Kenzie Roling has also put up six goals for 12 points of her own, while forwards Courtney Powell and Meike Ingles have scored three times. Defender Samantha Cary and midfielder Hailey Rydberg have each sank a pair of goals. Defenders Sara Wheaton, Natalie Massa, and Riley Burns, as well as forwards Maggie Johnston and Samantha Tawharu have each scored one goal apiece. Rydberg has tallied a team-best seven assists, while freshman Addie Bundy has totaled six assists. Iowa has outshot opponents 284-230 this season.
DIIANNI CLOSES IN ON MILESTONES
Iowa’s postseason victory at Michigan State on Oct. 31 was head coach Dave DiIanni’s 80th win in eight seasons at Iowa, tying Ron Rainey as the program’s all-time leader in coaching wins. DiIanni’s 32 Big Ten Conference wins rank No. 1 in school history.
DiIanni earned his 300th career win on Oct. 21, a 1-0 win over Minnesota. DiIanni has spent18 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including 11 at Grand Valley State and seven-plus at the University of Iowa. DiIanni is now the third active Big Ten coach to reach 300 career wins, joining Nebraska’s John Waller (338) and Maryland’s Ray Leone (309).
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).
IOWA HAWKEYES NEED-TO-KNOW
• Iowa finished the conference season tied for fourth place, its highest regular season finish since 1999.
• The Hawkeyes have 12 wins in 2021. Iowa has seven 12-win season in program history, including three under Dave DiIanni’s watch. Iowa won 14 games in DiIanni’s first season in 2014 and tied the school record with 15 wins in 2020.
• Five Hawkeyes earned Big Ten Conference postseason honors. Sara Wheaton was named to the All-Big Ten second team. Alyssa Walker and Hailey Rydberg picked up third-team honors. Addie Bundy was a unanimous selection on the All-Freshman team, and Riley Whitaker was one of 14 players to earn the conference sportsmanship award.
• 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
• 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.
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.