University of Iowa women’s soccer takes on No. 5 Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. (CT) on Thursday at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio.
- The Big Ten Tournament Semifinals will air live on Big Ten Network.
- Links to streaming and live stats can be found at the schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live in-game updates.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS
- Penn State is ranked fifth in the United Soccer Coaches Poll and is the Big Ten Tournament fourth-seed.
- The Nittany Lions downed No. 19 Indiana, 3-0, in the first round. Penn State finished 6-1-3 in conference play. A loss to No. 21 Wisconsin in the regular season finale thwarted dreams of a 21st regular season Big Ten Championship in Happy Valley.
- Coach Dambach has led Penn State to 11 Big Ten regular season titles, four Big Ten Tournament titles, 15 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and, in 2015, the program’s first NCAA Championship.
- Penn State leads the Big Ten defensively, averaging just 0.50 goals against this season.
- Goalkeeper Katherine Asman leads the league in goals against average (0.48) and save percentage (.895). Asman’s save percentage ranks fifth nationally.
- Forward Kaitlyn McBean leads Penn State with 14 points on six goals and two assists; three other Nittany Lions have scored at least 11 points this season.
- Penn State is Iowa’s highest-ranked opponent in 2023; the Hawkeyes are 1-1-1 against ranked competition this season.
SERIES HISTORY – PENN STATE
Iowa is 3-26-1 against Penn State in the all-time series. One of those victories came in the 2020-21 Big Ten Tournament Semifinals, when Iowa knocked off fourth-ranked Penn State, 1-0, for the highest-ranked win in program history. The Hawkeyes went on to win the first conference tournament championship in program history. Iowa and 24th-ranked Penn State tied, 2-2, last season at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Iowa stands at 10-4-4 overall. The Hawkeyes opened the year with a 6-0-1 non-conference record and finished eighth in the Big Ten Conference standings at 3-4-3 (12 points).
- The Big Ten Tournament bid is the sixth under Head Coach Dave DiIanni and 14th in program history. The Hawkeyes earned their first conference championship in the 2020-21 season.
- Coach DiIanni is in his 10th season at the helm of the Iowa women’s soccer program. Iowa is led by 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, a lockdown defender, leads Iowa position players in minutes (1,620) this season. Cary has made 92 starts as a Hawkeye. Durr’s five goals and 12 points tie for Iowa-bests this season.
- 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.
- Iowa has pitched 10 shutouts, the program’s most since DiIanni’s first season in 2014 when the Hawkeyes earned a school record 12 clean sheets. Iowa’s .556 shutout percentage ties Penn State for 28th nationally and second in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have allowed 14 goals against this season, which ranks fourth in the conference (0.78 goals against average).
- Along with Durr, standout juniors Kenzie Roling and Elle Otto lead the team offensively. Otto’s 12 points and five goals match team-bests, while Roling is fourth in points (11) and leads the assist column (5).
- Senior Macy Enneking returns for her fourth season in goal. Enneking ties for fourth in program history for career wins (23) alongside Britta Vogele ‘04. Enneking ranks third in program history for career shutouts (19). Enneking’s nine shutouts this season tie for second among Big Ten keepers.
- Iowa welcomes 16 newcomers, including 13 freshmen and three transfers. Senior transfer-student Kelli McGroarty matches a team-high 12 points on four goals and four assists.
- 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.
The Hawkeyes downed No. 12 Michigan State, 2-1, on Oct. 29 at DeMartin Soccer Complex in round one of the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans were the top overall seed in the tournament.
- Iowa avenged a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Michigan State in the regular season finale on Oct. 22.
- The Spartans struck first in the rematch, stuffing a score in the 42nd minute to take the lead and momentum into halftime. It was all Iowa after the break, however, as the Hawkeyes charged out to nine shots in the second half; the second shot connected, as fifth-year Samantha Cary lofted a pass to senior Kelli McGroarty in the box for a header to even the score.
- Five minutes later, the Hawkeyes struck again. This time, Cary sent a corner in to McGroarty, who advanced the ball to true freshman Sofia Bush. The All-Big Ten Freshman Team honoree rifled in a close-range score to grab the, 2-1, lead.
Eighth-seed Iowa faces fourth-seed Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals. The other side of the bracket squares off first, with third-seed Wisconsin battling second-seed Nebraska at 4 p.m. (CT).
Opened in 2021, Lower.com Field is the home of the Columbus Crew MLS club. The stadium has hosted international matches for the USMNT and USWNT and was home to the 2022 Big Ten Tournament championship weekend.
Iowa is a Big Ten Tournament qualifier for the 14th time in program history (since 1997) and the sixth time under Coach DiIanni (10th season). The Hawkeyes earned their first conference tournament championship in the 2020-21 season.
- Iowa turned around a two-win regular season during the unorthodox 2021 spring season. The regular season schedule was moved and shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an expanded postseason format. The Hawkeyes downed Illinois and Minnesota in the Big Ten Regional Weekend stage to qualify for tournament play. Then, Iowa upset No. 4 Penn State (United Soccer Coaches Poll) in the semifinals for the highest-ranked win in program history. The Hawkeyes beat Wisconsin, 1-0, in the championship game on a golden goal from Jenny Cape ‘22.
- 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 331 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 (18 games played, 18 starts), Sofia Bush (18-11), Eva Pattison (15-10), Abby Skiff (15-2), Sophie Kincaid (9-0), Keira Smyser (3-0), Sonya Mehta (3-0) and Kearstyn Gladden (2-0).
- 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).
- This season, McGroarty has four goals and four assists to match a team-best 12 points. McGroarty’s 40 shots lead the team.
- 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.
Nine Hawkeyes have played the entirety of at least one game, including fifth-year Samantha Cary (13), freshman Millie Greer (13), senior Maggie Johnston (5), senior Rielee Fetty (4), freshman Eva Pattison (4), freshman Sofia Bush, seventh-year Josie Durr, sophomore Kellen Fife and junior Kenzie Roling.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Fourteen Hawkeyes have combined for 30 goals this season.
- Elle Otto (5), Josie Durr (5), Kelli McGroarty (4), Kenzie Roling (3), Sofia Bush (3), Maggie Johnston (2) are the six Iowa players to register multiple goals this season.
- Iowa is 42-1-3 in its last 46 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 14 goals this season, ranking fourth in the Big Ten in goals against average (0.78). Iowa’s 10 clean sheets tie for second in the conference in shutout percentage (.556).
- The Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 30-14 this season. Iowa has nearly doubled its opponents in shots (251-129) and shots on goal (125-62).
- Senior Macy Enneking ties Britta Vogele ‘04 at fourth in the Hawkeye record book with 23 career victories (.663 win percentage). Enneking’s 19 career shutouts rank third in program history.
The Big Ten Tournament championship match will be played on Nov. 5 at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (CT). The game will air live on Big Ten Network.