IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa soccer team kicks off the 2022 season on Sunday with a home exhibition against Northern Illinois at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The match starts at 1 p.m. (CT), and spectators are encouraged to attend.
The game is the first of two exhibition matches before the regular season gets underway. The Hawkeyes will host Drake at 7 p.m. (CT) on Aug. 12 to conclude preseason action.
Iowa finished fourth in the Big Ten last fall with a 5-4-1 record in conference play and a 12-6-2 record overall. The Hawkeyes return six starters and several other contributors from the group that advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinal last season.
Sara Wheaton and Hailey Rydberg are among the seven returning seniors and five fifth-year players, all of whom have starting experience. The two joined Alyssa Walker last season as part of the first trio of Hawkeye players to earn All-Big Ten honors together since Sarah Lynch, Julie Atkocaitis, and Kate Walse did so in 2000. The Hawkeyes also welcome 14 newcomers in 2022, including 8 incoming freshmen and six transfers.
Northern Illinois named Michael O’Neill head coach following the 2021 season. He will make his debut with the Huskies in Iowa City after coaching Saginaw Valley State to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II Tournament last season.
Iowa opens the regular season on Aug. 18 at No. 13 UCLA in Westwood, California. The home slate kicks off against Kansas on Aug. 25.