University of Iowa women’s soccer hosts an NCAA Tournament match at the Iowa Soccer Complex for the first time in program history. No. 5 seed Iowa hosts No. 12 seed Bucknell on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT) in the first round of the 64-team tournament.
- NCAA Tournament First Round matches stream live on ESPN+ (subscription required).
- Links to streaming and live stats can be found at the gameday page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Fans can follow the Iowa soccer program on Twitter (@HawkeyeSoccer) for live in-game updates.
SCOUTING THE BISON
- Bucknell secured the Patriot League automatic-bid to the NCAA Tournament with its third consecutive conference tournament title. The Bison defeated Army in penalty kicks in the championship.
- Each of the past two seasons, Bucknell has faced a Big Ten Conference opponent on the road to open the NCAA Tournament; the Bison fell to Ohio State (1-0, 2OT) in 2022 and Rutgers (2-0) in 2021.
- Goalkeeper Jenna Hall, a two-time Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, grabbed 13 saves in the title match shutout over Army. Hall has been excellent this year with 130 saves (T-10th nationally) at an .867 percentage (T-17th nationally). Hall’s nine shutouts tie for 22nd among Division I goalkeepers; Iowa goalkeeper Macy Enneking ties for fifth in the country with 11 shutouts.
- Midfielder Teresa Deda leads the offensive attack with nine goals and nine assists (27 points).
SERIES HISTORY – BUCKNELL
Iowa and Bucknell meet for the first time in program history. Iowa is 2-0-1 against the Patriot League, all-time. Bucknell is 0-22-1 against Big Ten Conference opponents, except for a victory over Maryland in 2008 prior to the Terrapins joining the conference.
HAWK FAN GAME PLAN
Unlike regular season matches at the Iowa Soccer Complex, tickets must be purchased for Friday’s NCAA Tournament First Round game. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for University of Iowa students or youth. Links to purchase tickets are available at hawkeyesports.com. Parking will be free after 3 p.m. (CT) in Lots 45 and 71.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The Hawkeyes became the first eighth-seed to win the Big Ten Tournament Championship in conference history last weekend. The conference championship is Iowa’s second since the 2020-21 season.
- Iowa stands at 12-4-4 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). Iowa downed three consecutive ranked opponents for the first time in program history en route to the Big Ten Tournament Title. The Hawkeyes are 3-1-1 against ranked opponents this season.
- Iowa earned its fourth NCAA Tournament bid and the third under Head Coach Dave DiIanni.
- 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 (1,757) this season. Cary has made 94 starts as a Hawkeye. Durr has made a team-best six goals en route to 14 points on the year, which also matches a team-best.
- 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.
- 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.
- Iowa has matched a program-record 12 shutouts set during DiIanni’s first season in 2014. Iowa’s .600 shutout percentage ranks 12th nationally and leads in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have allowed 14 goals against this season, which ranks second in the conference (0.69 GAA).
- 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 (21) and fourth in career wins (25). Enneking’s 11 credited shutouts this season tie for fifth nationally and lead all Big Ten Conference goalkeepers.
- The 2023 roster features 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 McGroarty were All-Big Ten Tournament Team selections. Cary was Defensive Player of the Tournament
- 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.
Iowa downed three ranked opponents en route to the program’s second Big Ten Tournament Title. The run marks only the second time the Hawkeyes have defeated three ranked foes in a season (2013).
- Iowa defeated No. 12 Wisconsin in the championship match on a penalty kick in the 18th-minute by seventh-year Josie Durr. The kick came on Iowa’s lone shot on goal. Goalkeeper Macy Enneking hauled in a pair of saves to secure the 12th clean sheet of the year for the Hawkeye defense.
- The Hawkeyes defeated No. 5 Penn State in the semifinals and No. 12 Michigan State in the quarterfinals. Senior Kelli McGroarty came up clutch with the overtime game-winner against the Nittany Lions and the game-tying goal in the comeback win over the Spartans (2-1). Freshman Sofia Bush knocked in the go-ahead score against Michigan State and assisted McGroarty’s goal against Penn State.
- Iowa’s path bore similarities to the 2020-21 postseason run, which saw the Hawkeyes knock off a fourth-ranked Penn State squad before downing Wisconsin in the final. Iowa had previously won just two regular season games that season, which was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SURVIVE AND ADVANCE
NCAA Tournament First Round games take place Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at campus sites. The Second Round (Nov. 17) and Sweet 16 (Nov. 19) will be conducted at eight non-predetermined campus sites, with four teams competing at each site. Elite Eight games take place Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 on campus sites, culminating in the Women’s College Cup on Dec. 1 and 4 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
- Iowa qualified for its first NCAA Tournament berth at large in 2013. Iowa fell at Notre Dame (1-4) in the First Round. The Hawkeyes returned in 2019, falling to Kansas (0-1) in the First Round.
- The 2020-21 season brought Iowa’s first NCAA Tournament victory, on the road against Campbell (1-0). Iowa had third-overall seed UCLA on the ropes with under 10 minutes remaining in the Second Round before dropping a heartbreaker to advance to the Sweet 16 (1-2).
NCAA TOURNAMENT IN IOWA CITY
Iowa is ready to host the Women’s Soccer NCAA Tournament for the first time on Friday. The Iowa Soccer Complex has undergone major upgrades in recent seasons. The addition of a new operations building, completed in 2022, brought new locker and team rooms, athletic training rooms, coaches offices, press box space and more. Last season also welcomed new field lights, providing interactive fan capabilities and increased visibility. This year, the facility debuted a new video scoreboard.
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 343 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 (20 games played, 20 starts), Sofia Bush (20-13), Eva Pattison (17-12), Abby Skiff (17-2), Sophie Kincaid (9-0), Keira Smyser (3-0), Sonya Mehta (3-0) and Kearstyn Gladden (2-0).
- Senior midfielder Kelli McGroarty is a La Salle transfer. This season, McGroarty has five goals and four assists for a team-best 14 points for the Hawkeyes. Five of those points came during postseason play games. McGroarty’s 44 shots lead the team.
- Transfer students Taylor Kane (Pomona-Pitzer) and Shae 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 (15), freshman Millie Greer (15), senior Maggie Johnston (7), senior Rielee Fetty (6), freshman Eva Pattison (6), freshman Sofia Bush (3), 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 32 goals this season.
- Josie Durr (6), 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 second in the Big Ten in goals against average (0.69). Iowa’s 12 clean sheets match the school record set during the 2014 season.
- The Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 32-14 this season. Iowa holds a commanding lead over its opponents in shots on goal (131-68) and shots (266-148).
- Senior goalkeeper Macy Enneking ranks fourth in the Hawkeye record book with 25 career victories (.679 win percentage). Enneking’s 11 shutouts this season tie for fifth in the country.
The NCAA Tournament Second Round takes place on Nov. 17 at campus sites.