University of Iowa women’s soccer closes out the regular season with a trip to the Great Lakes State. Iowa takes on Michigan at 6 p.m. (CT) on Thursday night at the U-M Soccer Stadium before facing No. 14 Michigan State at noon (CT) on Sunday at the DeMartin Soccer Complex.
- Both games 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 WOLVERINES
- Michigan enters the contest on a three-game losing streak.
- The Wolverines are 3-4-1 in Big Ten play, good for 10 points in the conference standings; Iowa leads Michigan by one point at seventh and eighth in the league, respectively.
- Forward Sammi Woods leads Michigan with eight goals, 17 points, 29 shots and 13 shots on goal.
- Goalkeeper Stephanie Sparkowski ranks third in the Big Ten for save percentage (.827), one spot behind Iowa’s Macy Enneking (.833). Sparkowski averages 4.47 saves per game, which ranks second in the conference.
- Michigan has taken the fewest number of corner kicks in the Big Ten this season (50).
SERIES HISTORY – MICHIGAN
Iowa has four wins (4-17-5) against Michigan in program history. The Hawkeyes are 1-0-3 in the last four meetings between the two programs, with last season’s contest resulting in a tie. Iowa’s most recent win in the series came on Oct. 12, 2018. Michigan’s last victory over Iowa was on Sept. 19, 2017, in Ann Arbor.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
- No. 14 Michigan State is Iowa’s second ranked opponent this year. Iowa tied No. 18 Virginia on Sept. 17.
- The Spartans enter the week in a three-way tie for second in the Big Ten at 5-1-2 in conference play. Michigan State is 3-1-1 in its last five outings, including a win over then-No. 14 Michigan on Oct. 7.
- Michigan State averages 2.44 goals per game, which ranks second in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally.
- Jordyn Wickes and Justina Gaynor lead the Spartans with 14 points apiece. Five Spartans have registered 10 points or more on offense. Sixteen Michigan State players have notched at least one point.
- The Spartans have 36 saves at a .692 save percentage. Michigan State averages 1.00 goals against.
- Michigan State leads the Big Ten in corner kicks this season (118).
SERIES HISTORY – MICHIGAN STATE
Iowa trails 9-13-5 in the all-time series against the Spartans. The 2022 contest ended in a scoreless tie.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Iowa stands at 9-3-3 overall this season and 3-3-2 in Big Ten Conference play. The Hawkeyes opened the year with a 6-0-1 non-conference record and enter the week at seventh in the conference standings. The top eight seeds qualify for the Big Ten Tournament.
- Iowa has pitched 10 shutouts this season, the program’s most since Head Coach Dave DiIanni’s first season in 2014 when the Hawkeyes posted a school record 12 clean sheets. Iowa’s .667 shutout percentage ties for seventh nationally and leads the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have allowed nine goals against this season, which ranks third in the conference (0.60 goals against average).
- Coach 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 experience, including seventh-year player Josie Durr and fifth-year Samantha Cary, who was a captain last fall. Cary is a lockdown defender who leads the team in minutes (1,294) this season. Cary has made 89 starts as a Hawkeye. Durr’s four goals this season are the second-most for Iowa.
- Many of Iowa’s veterans played during the 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.
- Along with Durr, standout juniors Kenzie Roling and Elle Otto lead the team offensively. Otto’s 12 points and five goals are team-bests, while Roling is second in points (11) and leads the assist column (1). Otto led Iowa in returning offensive production heading into the year with three goals, five assists and 11 points to her name in the 2022 season.
- Senior Macy Enneking returns in goal. Enneking is fifth in program history for career wins (22), needing one more win to climb into fourth, and ranks third in career shutouts (19). Among conference keepers, she ties for the most shutouts (9) and second-best save percentage (.833) this year.
- Iowa welcomes 16 newcomers, including 13 freshmen and three transfers.
- Cary, Enneking and redshirt junior Meike Ingles earned Big Ten Preseason Honors. Cary has earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards this season on Sept. 5, Sept. 12 and Oct. 3. Enneking was named Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week on Oct. 3.
- Cary, Enneking, and senior Maggie Johnston were voted team captains for the 2023 season.
Iowa fell to Northwestern, 2-1, on Oct. 12 before bouncing back with a, 5-0, shutout against Maryland on Sunday. The two contests at the Iowa Soccer Complex closed out the regular season home slate.
- Iowa recovered from an early deficit against Northwestern in the 33rd minute when junior Elle Otto set up senior Maggie Johnston for a rocket from the top of the box to even the score at 1-1 heading into halftime. The Wildcats would convert in the 64th minute, however, to steal the win despite trailing the Hawkeyes 13-8 in shots and 8-6 in shots on goal.
- Seven Hawkeyes registered points in the clean-sheet victory over Maryland. Goal scorers for the Hawkeyes were senior Kelli McGroarty, junior Elle Otto, junior Addie Bundy, seventh-year Josie Durr and freshman Sofia Bush.
Iowa is seventh in the conference standings heading into the final week of the regular season. The top eight teams qualify for the Big Ten Tournament, with the top four team set to host.
- Five teams are within three points back of Iowa. Win earn three points while draws earn one point.
- Thursday’s opponent, Michigan, is one point behind Iowa in the standings.
Two Hawkeyes have combined for four Big Ten Player of the Week awards this season.
- Fifth-year Samantha Cary has earned three Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors this season, including back-to-back recognition on Sept. 5 and Sept. 12. Cary also won the award on Oct. 3.
- Goalkeeper Macy Enneking won Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week on Oct. 3, her first conference weekly recognition since being named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on March 22, 2021.
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 (M).
- Redshirt juniors Meike Ingles (F) and Zoë Bessert (F) are also entering their fourth seasons.
- Together, the group of eight players with at least three years’ experience total 316 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 (15 games played, 15 starts), Sofia Bush (15-9), Eva Pattison (12-7), Abby Skiff (12-2), Sophie Kincaid (8-0), Keira Smyser (3-0), Sonya Mehta (2-0) 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 SOG (21).
- McGroarty has three goals and two assists in 2023. McGroarty’s 34 shots are a team high.
- Kane (Pomona-Pitzer) and Doherty (Belmont) combined for 21 starts and 35 games played at their previous stops. Doherty has four points this season for Iowa.
Eight Hawkeyes have played the entirety of at least one game, including fifth-year Samantha Cary (11), Freshman Millie Greer (11), senior Rielee Fetty (4), senior Maggie Johnston (4), freshman Eva Pattison (2), freshman Sofia Bush, junior Kenzie Roling and sophomore Kellen Fife.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Fourteen Hawkeyes have combined for 27 goals this season.
- Elle Otto (5), Josie Durr (4), Kenzie Roling (3) and Kelli McGroarty (3) are the four Iowa players to register more than two goals this season.
- Iowa is 41-1-3 in its last 44 games when scoring two goals or more, which dates back to October of 2017. The lone defeat during that span came this season against Nebraska on Oct. 7.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Hawkeye defense has allowed nine goals this season, ranking third in the Big Ten in goals against average (0.60). Iowa’s 10 clean sheets tie for seventh in the country in shutout percentage (.667).
- The Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 27-9 this season. Iowa has doubled its opponents in shots (218-107) and shots on goal (108-54).
- Senior Macy Enneking ranks fifth in the Hawkeye record book with 22 career victories (.676 win percentage). Enneking’s 19 career shutouts rank third in program history.
- With one more victory, Enneking can tie Britta Vogele ‘04 for fourth in school history for wins (23).
- Enneking ties for fifth nationally in shutouts (9). Enneking also ranks for second in the Big Ten for save percentage (.833) and third for goals against average (0.61).
The Big Ten Tournament takes place over two weekends, with four quarterfinal matches hosted by the higher seed kicking off play on Oct. 19. The semifinals (Nov. 2) and championship match (Nov. 5) will be played at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio. The final two rounds will air live on Big Ten Network.