CLEMSON, S.C. — University of Iowa women’s soccer fell to Georgia, 3-2, on Friday in the NCAA Tournament Second Round at Riggs Field. Iowa finished the season 13-5-4 overall and matched the deepest postseason run in program history.
The Hawkeyes and Bulldogs mostly went blow for blow, heading into halftime scoreless with three shots apiece. A six-minute stretch in the second half that saw three scores would prove most decisive.
The first goal came in the 60th minute courtesy of Georgia’s leading scorer, Nicole Vernis. The goal interrupted 418 consecutive scoreless minutes for the Hawkeye defense, which had allowed just one goal to that point during its postseason run.
Iowa answered in short order, with goalkeeper Macy Enneking taking a free kick from midfield in the 64th minute. Enneking heaved a deep ball near the Bulldog net, connecting with freshman defender Millie Greer on a header to equalize. The sequence marked Enneking’s first career point and Greer’s first career goal.
Two minutes later, the Bulldogs retook the lead, this time on a perfectly placed ball from Summer Dennigan that arced up and over Enneking’s reach.
Georgia scored on a transition sequence in the 85th minute to make the margin 3-1. With the Hawkeyes still fighting, freshman Eva Pattison delivered the ball to senior Kelli McGroarty in the 89th minute to set up the 3-2 final in Clemson.
McGroarty’s goal makes seven this season for the newcomer from La Salle, matching seventh-year Josie Durr for a team-best. Iowa finished with a 7-6 advantage in shots on goal while trailing the Bulldogs, 11-10, in total shots. Enneking finished the match with three saves.
The Second Round exit matches Iowa’s deepest postseason run, which came during the 2020-21 season. Both years, the Hawkeyes won the Big Ten Tournament Title and picked up victories in the NCAA Tournament First Round. Iowa moves to a 10-3 postseason record since the 2021 season.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH DAVE DIIANNI
“Difficult game today for our Hawks. Left everything out on the field until the very end, but it just wasn’t enough to advance to the Sweet 16. Often throughout the season, there are moments that define who you are as a person. Despite the loss today, our team rose to the challenge each and every time that adversity struck. We grew as a team, and we grew as individuals together this year.
I want to thank our senior class for investing so much into this program and helping lift the standard even higher for those who return. We are better for this experience. The sadness will turn to commitment and passion to get better, and we will return to this level next year. I have no doubt about that.”
- Durr and McGroarty led Iowa this season in goals (7); McGroarty finished as Iowa’s leading offensive producer with 18 points. Twenty different Hawkeyes contributed points this season.
- Enneking ends the year with 58 saves at a .733 percentage. Enneking’s 12.5 shutouts this year are a program single-season record, while 13 victories tie for third among Iowa goalkeepers (Emily Moran, 2011).
- The matchup was Iowa’s first against Georgia. The Hawkeyes move to 2-2-2 against SEC opponents in program history.
- 12 Georgia represented Iowa’s sixth ranked opponent this season; the Hawkeyes finished 3-2-1 in those contests.
- Iowa made its fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament (2013, 2019, 2020, 2023).
- The Hawkeyes are 12-7 in the postseason under Coach DiIanni, including a 10-3 postseason mark since 2021.
- 90 Tracker: Four Iowa position players logged at least 90 minutes against Georgia, including senior Samantha Cary (17), freshman Millie Greer (17), freshman Eva Pattison (8) and junior Kenzie Roling (3). Eleven total Hawkeyes played at least 90 minutes in a game this season: senior Maggie Johnston (8), senior Rielee Fetty (6), freshman Sofia Bush (3), seventh-year Josie Durr (2), senior Kelli McGroarty (2), junior Elle Otto (2) and sophomore Kellen Fife.