Iowa soccer’s freshmen making big impact in historic season

Freshmen Macy Enneking and Meike Ingles have proven instrumental for Iowa soccer.


Grace Smith

Iowa goalkeeper, Macy Enneking, kicks the ball to her teammates during the Iowa women’s soccer match versus Penn State at the Iowa Soccer Complex on Thursday, March 25, 2021. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes, 1-0.

Hunter Moeller, Sports Reporter

Iowa soccer has had a historic this season, with the program winning a Big Ten Tournament title for the first time in program history with an improbable run through the Big Ten Tournament.

Iowa’s 10 freshmen have been invaluable. Two have been recognized for their outstanding play throughout the season, including during the Big Ten Tournament.

Macy Enneking became the starting goalkeeper midway through the regular season. She’s tallied 45 saves across eight games this season, which includes a 6-2 record and five shutouts.

The Hilliard, Ohio, native has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Big Ten. She leads the Big Ten in save percentage with .938. She also sits atop the conference with goals against average with a .395 percentage.

She made a career-high nine saves in Iowa’s 1-0 semifinal victory over Penn State April 15.

Enneking has only given up three goals in 776 minutes this season, holding the opposition to one score or less in each of her eight starts. In four of the eight games, she’s started, Enneking has made six or more saves.

The freshman has won numerous awards in her short time in the back of the net.

For her performance in the tournament, she was named the Defensive Player of the Tournament. She was unanimously selected to the Big Ten all-freshman team, the first Iowa goalkeeper to be selected since 2008, and was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Week March 22.

Enneking was also named to the Big Ten all-tournament team alongside freshman Meike Ingles and juniors Samantha Tawharu and Hailey Rydberg.

While Enneking has proven her ability time and again this season, she gives credit to her teammates.

“I think my backline and I did it together,” Enneking said. “They had been fighting all season, and when I stepped in, I think I was able to boost the confidence. I definitely attest that to their ability to work themselves out of problems, but I think we work really well together. We feed off of each other’s confidence. It’s a team effort.”

Ingles, a forward, picked the right time to score the first goal of her career. The Shelby Township, Michigan, native attempted a total of 20 shots during the Hawkeyes regular season, but couldn’t score.

When the postseason started, she began finding the back of the net.

The forward scored three goals on 13 shots across Iowa’s four postseason victories. All three goals were game winners.

Her first goal came as the golden goal in the 2-1 overtime win against Illinois. Her second came 62 seconds into the 2-0 victory over Minnesota. The third came early in the second half in the triumph over Penn State. She notched an assist in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin.

RELATED: Iowa soccer claims Big Ten Tournament title

Ingles was recognized as the Offensive Player of the Tournament for her performance. She was recently named to the Top Drawer Soccer’s National Team of the Week for her performances.

“For me, it’s truly a blessing,” Ingles said. “I thank God for all of that. After scoring my first goal to beat Illinois, I think all of it came together as a whole, and I just kept scoring after that. I have to thank my coaches and teammates as well for that.”

The Hawkeyes will continue their postseason in the NCAA Tournaments first round against Campbell Tuesday at Eakes Athletic Complex in Buies Creek, North Carolina. The action will begin at 2 p.m., and the match will be streamed on ESPN3.