The University of Iowa women’s soccer team travels to No. 13 Northwestern on Thursday for a 7 p.m. (CT) contest at Martin Stadium. The Hawkeyes close out the regular season at home against No. 24 Penn State on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT) at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Admission to Sunday’s game is free.
- Both matches will stream 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 WILDCATS
- Northwestern enters ranked 13th in the nation with just two losses on the season; the Wildcats are second in the conference standings at 6-1-1 (19 points) in Big Ten play.
- The Wildcats were picked to finish 11th in the Big Ten preseason coaches poll but have surpassed expectations with 2.125 goals per game and stout a defense that has allowed just 10 goals against this season while posting seven shutouts.
- Junior Josie Aulicino leads the offense with seven goals and seven assists on the season; her assist total matches the Big Ten high this season, and her 21 points tie for second in the conference.
- Aulicino is also ties for third in SOG (25) while Rowan Lapi ties a Big Ten-best four game winning goals.
- Goalkeeper Mia Raben tops the conference in save percentage (.867) and ranks second in goals against average (.567).
SERIES HISTORY – NORTHWESTERN
Iowa is 8-15-2 in the all-time series against the Wildcats. The Hawkeyes won last season, 2-1, at home.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS
- 24 Penn State is 10-3-2 on the season and 5-2-1 in Big Ten play.
- Fifth-year Ally Shlegel has a team-high 16 points and seven goals on the season.
- Senior Kate Wiesner ties for the most assists in the conference with seven on the season.
- Goalkeeper Katherine Asman has started all 15 games this season, posting an .823 save percentage, 0.76 goals against average, and seven shutouts, which ranks third in the conference.
SERIES HISTORY – PENN STATE
Iowa is 3-26-0 against Penn State in program history. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions, 1-0, in the last meeting between the two schools, as Iowa knocked off fourth-ranked Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. Iowa went on to win the first Big Ten Tournament Title in program history.
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. Rydberg leads Iowa with five goals and 14 points on the season.
- 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.
Iowa tied Purdue, 2-2, on Oct. 13 before defeating Nebraska, 4-0, on Senior Day.
- The Boilermakers took a, 2-0, lead into the half, including one goal off of a penalty kick in the waning minutes of the first half. The Hawkeyes came out firing in the second period, taking 13 shots in the final 45 minutes. Their aggression paid off, leading to a Purdue own-goal off of a corner kick scrum in the first minute of the second half, followed by a Caroline Halonen goal off a one-on-one opportunity in the 55th minute.
- Iowa dominated the Cornhuskers three days later, posting a, 4-0, shutout that brought the Hawkeyes to eight goals in the last two games against Nebraska. Iowa benefited from another own-goal on Sunday, and was also lifted by two scores from Hailey Rydberg and an additional goal from Caroline Halonen. Rielee Fetty and Elle Otto added a pair of assists on the game.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HOPEFULS
Iowa is three points back in the Big Ten standings from qualifying for the conference tournament. Conference wins are worth three points each, while ties are worth one point, putting the Hawkeyes within striking distance heading into the final week of the regular season. Iowa has qualified for three of the last four Big Ten Conference Tournaments, and also won the 2020 event which saw all teams compete.
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; Cape has started in five of 11 games she has played in this year.
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 has three goals on the season; Otto has recorded three goals of her own, and her four assists on the year match an Iowa-best.
- Six of Iowa’s 10 goal scorers so far this season are newcomers.
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).
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.
- 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 17 saves at an .810 percentage through 447 minutes, while Wilhelm has recorded 41 saves at a .788 percentage in 970 minutes played. Enneking has started the last four games for Iowa and has five total starts in 2022
SHARING THE WEALTH
10 different Hawkeyes have combined for 23 goals this season. Hailey Rydberg leads the team with five goals, followed by Caroline Halonen with four goals; Rydberg has a team-high 14 points on the season.
- Hawkeye goal scorers this season are Hailey Rydberg (5), Caroline Halonen (4), Kyndal Anderson (3), Elle Otto (3), Samantha Cary, Josie Durr, Sara Wheaton, Morgan Lietz, Kellen Fife, and Camille Welker. Iowa has forced two own-goals in 2022.
- Rydberg tallied a team-best seven assists last season. She currently ties Caroline Halonen at the top of the assist column for Iowa with four on the season.
- Rydberg’s 61 ranks second in the Big Ten Conference; her 23 shots on goal tie for fifth in the Big Ten.
- Anderson leads Iowa with two game-winning goals.
The Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals kick off on Oct. 30. The top eight teams in the conference standings will qualify.