Iowa soccer to play Campbell in first round of NCAA Championships

Over the weekend, the Hawkeyes claimed a Big Ten Tournament title, clinching their spot in the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championships.


Casey Stone

Iowa Midfielder Hailey Rydberg runs the ball down the field during the Iowa Soccer senior day game against Purdue on Mar. 28, 2021 at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Iowa defeated Purdue 1-0.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

After four-straight upset wins over Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State, and Wisconsin over the weekend, Iowa soccer hoisted the Big Ten Championship trophy for the first time in Hawkeye history.

Now, Iowa is headed to the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championships in Buies Creek, North Carolina, via automatic berth.

“It feels surreal that we made program history,” junior defender Sara Wheaton said in a release. “Seeing what this team has accomplished makes everyone so proud.  The raw emotion of excitement and everything you can feel, you feel all at once.  It feels fantastic.”

In the first round of the tournament, the Hawkeyes will play Campbell — the 8-3-1 Big South Conference champion.

“We still have to get better, we have to invest in the process to get ready to play Campbell to create history,” Hawkeye head coach Dave DiIanni said. “This group has a chance, they just created history by winning a Big Ten Tournament title and they have a chance to do it again and double down on that [in the NCAA Tournament].”

The winner of the matchup to be held April 27 at 2 p.m. will move on to face third-seeded UCLA in the tournament’s second round April 30.

“Being able to come back and find out we’re going to North Carolina is huge,” junior midfielder Hailey Rydberg said in a release. “We’re proud considering how our season started off and the fact we stayed so invested, we’re excited to get the chance to keep competing.”

Iowa finished the regular season 2-8-1. During their first six matches of the year, the Hawkeyes didn’t put a single ball in the back of the net. In total, Iowa scored just three goals in 11 regular season games.

The Hawkeyes proceeded to rattle off four postseason wins in a row during the Big Ten Tournament, netting six goals in the process.

Iowa is 0-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Kansas in 2019 and Notre Dame in 2013.

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