Iowa soccer defeats Minnesota, 1-0

Freshman forward Kenzie Roling scored the match’s only goal in the 73rd minute to give the Hawkeyes a win over the Golden Gophers

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Larry Phan

Iowa midfielder Kenzie Roling shoots and scores during a soccer game between Iowa and Minnesota at the UI Soccer Complex in Iowa City on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.The Hawkeyes defeated the Gophers 1-0.

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter


One late-game goal from freshman forward Kenzie Roling was enough to push Iowa soccer past Minnesota Thursday night.

Roling’s goal was the only one scored by either team in the game, and it came with assistance from forwards Meike Ingles and Courtney Powell in the 73rd minute.

“We’ve been working on making those runs towards the goal and so that’s kind of what I did,” Roling said. “I was in the right place at the right time and just had to make a pretty simple finish.”

Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni said Roling was fighting an illness earlier this season but has since bounced back. On the year, Roling has participated in 15 of Iowa’s 17 contests, scoring six goals — the second-most of any player on the Hawkeyes’ current active roster.

While Roling’s goal was pivotal, DiIanni said he was most impressed with his defenders’ ability to hold the Golden Gophers scoreless.

“We just asked them, we have four days, two days left, to just give everything they had and no regrets,” DiIanni said. “I thought they competed for 90 minutes and that’s probably the first time all year we’ve competed for 90 minutes in all aspects.”

BIG PICTURE

Thursday’s victory lifted Iowa to 5-4 Big Ten and 11-5-1 overall records. With one more match remaining in the regular season, the Hawkeyes have sole possession of fifth place in the conference standings. So, as of Thursday, the Hawkeyes are on pace to make the eight-team Big Ten Tournament field at the end of the month.

Depending on the result of Iowa’s matchup with Wisconsin Sunday, the Hawkeyes could ascend the league tournament’s No. 3 or No. 4 seed.

If Iowa is seeded in the top four, it will host a Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal match.

There’s also a chance that Iowa ends the season in five-way tie for fifth place. Because only eight teams can make the Big Ten Tournament, one of the programs tied for fifth would miss the postseason. If Iowa’s part of a five-way tie for fifth, it could miss out on the Big Ten Tournament.

ENNEKING SHINES IN GOAL

Sophomore goalkeeper Macy Enneking received her first start of the season Thursday, registering five saves. The win in goal is Enneking’s second of the year. She picked up her first victory of the season in Iowa’s come-from-behind, 4-3 win over Illinois Oct. 17.

DiIanni benched starter Monica Wilhelm in favor of Enneking at the start of second half in the Hawkeyes’ contest with the Fighting Illini.

Enneking started the Hawkeyes’ last ten games in 2020-21, but an injury sidelined her early in 2021-22.

“I think it was a great start, honestly,” Enneking said of Iowa’s 1-0 win over Minnesota. “It was very competitive. Both sides played really well, and it was a great opening game for me.”

DIIANNI’s 300th CAREER VICTORY

DiIanni earned his 300th career win Thursday, becoming the third current Big Ten coach to do so. He’s coached college soccer for 19 seasons.

DiIanni earned 221 of his victories at NCAA Division II Grand Valley State, where he won three national championships. If DiIanni wins one more match at Iowa, he’ll tie Ron Rainey’s program record of 80 wins.

UP NEXT

The Hawkeyes will close out the regular season at Wisconsin on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Badgers are 3-3-3 in Big Ten play and are still competing for a Big Ten Tournament spot.

Last season, the Hawkeyes fell to the Badgers in their season-opener. The Hawkeyes did, however, beat the Badgers in the 2020-21 Big Ten Tournament Championship Game, claiming their first league title ever.

The last time the Hawkeyes won a game in Madison was in 2011.

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