The University of Iowa women’s soccer team travels to Champaign, Illinois, on Thursday to take on Illinois at Demirjian Park. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT). Iowa returns home on Sunday, as the Hawkeyes host Michigan at the Iowa Soccer Complex 1 p.m. (CT). Admission to Sunday’s game is free.
- Both games will be streamed live on BTN+.
- 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 FIGHTING ILLINI
- Illinois enters the game at 6-4-1 overall with a 1-2 conference record. Their Big Ten victory came on Sept. 22 at Maryland, 3-2. The Fighting Illini fell to Michigan State to open Big Ten play, 3-0; Iowa tied the Spartans in a scoreless contest last Thursday.
- Midfielder Kendra Pasquale leads the Illinois offense with three goals and six points on the season; starting goalkeeper Julia Cili has not subbed out in 2022, grabbing a Big Ten-high 60 saves on the year while posting a .759 save percentage that ranks tenth in the conference.
- The Fighting Illini defense has posted a 1.73 goals against average this season.
SERIES HISTORY – ILLINOIS
Iowa has an 11-15-1 all-time record against the Fighting Illini. The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois, 3-2, last season in Iowa City and have won two straight in the series.
SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES
- Michigan opened the season at No. 9 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll and was ranked third in the Big Ten Conference preseason coaches’ poll.
- The Wolverines enter the week 0-2-1 in Big Ten conference play after tying Ohio State, 0-0, and dropping a pair of games against Maryland and Nebraska, each by a 1-0 margin. Michigan travels to Minnesota on Sept. 29 before Sunday’s game in Iowa City.
- Michigan’s 2.364 goal scoring average ranks second in the conference behind No. 10 Rutgers; Forward Sami Woods leads the way offensively with seven goals and 15 points on the season, which rank second and fourth in the Big Ten, respectively.
SERIES HISTORY – MICHIGAN
The Hawkeyes trail the series 4-17-4. Iowa has faced the Wolverines just twice since 2018; the Hawkeyes defeated Michigan, 1-0, in 2018 and tied the Wolverines, 0-0, in the spring of 2021.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Head coach Dave DiIanni is in his ninth season at the helm of the soccer program. Last fall, DiIanni’s team posted a 12-6-2 record, tying for fourth in the Big Ten for Iowa’s highest regular season conference finish since 1999. The Hawkeyes return six starters and a host of other key contributors from the 2021 team. That includes a group of six fifth-year players from a class of seven seniors all with starting experience.
- The Hawkeyes qualified for the Big Ten Tournament in 2021, advancing to the semifinals as the tournament five seed before falling to Rutgers. Iowa has qualified for three of the last four Big Ten Conference Tournaments, not counting the unorthodox 2020 event which saw all teams compete and which the Hawkeyes went on to win for the first time in school history.
- In 2019 and 2020, Iowa made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in program history. The 2020 group earned Iowa’s first victory in the NCAA Tournament.
- Iowa returns 51.6 percent of its goal scoring production from last season. The Hawkeyes lose leading scorer Alyssa Walker, but return a majority of the 11 goal scorers from last season. Assist leader Hailey Ryberg is back this season after dishing seven assists across seven different wins in 2021. Newcomer Kyndal Anderson leads Iowa with three goals this season.</li
- Three Hawkeyes — Hailey Rydberg, Kenzie Roling, and Samantha Cary — were named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List. Iowa was picked to finish eighth out of 14 teams in the preseason coaches’ poll.
- Three players that earned Big Ten Conference postseason honors last season return in 2022. Sara Wheaton was named to the All-Big Ten second team, while Hailey Rydberg picked up third-team honors. Addie Bundy was a unanimous selection on the All-Freshman team.
- Rydberg, Cary, and Wheaton were voted team captains for the 2022 season. Both Rydberg and Wheaton were captains in 2021.
The Hawkeyes posted a scoreless draw at Michigan State on Sept. 22 before falling on the road to Ohio State, 0-2.
- Goalkeeper Monica Wilhelm hauled in four saves against the Spartans to pick up her fifth clean sheet on the season. Iowa had scoring looks, firing 10 shots and five shots on goal for the game. Senior Josie Durr led the offensive effort with four shots, including three on goal.
- Iowa continued to get scoring looks in Columbus, taking 15 shots to Ohio State’s 13 on the night. A Buckeye goal in the fifth minute of play would prove to be decisive, however, as Ohio State drilled a second goal in the 67th minute to stifle a promising offensive push by the Hawkeyes early in the second half. Graduate student Caroline Halonen led the game with nine shots, including seven in the final 45 minutes.
A class of seven senior leaders all with starting experience help anchor the Hawkeyes this season.
- Midfielder Hailey Rydberg was a third-team All-Big Ten selection last season, starting all 20 games and posting two goals with seven assists across seven wins last season.
- Defender Sara Wheaton earned second-team All-Big Ten honors and was Iowa’s Defensive Player of the Year on a defense that gave up just 20 goals and posted six clean sheets in 2021.
- Other notable veterans include goalkeeper Monica Wilhelm (87 saves, nine wins), defender Samantha Cary (19 starts, two goals), Natalie Massa (20 games played, 4 starts), and fifth-year players Josie Durr and Jenny Cape who return to the pitch after being sidelined in 2021. Durr scored her first goal of the season on Aug. 28 in a 4-0 victory over DePaul.
MEET THE NEWCOMERS
The Hawkeyes welcome 14 newcomers in 2022, including eight incoming freshmen and six transfers.
- The freshman class features Kellen Fife, Aubrey Hahn, Emma Kozicki, Morgan Leitz, Halle Skibo, Makenna Vonderhaar, Camille Welker, and Broolyn Woods.
- Iowa also welcomes graduate students Cassidy Formanek (Houston), Molly Gervase (Denver), Caroline Halonen (Northern Michigan), and Anastasia Savich (Butler), as well as transfer students Kyndal Anderson (Furman) and Elle Otto (Mississippi State). Anderson scored the game-winners against Cal Poly and DePaul and leads the team with three goals on the season.
- Six of Iowa’s nine goal scorers so far this season are newcomers; Otto has recorded two goals and two assists on the year to tie for second on the team in both statistical areas.
2 FOR THE MONEY
The Hawkeyes are undefeated in their last 33 games when scoring two goals or more. Since the start of the 2018 season, Iowa has a record of 32-0-1 when scoring two goals or more. That includes a 2-0 record in 2022, 9-0 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).
Seven Hawkeyes have played the entirety of at least one game this season, including Sara Wheaton (8), Samantha Cary (5), Hailey Rydberg (4), Brooklyn Woods (3), Cassidy Formanek (3), Josie Durr (2) and Rielee Fetty.
DEPTH AT GOALKEEPER
Iowa features depth at goalkeeper with redshirt senior Monica Wilhelm and junior Macy Enneking holding down the net. The Iowa defense posted seven shutouts and held 18 opponents to two scores or fewer through 20 games last season with both players in goal throughout the year.
- Redshirt junior Monica Wilhelm notched 58 saves while allowing just 17 goals through 16 starts. Wilhelm tallied a career-best 11 saves against Rutgers last season.
- Sophomore Macy Enneking saw action in five games down the stretch in 2021, including four starts. She tallied 27 saves and allowed three goals in that span.
- In 2020, Enneking was the only unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection and earned Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Defensive Player accolades for allowing just one goal in four games at the conference tournament. She tallied 52 saves across 11 games and averaged a conference-best .912 save percentage, allowing just five goals in 956 minutes played.
- This season, Enneking has posted six saves at an .857 percentage through 176 minutes, while Wilhelm has recorded 29 saves at an .763 percentage in 798 minutes played.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Nine different Hawkeyes have combined for 14 goals this season. Junior Kyndal Anderson leads the team with three goals and ties senior Hailey Rydberg with seven points on the season.
- Hawkeye goal scorers this season are Kyndal Anderson (3), Hailey Rydberg (2), Caroline Halonen (2), Elle Otto (2), Samantha Cary, Josie Durr, Morgan Lietz, Kellen Fife, and Camille Welker.
- Rydberg tallied a team-best seven assists last season. She currently tops the assist column for Iowa with three on the season.
- Rydberg’s 37 shots and 14 shots on goal rank second and 10th in the Big Ten, respectively. Anderson’s two game-winning goals match the second most in the Big Ten Conference this season.
The Hawkeyes travel to Minneapolis on Sunday, Oct. 9, to take on Minnesota at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (CT).