IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa women’s soccer team rolled Nebraska, 4-0, on Sunday afternoon at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Hawkeyes celebrated Senior Day right, with the senior class registering three goals on the contest.
Iowa converted on two big opportunities in the first half. Senior Hailey Rydberg struck first, drilling a penalty kick to the bottom left corner in the 31st minute to give the Hawkeyes a, 1-0, advantage.
Ten minutes later, Samantha Cary sent a corner kick hurtling perfectly towards the Cornhusker net. Senior Natalie Massa jumped to play the header, forcing the Nebraska to defender to leap for the 50-50 ball, which ricocheted backwards into the net for a Nebraska own-goal.
The Hawkeyes kept the aggression up and came out firing in the final 45 minutes. The next Iowa goal came on a beautiful half-field dime from junior Rielee Fetty to set up graduate student Caroline Halonen for a one-on-one with the Nebraska goalkeeper. Halonen drilled the shot to extend the Iowa lead.
Rydberg finished the day with a bang, sneaking a short-range dart over the goalkeeper of a dish from sophomore Elle Otto.
Iowa’s explosive offensive performance came off of 20 shots, eight shots on goal, and eight corner kicks. Hawkeye goalkeeper Macy Enneking fielded five saves on the contest as the Iowa defense recorded its sixth shutout of the season.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH DAVE DIIANNI
“[Earning Iowa’s first Big Ten win] feels good, a long time coming. It feels great. We talked a lot about how we feel like we were close, and all the aspects of the game haven’t really fallen into place for us, and it just seems like today, for whatever reason, all the little details were focused on. One of them was transition. We had to win second balls, because Nebraska is so athletic up top. We thought our midfield was spectacular. We won a lot of second balls. Then, obviously, finishing chances was a big one. As the game wore on, it broke Nebraska’s spirit and we gained a little bit of confidence, as well.”
- Iowa improves to 4-1-1 against Nebraska in the last six meetings between the two programs; the Hawkeyes were 0-10-0 against the Cornhuskers prior to 2017.
- The Hawkeyes have scored eight combined goals in their last two meetings with Nebraska; Iowa came back from a, 3-0, deficit last season to win, 4-3, marking the largest comeback victory in program history.
- 2 FOR THE MONEY: The Hawkeyes are undefeated in their last 36 games when scoring two goals or more. Since the start of the 2018 season, Iowa has a record of 33-0-3 when scoring two goals or more. That includes a 3-0-2 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).
- 90 TRACKER: Sara Wheaton(13), Samantha Cary (10), Cassidy Formanek (8), and Fetty (3) each played all 90 minutes of Sunday’s game. Seven Hawkeyes have played the entirety of at least one contest this season, including Rydberg (6), Josie Durr (4), and Brooklyn Woods (3)
The Hawkeyes travel to Evanston, Illinois, to take on Northwestern next Thursday at Martin Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT). Iowa’s final home game of the regular season will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday versus Penn State.