Iowa soccer set for match against Northwestern

The Hawkeyes are still looking for their first goal of the season, and face off against Northwestern on Monday at 11 a.m.

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Wyatt Dlouhy

Iowa defender Samantha Cary runs up on a corner kick during the Iowa versus Ohio State game at the University of Iowa Soccer Complex on Sunday, October 27, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes 2-1 in double overtime.

Hunter Moeller , Sports Reporter


Iowa soccer returns to the pitch against Northwestern Monday at TBK Sports Complex in Bettendorf, with kickoff at 11 a.m.

The most recent meeting between the two programs was back in 2019, when the Wildcats came away with a 2-1 victory over the Hawkeyes. Northwestern leads the all-time series against Iowa with a 14-7-2 record.

The match is the second for the Hawkeyes in Bettendorf this season and the fourth overall. Iowa is scheduled to play in Bettendorf in the early part of the season because of winter weather.

Sophomore Sam Cary says playing in Iowa is always exciting, even if it’s not in Iowa City.

“Even though Bettendorf is an hour drive, at the end of the day, it’s a home game for us,” Cary said. “It’s an opportunity for us to play the game that we get to play, and no matter where we have to play, it’s another opportunity for us to play soccer, which is what we love to do.”

At the Hawkeyes’ most recent matchup in Bettendorf, their home opener, they survived a bombardment of Michigan shots to come away with a draw. Michigan outshot Iowa, 21-9. Sophomore Monica Wilhelm, who has been in goal for Iowa in every contest this season, came away with a career-high nine saves in 110 minutes.

Getting outshot didn’t happen for Iowa until the Michigan game. The Hawkeyes haven’t had a problem thus far getting their shots. Iowa outshot its first three opponents, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Despite the Hawkeyes shooting numbers, however, they are still searching for their first goal of the season.

RELATED: Iowa soccer fends off Michigan barrage in a draw

After the Hawkeyes graduated 13 seniors from the 2019 season, Iowa went from having one of the most experiences teams in the country to one of the youngest. Iowa only returned six starters from the squad that finished the 2019 campaign with a school-record 15 wins. Iowa returns one lone senior, defender Diane Senkowski.

Iowa has eight newcomers, and all are freshmen. Five freshmen have all played this season so far: Aleisha Ganief, Maggie Johnston, Rielee Fetty, Jalyn Mosley, and Meike Ingles. Fetty, Ingles, Ganief, and Johnston have already found themselves in the starting lineup in their early collegiate career.

While the Hawkeyes have a young roster all-around, most of their veteran experience is at the defender position. Cary and junior Sara Wheaton started every game in 2019.

Wheaton, Cary, and junior midfielder Hailey Rydberg were named Big Ten Players to Watch before the spring season.

For the Hawkeyes, there are differences between what they do when playing at home versus when they are on the road.

“Ultimately, it’s about how our players handle the day-to-day activities and avoid the distractions,” Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni said. “I think sometimes on the road you think it would be good, but there is a lot of free time, and sometimes it’s not used properly. I like playing at home because there is more structure to their day. You go to class, come back from class, go to practice, and come back to watch film or do school work.”

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