Notes: Iowa Opens Season at FGCU, Hosts Kansas City

The University of Iowa women’s soccer team open the 2023-24 Hawkeye athletics season on Thursday at Pickering Field in Fort Myers, Florida, when Iowa takes on Florida Gulf Coast starting at 6 p.m. (CT).  Iowa opens its home slate on Sunday at the University of Iowa Soccer Complex. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Admission is free to all home soccer games.


  • Thursday’s match will stream on ESPN+. Sunday’s contest will stream on BTN+. Subscriptions required for both platforms.
  • Links to streaming and live stats can be found at
  • Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live in-game updates.


  • Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) posted a 12-6-2 overall record in 2022 and finished 8-1-1 in home matches. The Eagles allowed just eight goals in 10 contests at Pickering Field last season.
  • Junior Ashley Labbe returns a team-best 16 points and six goals for FGCU; the Eagles have offensive firepower to replace, with the loss of three of their top four offensive producers (combined 48 points).
  • The Eagles also look to replace goalkeeper Kate Sullivan, who started all 20 games.
  • FGCU advanced to NCAA Tournament play with an upset over top-seeded Liberty in the ASUN Championship game.

The Hawkeyes and Eagles square off for the first time in program history on Thursday.  

Kansas City finished 2-11-5 overall last season.

  • All 2022 goal-scorers return for the Roos this season; forward Madison Page is back after leading the Roos in points (11) and goals (5) last fall.
  • Goalkeepers Mackenzie Caldwell and Riley Moore also return after splitting duties in 2022.

Iowa won the first meeting between the two schools, 2-0, on the road in 2021.


  • Head coach Dave DiIanni is in his 10th season at the helm of the Iowa women’s soccer program. Last fall, the Hawkeyes were 5-6-7 overall with a 2-3-5 Big Ten record, a few points shy of conference postseason qualification. Iowa returns eight players with at least three years of collegiate playing experience, including seventh-year player Josie Durr and fifth-year Samantha Cary, who was a captain last fall. Cary helps lockdown a Hawkeye defense that has averaged just one goal allowed per game over the past two seasons while posting 13 clean sheets during that span.
  • Many of those veterans played for Iowa during its Cinderella-run in the 2020-21 postseason, which saw a two-win regular season result in the first Big Ten Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament win in school history. One such player is redshirt junior Meike Ingles, who scored all four of her goals that year in the postseason, including three game-winners during the Big Ten Tournament.
  • Another headliner is junior Elle Otto, whose three goals, five assists and 11 points last season are returning team-bests.
  • Senior Macy Enneking returns in goal. Enneking enters the year tied for seventh on the Hawkeye career wins chart with 13 collegiate victories. She is also tied for sixth in program history for career shutouts (9).
  • Iowa welcomes 16 newcomers, including 13 freshmen and three transfers.
  • Cary, Enneking and Ingles were named to the Big Ten Preseason Honors List.
  • Cary, Enneking, and senior Maggie Johnston were voted team captains for the 2023 season.

Iowa concluded a pair of exhibition games at South Dakota and Drake. The road friendlies provided travel experience and the opportunity to play in front of Hawkeye fans in Des Moines.

The Hawkeyes are led by a veteran core that spans the pitch.

  • Along with midfielder Josie Durr (7th-Year) and defender Samantha Cary (5th-Year), the senior class includes Macy Enneking (GK), Rielee Fetty (M), Kelli McGroarty (F/M) and Maggie Johnston (F/M).
  • Redshirt juniors Meike Ingles (F) and Zoë Bessert (F) are also entering their fourth seasons.
  • All together, the group of eight players entering their fourth season have totaled 236 career starts for the Hawkeyes. Five more juniors round out the Iowa upper class.

The Hawkeyes welcome 16 newcomers, including 13 incoming freshmen and three transfers.

  • The freshmen class features Ava Kenaan (F), Sophie Kincaid (F), Sofia Bush (M), Sammi Glover (D), Eva Pattison (D), Emma Hampton (D), Sonya Mehta (M), Erika Smiley (M/D), Keira Smyser (F/D), Millie Greer (M), Kearstyn Gladden (D), Abby Skiff (M) and Kassidy Lanthier (GK).
  • Iowa also welcomes three transfers in sophomore forward Shae Doherty, sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Kane and senior midfielder Kelli McGroarty.
  • In 2021, McGroarty led La Salle in goals (3), shots (46) and shots on goal (24).
  • Kane (Pamona-Pitzer) and Doherty (Belmont) each had successful rookie outings, combing 21 starts and 35 games played as freshmen.

The Hawkeyes are undefeated in their last 37 games when scoring two goals or more. Since the start of the 2018 season, Iowa has a record of 34-0-3 when scoring two goals or more. That includes a 4-0-2 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). 

Iowa again features depth at goalkeeper. Enneking, a senior from Hilliard, Ohio, is already one of the winningest goalkeepers in Iowa history heading into the season, ranking seventh in the Hawkeye record book with 13 career victories. Enneking is also sixth in program history for career shutouts (9), tied with Monica Wilhelm ’22, with whom she shared responsibilities in goal each of the past three seasons.

  • In 2022, Enneking made seven starts with 30 saves, a .833 save percentage and allowed just 0.86 goals per game. The Hawkeye defense came up with six shutouts.
  • Sophomore Aubrey Hahn also returns for the Hawkeyes. Ennenking and Hahn are joined by freshman Kassidy Lanthier and sophomore Taylor Kane, who made seven starts and posted a .920 save percentage last season at Pamona-Pitzer.

Iowa has won its season and home openers each of the past two seasons. The Hawkeyes are 6-2-1 in season openers and 7-1-1 in home openers under head coach Dave DiIanni.

The addition of a new operations building, completed in 2022, marked the beginning of a new era for the University of Iowa Soccer Complex. The space houses the Hawkeyes’ locker room and team rooms, athletic training room, coaches’ offices, press box and more. Last season also brought upgraded field lights, providing increased visibility and interactive fan capabilities. This season, the facility debuts a new video scoreboard to further advance the match day environment.

Eleven different Hawkeyes combined for 26 goals last season. Hailey Rydberg and Caroline Halonen led the way with five goals apiece, followed by Otto with three goals.

  • Returning Hawkeye goal-scorers from 2022 are Elle Otto (3), Samantha Cary, Josie Durr, Morgan Lietz, Kellen Fife, Addie Bundy and Camille Welker.
  • Otto led the assist column (5).
  • Iowa also forced three own-goals in the final four games of the 2022 season.

Iowa will host in-state rival Iowa State in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series on Thursday, Aug. 24 at the Iowa Soccer Complex at 7 p.m.