Iowa soccer falls at Rutgers

The Hawkeyes scored their first goal of the season Thursday but lost, 2-1.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa defender Sara Wheaton surveys the field during a women’s soccer match between Iowa and Western Michigan on Thursday, August 22, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 2-0.

Hunter Moeller , Sports Reporter

Iowa soccer fell, 2-1, in road trip against Rutgers Thursday afternoon at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey.

The loss is the sixth of the season for Iowa and now with a record of 0-6-1.

For much of the first half, it was neck and neck for the two teams. It wasn’t until the final five minutes of the first half where Rutgers struck. Forward Amirah Ali scored twice for Rutgers in that time frame, putting Iowa in a 2-0 deficit to start the half.

The second half was a defensive battle between the two teams, up until the 83rd minute. The Hawkeyes began to pressure the Scarlet Knights defense, forcing goalkeeper Meagan McClelland to make two saves. The Hawkeyes lone goal came off a corner kick that resulted in a handball inside the penalty box.

Junior Sara Wheaton was selected to take the penalty shot, and she did not disappoint by scoring Iowa’s first goal of the season.

The Hawkeyes had a shot to tie the game in the 89th minute off a pass from sophomore Sam Cary, who lofted the ball to junior Skylar Alward, creating a header with a chance to tie the game. McClelland made the save and sealed the Rutgers victory.

Even though the Hawkeyes lost the match, they learned more about themselves and can now set new goals.

RELATED: Iowa soccer travels to Rutgers and Maryland

“Today’s game was one in which we learned some valuable lessons about ourselves, but also this conference,” Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni said in a release. “On one hand, we played the best soccer we’ve shown as a team to date against one of the top teams in our conference and a nationally ranked opponent. It has allowed us to set a new expectation for ourselves and this team as to what is demanded of them to win.”

Iowa outshot the Rutgers, 14-12, while putting eight of those shots on target to Rutgers’ six. Iowa also led in corner kicks, 6-5. While Iowa did its fair share of shooting, it wasn’t enough to overcome the two-goal deficit.

Wheaton, who returned to action after missing lasts week’s match against Minnesota, proved to be an essential piece for the Hawkeyes. She is also the only Hawkeye this season to play the entirety of every game a player has participated in.

Redshirt sophomore Monica Wilhelm was at goalkeeper for the Hawkeyes to start the contest. She has been in goal for every match this season. After halftime, freshman Macy Enneking got her first collegiate playing time. The Ohio native performed well during her time in the second half getting three saves in 45 minutes. Iowa had a total of four saves on the day.

As the season continues, the Hawkeyes plan to continue their growing process. They will have their next opportunity at Maryland Sunday at 1 p.m., and that game will be televised on BTN.

“We’re a resilient group of women that are growing amid a tough schedule,” DiIanni said. “But we are learning those lessons, and we will be back for Sunday. There are so many positives to love from today’s performance. We will embrace those and continue to grow.”

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