IOWA CITY, Iowa — Fifth-year Samantha Cary was recognized as a United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American on Friday. Cary is the first University of Iowa women’s soccer player to earn the distinction.
“To accomplish an achievement such as a Sam has with making the Scholar All-American team takes great commitment, sacrifice and time management to succeed in both soccer and academics. We're very proud of her and pleased that others recognized that investment.”Head Coach Dave DiIanni
Cary became the sixth Iowa player to earn Scholar All-Region honors on Thursday. Two Hawkeyes, Hannah Drkulec (2018-19) and Kaleigh Haus (2018-19), were named CSC Academic All-Americans in previous seasons.
Cary’s 4.08 GPA was the highest in the group of honorees. Her areas of study are public health and sports science.
A second-year team captain, Cary led the Hawkeye defense to a program-record 13 shutouts in 2023. Cary was a three-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and was named Defensive Player of the Big Ten Tournament, as the Hawkeyes defeated three straight ranked opponents to win the tournament for the second time in program history.
Offensively, Cary registered one goal and three assists on the year. Two of those assists came during the, 2-1, victory over Michigan State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
On Nov. 28, Cary became one of four players in program history to earn United Soccer Coaches First-Team All-Region honors. Cary was also an All-Big Ten Second Team selection while earning Academic All-Big Ten and CSC All-District accolades for her dual achievements in the classroom and on the pitch.
Cary is believed to be Iowa’s all-time leader in minutes (8,322), games played (97) and starts (96). In her five seasons at Iowa, the Hawkeyes won two Big Ten Tournament Titles, made three NCAA Tournament appearances and set a program single-game attendance record (2,369).
Iowa allowed 0.92 goals against while averaging 8.4 shutouts per season during that span. The Hawkeyes knocked off six ranked opponents, won 10 postseason games and achieved the highest rankings in program history on multiple occasions. Iowa finished the 2023 season ranked No. 24 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, making its first appearance in the final rankings.
Cary earned four academic all-conference awards and was recognized as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2021 and 2022, which is awarded at the end of the academic year.