Iowa soccer shuts out Maryland on senior day

Behind an unassisted corner kick goal, the Hawkeyes won 4-0 on senior day for their fifth Big Ten win.

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Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa midfielder Isabella Blackman runs down the field during a women's soccer match between Iowa and Maryland at the Iowa Soccer Complex on Sunday, October 13, 2019. The Hawkeyes shut out the Terrapins, 4-0.

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter

Off her left foot on a corner kick, sophomore defender Riley Whitaker got her first goal of the season as she bent the ball into the net during the 32nd minute on Sunday.

“The wind was a big factor,” Whitaker said. “We kind of talked about it before hand, and when I kick the ball, it just naturally has a curve to it, so with the wind, it really just played in my favor.”

This was just one of four goals the Iowa soccer team had on senior day, as it defeated Maryland 4-0 for its 13th win of the season. The Hawkeyes are now 13-3 overall (5-3 in the Big Ten). 

The first goal was also senior captain and midfielder Isabella Blackman’s first goal of the season, as she hit a shot from just outside the box in the 22nd minute. Senior forward Olivia Fiegel got the assist on the goal, her first of the season.

Blackman was excited to score the goal, as it was her first goal since her second game as a freshman. 

“[The celebration] was not at all premediated,” Blackman said. “However, I did know that if I ever did score, I had to congratulate my friends on the bench as well. I think I’ve been waiting a really long time to score, and once it happened, I was super excited and scream and run around everywhere.” 

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Senior midfielder and defender Natalie Winters scored the third goal of the game in the 50th minute, her fifth goal of the season. Fiegel and freshman defender Samantha Cary had the assists.

The fourth goal was unique, as a Terrapin accidentally headed a ball into Maryland’s own net in the 83rd minute. Freshman forward Gianna Gourley was the last Hawkeye to touch the ball before it was headed in. 

Not surprisingly, head coach Dave DiIanni was impressed with the performance.

“In some ways that was the best game we’ve played,” DiIanni said. “The urgency — we needed to get three points today. We don’t stress that a ton, to be honest, but in the standings that was really important, and we lost to Maryland last year, and it was away, but we didn’t play well, we got jumped on right from the beginning, and I think there was a sense of redemption there.”

The Hawkeyes thoroughly outplayed the Terrapins, as they outshot them 15-6 and had five corner kicks compared to the Terrapins’ three.

As the game was senior day, 13 seniors were honored with their families on the field before the game. This was DiIanni’s first senior class he recruited from start to finish at Iowa. With that, these seniors have helped change the team’s culture. 

“They’re just a really close-knit group,” DiIanni said. “I think they enjoy the University of Iowa. I think they enjoy playing for the Hawkeyes and that they’ve enjoyed the process of the building the culture and what we have going on so far. They’re just a fun group to spend time with.” 

The Hawkeyes’ next test will be on Thursday at Wisconsin, who are 10-2-1 overall (6-0 in the Big Ten). 

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