University of Iowa women’s soccer travels to Madison, Wisconsin, on Thursday to take on the Badgers at the McClimon Track and Soccer Complex. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes host Minnesota on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT) for the Go Green for Mental Health Game at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
- Both matches will stream on B1G+ (subscription required).
- 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 BADGERS
- Wisconsin has posted a 5-1-3 record against a strength of schedule that ranks 20th nationally. The Badgers tied at No. 1 UNC in a scoreless draw on Aug. 24 and downed LSU, 3-0, on Aug. 31. Wisconsin’s lone loss came at the hands of No. 16 Duke. Wisconsin opened Big Ten play with a tie at Nebraska.
- The Badgers are led offensively by veterans Emma Jaskaniec and Aryssa Mahrt, who have both put up nine points through nine games. Jaskaniec and Mahrt have each registered three goals and three assists. Goalkeeper Erin McKinney has a 0.67 goals against average and .838 save percentage this year.
- The Badgers have forced five shutouts this season and allowed six goals.
SERIES HISTORY – WISCONSIN
The Hawkeyes trail 6-16-5 in the all-time series against Wisconsin. The Badgers took last season’s meeting, 3-1, at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Iowa downed Wisconsin, 1-0, in the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game on April 18, 2020. Jenny Cape ‘22 scored in the golden goal in the 64th minute to bring home Iowa’s first Big Ten Championship.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GOPHERS
- Minnesota is 4-2-2 overall with a draw at No. 22 Georgia and loss at No. 19 Michigan. The Gophers average two goals per game heading into the week, with 16 goals through eight contests.
- Minnesota has allowed just three goals this season, which ranks third in the Big Ten Conference behind Iowa and Penn State with two goals allowed each.
- Sophia Boman’s 12 points (5 goals, 2 assists) leads the Gophers on offense. Kate Childers has a team-high three assists.
- Veteran goalkeeper Megan Plaschko has 20 saves (.870) at a 0.38 goals against average.
SERIES HISTORY – MINNESOTA
Iowa trails the all-time series 7-15-4. Minnesota defeated Iowa, 1-0, at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium last season. The Hawkeyes lead 3-2-0 in the last five games against the Gophers, dating back to 2019.
GO GREEN FOR MENTAL HEALTH GAME
Fans are encouraged to wear green on Sunday to promote mental health awareness. Green bandanas will be given to fans in support of the Green Bandana Project. When a student carries a green bandana on campus, it indicates that they have relevant mental health resources and are able to provide help.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Iowa is off to a fast start after an unbeaten non-conference slate. The Hawkeyes, picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten by conference coaches this season, are unbeaten at 6-0-2 overall. That record is Iowa’s best to start the season since winning its first nine games in 2019.
- Head Coach Dave DiIanni is in his 10th season at the helm of the Iowa women’s soccer program. Last fall, the Hawkeyes finished 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 lock down a Hawkeye defense that 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. Ingles netted a hat-trick in fall 2021 vs. Illinois (Oct. 17) and scored Iowa’s first goal of the 2023 season at FGCU.
- Another offensive headliner is junior Elle Otto, whose three goals, five assists and 11 points last season are returning team-bests. Otto already has three a team-high three goals again this season.
- Senior Macy Enneking returns in goal. Enneking ranks fifth in program history for career wins (19) and ties for third in career shutouts (15).
- Iowa welcomes 16 newcomers, including 13 freshmen and three transfers.
- Cary, Enneking and Ingles earned Big Ten Preseason Honors. Cary won back-to-back Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards this season on Sept. 5 and Sept. 12.
- Cary, Enneking, and senior Maggie Johnston were voted team captains for the 2023 season.
The Hawkeyes opened Big Ten Conference play with a, 1-1, tie against Illinois on Sept. 17 at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Senior Kelli McGroarty drilled a header with six minutes remaining to even the score and pick up a team point in the conference standings.
- Iowa allowed just its second goal this season when Illinois intercepted a pass intended for goalkeeper Macy Enneking, resulting in a wide open goal in the 31st minute of action.
- The Hawkeyes rallied, piling on 15 shots and 10 shots on goal; the last shot connected, a header set up by a crossing lob-pass in the box from junior Elle Otto for her first assist this season. Enneking finished with four saves against the Fighting Illini.
- Iowa is rated No. 15 nationally in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Division I RPI. The Rating Percentage Index is used to calculate performance rankings based on wins, losses and strength of schedule.
- The Hawkeyes check in at No. 29 in the College Soccer News Top 30 for the second week in a row.
- Iowa remains fourth in the United Soccer Coaches North Region poll. The Hawkeyes received votes in the United Soccer Coaches Poll for the third consecutive week.
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.
- Together, the group of eight players entering their fourth season now total 279 career starts for the Hawkeyes. Six more juniors round out the Iowa upper class.
The Hawkeyes welcome 16 newcomers, including 13 incoming freshmen and three transfers.
- The following freshmen have seen the pitch for Iowa this season: Millie Greer (8 games played, 8 starts), Sofia Bush (8-4), Abby Skiff (8-2), Eva Pattison (5-0), Sophie Kincaid (4, 0), Keira Smyser (3-0) and Kearstyn Gladden (1-0).
- Iowa also welcomes three transfers in junior goalkeeper Taylor Kane, sophomore forward Shae Doherty and senior midfielder Kelli McGroarty.
- In 2022, McGroarty led La Salle in points (17), goals (6), assists (5), shots (42) and shots on goal (21). McGroarty has two goal in 2023, and her 21 shots are the most by a Hawkeye this season.
- Kane (Pomona-Pitzer) and Doherty (Belmont) combined for 21 starts and 35 games played at their previous stops. Doherty has three points this season for Iowa.
2 FOR THE MONEY
The Hawkeyes are undefeated in their last 42 games when scoring two goals or more. Dating back to the 2017 season, Iowa has a record of 39-0-3 when scoring two goals or more. That includes a 4-0-0 record this season, 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).
SHARING THE WEALTH
Nine Hawkeyes have combined for 14 goals to start the season, including Elle Otto (3), Kenzie Roling (2), Josie Durr (2), Kelli McGroarty (2), Samantha Cary, Shae Doherty, Sofia Bush, Meike Ingles and Sophie Kincaid.
- Roling leads Iowa with eight points and four assists this season.
- McGroarty has taken a team-high 21 shots, while Durr leads the way with nine shots on goal.
- The Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 14-2 this season. Iowa has a 128-47 advantage in shots against its opponents and a 60-22 advantage in shots on goal.
- In 2022, eleven different Hawkeyes combined for 26 goals. Departing seniors Hailey Rydberg and Caroline Halonen led the way with five goals apiece, followed by Otto with three goals.
- Returning Hawkeye goal-scorers from last season are Otto (3), Durr, Cary, Morgan Lietz, Kellen Fife, Addie Bundy and Camille Welker.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Hawkeye defense has allowed just two goals and 22 shots on goal this season. Iowa’s six clean sheets through eight games match its total number of shutouts from last season.
- Iowa has held opponents to two shots or fewer in 10 of 16 total halves of competition this season.
- Senior Macy Enneking ranks fifth in the Hawkeye record book with 19 career victories (.717 win percentage). Enneking’s 15 career shutouts tie Emily Moran ’11 for third in program history.
- In 2023, Enneking ranks second among Big Ten goalkeepers for goals against average (.255) and save percentage (.909). Enneking has permitted just two goals this season while nabbing 20 saves.
Iowa faces Purdue at 5 p.m. (CT) on Sept. 28 in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Hawkeyes take on Rutgers at noon on Oct. 1 for the annual Pink Game for breast cancer awareness at the Iowa Soccer Complex.