University of Iowa women’s soccer travels to Clemson, South Carolina, to take on 4-seed Georgia in the NCAA Tournament Second Round on Friday at Riggs Field. Second and Third Round games are hosted at eight regional sites on Nov. 17 and Nov. 19, with #1 Clemson playing host to #5 Iowa, #4 Georgia and #8 Columbia this weekend.
- NCAA Tournament Second 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 BULLDOGS
- 12 Georgia (College Soccer News rankings) won the SEC Tournament, defeating No. 10 Arkansas in the championship match. The Bulldogs won the SEC East division at 4-3-3 in conference play.
- The Bulldogs defeated Liberty, 2-1, in the NCAA Tournament First Round. Midfielder Croix Bethune had a pair of assists, hitting Kiera Staude for the game-winner in the 85th minute.
- Georgia tied Minnesota in a scoreless match on Aug. 31, its lone game against a Big Ten opponent this season; Iowa also tied Minnesota, 0-0, on Sept. 24.
- Nicole Vernis leads the Bulldogs offensively with 17 points on five goals and a team-best seven assists.
- Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Brown has totaled 68 saves at a .764 percentage; the Bulldogs average 0.99 goals against and have pitched eight shutouts.
SERIES HISTORY – GEORGIA
Iowa and Georgia meet for the first time in program history. Iowa is 2-1-2 all-time against SEC opponents, including wins over South Carolina (Aug. 27, 2006) and Missouri (Aug. 21, 2016), as well as a draw last time out against Mississippi State (Sept. 5, 2021). The Hawkeyes will face an SEC opponent in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The Bulldogs have, likewise, never faced a Big Ten opponent in the postseason.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Iowa defeated Bucknell, 2-0, in overtime on Friday for the second NCAA Tournament victory in program history. The Hawkeyes played before 2,639 spectators, a program attendance record at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
- 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 ascended to the highest national rankings in program history heading into NCAA Tournament play, including 14th in the College Soccer News rankings and 17th by Top Drawer Soccer. Iowa finished No. 30 in the RPI standings, earning an NCAA Tournament regional fifth seed.
- Iowa now stands at 13-4-4 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, where he has amassed 98 victories. The Hawkeyes are 12-6 in the postseason under DiIanni, including 10 postseason wins since 2021. Iowa is led by eight players with at least three years of collegiate experience; that group has combined for 349 career starts. Leaders include seventh-year player Josie Durr and fifth-year Samantha Cary, a returning captain. Cary, a lockdown defender, leads Iowa position players in minutes (1,867) this season. Cary has made 95 starts as a Hawkeye. Durr has made a team-best seven goals en route to 16 points on the year, which also matches a team-best.
- 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 also tacked on the second goal against Bucknell.
- McGroarty matches Durr with an Iowa-best 16 points on six goals and four assists; seven of those points came during the postseason.
- Along with McGroarty and Durr, juniors Kenzie Roling and Elle Otto are leaders on offense. Otto has registered five goals, 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 (22) and fourth in career wins (26). Enneking’s 12 credited shutouts this season tie for third nationally and lead all Big Ten Conference goalkeepers.
- Iowa posted its 13th clean sheet of the season against Bucknell, a new program record. Iowa’s previous best of 12 shutouts was set during DiIanni’s first season in 2014. Iowa’s .619 shutout percentage ranks eighth nationally and leads the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have allowed 14 goals against this season, which ranks third in the conference (0.65 GAA).
- 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.
FIRST ROUND ROUNDUP
Iowa downed Bucknell, 2-0, in extra time in the NCAA Tournament First round. The Hawkeyes piled on a 25-4 advantage in shots during regulation before finally connecting on the 26th shot in the 95th minute. Junior Elle Otto fell to the ground advancing the ball to seventh-year Josie Durr, who rifled in the game-winner from the top of the box. Kelli McGroarty drilled one more for good measure with under two minutes remaining. Iowa finished with 31 shots, its most since Oct. 31, 2012, against Penn State.
- The second NCAA Tournament win in program history was played before 2,639 spectators, the third-most in the First Round and a program attendance record at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
SURVIVE AND ADVANCE
The NCAA Tournament 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 that year. 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).
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) and the first time three ranked wins have occurred consecutively.
- 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.
The following freshmen have seen the pitch for Iowa this season: Millie Greer (21 games played, 21 starts), Sofia Bush (21-14), Eva Pattison (18-13), Abby Skiff (18-2), Sophie Kincaid (9-0), Keira Smyser (3-0), Sonya Mehta (3-0) and Kearstyn Gladden (2-0). Gladden is a Georgia native.
- Senior midfielder Kelli McGroarty joined Iowa this season from La Salle. McGroarty has six goals and four assists to match a team-best 16 points for the Hawkeyes. Seven of those points have come during postseason play games. McGroarty’s 49 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 (16), freshman Millie Greer (16), senior Maggie Johnston (8), freshman Eva Pattison (7), senior Rielee Fetty (6), freshman Sofia Bush (3), seventh-year Josie Durr (2), senior Kelli McGroarty (2), junior Elle Otto (2), junior Kenzie Roling (2) and sophomore Kellen Fife.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Fourteen Hawkeyes have combined for 34 goals this season.
- Josie Durr (7), Kelli McGroarty (6), Elle Otto (5), Kenzie Roling (3), Sofia Bush (3), Maggie Johnston (2) are the six Iowa players to register multiple goals this season.
- Iowa is 43-1-3 in its last 47 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 (0.65). Iowa’s 13 shutouts are a program record.
- The Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 34-14 this season. Iowa has nearly doubled its opponents in shots (297-153) and shots on goal (142-69).
- Senior goalkeeper Macy Enneking ranks fourth in the Hawkeye record book with 26 career victories (.686 win percentage). Enneking’s 12 credited shutouts this season tie for third in the country.
With a win, Iowa faces the winner between #1 Clemson and #8 Columbia at Riggs Field on Nov. 19.