3 Hawkeyes Earn United Soccer Coaches All-Region Honors

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa seniors Hailey Rydberg, Alyssa Walker and Sara Wheaton were named to the United Soccer Coaches North Region Third-Team, the USC announced Monday.

The all-region honor is the first for all three players and marks just the second time in program history three Hawkeyes have been named to an all-region team in the same season. Cloe Lacasse, Melanie Pickert and Alex Melin were recognized in 2013.

Rydberg, a third-team all-Big Ten selection, shared Iowa’s team MVP honors for the second straight season. She recorded two goals and a team-high seven assists, totaling 11 points from the midfield. She played 1,643 minutes, the third most on the team. Rydberg and Wheaton were the only Hawkeyes to start each of Iowa’s 20 games.

Wheaton was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree and shared team MVP honors with Rydberg. She played the entire contest in 19-of-20 games and logged a team-high 1,826 minutes. She was also voted Iowa’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. In 2021, she scored one goal and contributed three assists while anchoring a defense that allowed fewer than one goal per game.

Walker paced the Hawkeye offense, scoring nine goals and adding a pair of assists while totaling 20 points. The nine goals in a single season tie for 11th in program history. Four of Walker’s nine goals were game-winners. She started in 19-of-20 games played and was named third-team all-Big Ten and Iowa’s Offensive Player of the Year.

The 2021 Hawkeyes posted a 12-6-2 record and placed fourth in the Big Ten, Iowa’s highest finish in the regular season since 1999. The 12-win season was the seventh in program history and the third in head coach Dave DiIanni’s eight seasons.