University of Iowa women’s soccer battles No. 12 Wisconsin for the Big Ten Tournament Championship. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (CT) on Sunday at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio.
- The Big Ten Tournament Championship 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 BADGERS
- Checking in at No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, Wisconsin is Iowa’s fourth consecutive top-15 opponent. The Hawkeyes are 2-1-1 against ranked competition this season. The Badgers were the Big Ten Tournament third-seed.
- Wisconsin defeated Iowa, 1-0, in the regular season meeting at the McClimon Soccer Complex on Sept. 21. The Badgers grabbed a signature victory over No. 4 Penn State, 1-0, in the regular season finale.
- Wisconsin averages just 0.59 goals against, led by goalkeeper Erin McKinney’s 0.831 save percentage. McKinney was named third team all-conference.
- First Team All-Big Ten forward Emma Jaskaniec leads the Badgers with 26 points on 11 goals and four assists. Forward Aryssa Mahrt is next with 17 points on five goals and a team-high seven assists.
- Wisconsin’s last Big Ten Tournament Championship came in 2014.
SERIES HISTORY – WISCONSIN
Rematch is the word. The Badgers defeated Iowa, 1-0, at the McClimon Soccer Complex on Sept. 21. The Hawkeyes, however, have bragging rights on this stage after downing Wisconsin, 1-0, in the 2020-21 conference championship match. Both programs make their first return to the championship since that season. Iowa trails the all-time series, 6-17-5, and is 1-3-1 in the last five meetings with the Badgers.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The Hawkeyes look to become the first eighth-seed to win the Big Ten Tournament Championship in conference history. Iowa is the lowest-seeded team to reach the final since the 2005 season.
- Iowa stands at 11-4-4 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 conference tournament bid is the sixth under Head Coach Dave DiIanni and 14th in program history. The Hawkeyes earned their first Big Ten Tournament 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 (1,667) this season. Cary has made 93 starts as a Hawkeye. Durr has matched a team-best five goals en route to 12 points on the year.
- 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 11 shutouts, the program’s most since DiIanni’s first season in 2014 when the Hawkeyes earned a school record 12 clean sheets. Iowa’s .579 shutout percentage ties for first in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have allowed 14 goals against this season, which ranks third in the conference (0.73 goals against average).
- Senior Kelli McGroarty has played her best soccer in the postseason, drilling the game-tying score against No. 12 Michigan State and the game-winner in extra time against No. 5 Penn State. McGroarty now leads Iowa with 14 points on five goals and four assists; five of those points came during the postseason.
- Along with McGroarty and Durr, juniors Kenzie Roling and Elle Otto are leaders on offense. Otto’s five goals match the team-best, while Roling is fourth in points (11) and leads in assists (5).
- Senior Macy Enneking returns for her fourth season in goal. Enneking ranks third in program history for career shutouts (20) and fourth career wins (24). Enneking’s 10 shutouts this season tie for the most among Big Ten goalkeepers.
- Iowa welcomes 16 newcomers, including 13 freshmen and three transfers.
- Cary earned Second Team All-Big Ten postseason honors. Freshman Sofia Bush was an All-Big Ten Freshman and redshirt junior Zoë Bessert won the conference sportsmanship award.
- Cary, Enneking and redshirt junior Meike Ingles earned Big Ten Preseason Honors. Cary was the only player to win multiple Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards this season (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 defeated No. 5 Penn State, 1-0, in overtime for the second-highest ranked win in program history. Iowa has defeated consecutive ranked opponents for the second time under Coach DiIanni.
- Still scoreless after regulation, senior Kelli McGroarty drilled the game-winner in the first overtime period for her fifth point of postseason play. The score was set up by a deep shot from freshman Sofia Bush that proved a touch high and rattled off the top cross bar; the shot sent Penn State goalkeeper Katherine Asman backpeddling, however, while McGroarty was in position to recover the ball. McGroarty finished the layup, fists thrust in the air before the ball had a chance to roll gently through the back of the net.
- Goalkeeper Macy Enneking finished with four saves en route to her 10th credited clean sheet this year. Enneking defended six Nittany Lion shots in overtime and 11 total through 110 minutes.
— Hawkeye Soccer (@HawkeyeSoccer) November 3, 2023
SURVIVE AND ADVANCE
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. This year’s run bears notable similarities:
- 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 got hot, first defeating 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 game-winner from Jenny Cape ‘22.
- In 2023, Iowa was picked to finish 10th in the preseason conference coaches poll. The Hawkeyes battled their way into the eighth and final qualifying bid for postseason play. Two Hawkeyes were named to all-conference postseason teams for their play, and Iowa was faced with top-seeded Michigan State in the first round, a rematch from the 3-0 defeat in the regular season finale. Iowa won the second bout with the Spartans, 2-1, lifted by one goal and one assist from senior Kelli McGroarty and a pair of assists from fifth-year Samantha Cary. The semifinal win over No. 5 Penn State sets up the Badgers and Hawkeyes for another title shot.
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.
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 337 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 (19 games played, 19 starts), Sofia Bush (19-12), Eva Pattison (16-11), Abby Skiff (16-2), 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 five goals and four assists for a team-best 14 points. Five of those points came during Iowa’s last two games. McGroarty’s 44 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.
Eleven Hawkeyes have played the entirety of at least one game, including fifth-year Samantha Cary (14), freshman Millie Greer (14), senior Maggie Johnston (6), senior Rielee Fetty (5), freshman Eva Pattison (5), freshman Sofia Bush (2), seventh-year Josie Durr, sophomore Kellen Fife, senior Kelli McGroarty, junior Elle Otto and junior Kenzie Roling.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Fourteen Hawkeyes have combined for 31 goals this season.
- Josie Durr (5), Elle Otto (5), Kelli McGroarty (5), 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 third in the Big Ten in goals against average (0.73). Iowa’s 11 clean sheets tie for first in the conference in shutout percentage (.556).
- The Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 31-14 this season. Iowa has nearly doubled its opponents in shots on goal (130-66) and holds a commanding advantage in shots (265-140).
- Senior goalkeeper Macy Enneking ranks fourth in the Hawkeye record book with 24 career victories (.663 win percentage). Enneking’s 20 career shutouts rank third in program history.
The NCAA Tournament selection show streams live at NCAA.com on Monday, Nov. 6, beginning at 3 p.m. (CT). The first round takes place Nov. 10-12 at campus sites.