Iowa soccer suffers 1-0 loss to No. 9 Penn State

Iowa soccer was defeated by No. 9 Penn State Thursday afternoon, 1-0, in Iowa City.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa Defender Samantha Cary clears a ball during a soccer game between Iowa and Minnesota on March 14, 2021 at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Gophers defeated the Hawkeyes 1-0.

Hunter Moeller, Sports Reporter

Iowa soccer was defeated by No. 9 Penn State, 1-0, Thursday afternoon at the Iowa Soccer Complex.

The loss brings Iowa’s record to 1-7-1 on the season.

Not only were the Hawkeyes facing a United Soccer Coaches poll top-10 team, but they were also battling the elements, as rain, wind, and cold were all factors on Thursday.

This season, Penn State has scored with ease — dropping 22 goals in just eight games. The Nittany Lions currently sit atop the Big Ten Conference standings at 7-1-1.

In the first half, the Nittany Lions verified that they could score a high volume of goals, firing 10 shots at Iowa’s goal. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes only accumulated two shots on goal.

One of Penn State’s first-half shots found the mark in the 21st minute. Ally Schlegel put the ball through the net with assistance from Frankie Tagliaferri.

While it was just one early-game goal, it proved to be enough to give the Nittany Lions the edge when the final whistle blew.

In the time between the Nittany Lions’ first goal and the final whistle, however, the Hawkeyes made Penn State work to pick up a victory.

In the second half, Iowa did a better job of stalling Penn State’s potent offense. The Hawkeyes also began to find some offense of their own. Iowa took a total of six shots in the second half — several of which came from close range.

Even though Iowa turned its offense and defense around in the second half, it failed to find the back of the net.

RELATED: Iowa soccer notches first win of 2020-21 season against Maryland

While the Hawkeyes did not win the game, they did still find a way to keep things close against one of the nation’s best teams.

Freshman goalkeeper Macy Enneking contributed greatly to the game’s final score. The Hillard, Ohio, native notched a career-high six saves. One of her most impressive saves of the day came at the start of the second half. Enneking deflected a shot off the crossbar that seemed sure to hit the back of the net.

In 232.03 minutes of action, Enneking has surrendered just one goal.

“The team has been so resilient and committed to growth throughout this process, and today is no different,” DiIanni said in a release. “Our performance as one, both tactically and physically, was exceptional. However, Penn State, who is a very good team, caught us early in the first half for a very good goal. I loved our approach to the second half and how we were able to create opportunities, at times putting Penn State on its heels. We won’t get used to this feeling of not winning. This group is hungry to continue to grow.”

The Hawkeyes’ next game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday in Iowa City. Iowa will celebrate its seniors ahead of that game.

Action between the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers will be streamed live on BTN+

With another game down, Iowa now has just two regular season games left before the postseason begins with Big Ten Wildcard Weekend April 8.