Iowa soccer downed by Wisconsin to open Big Ten play

Despite controlling most of the first half, the Hawkeyes could not get past the Badgers.


Johnny Jarnagin/The Daily Iowan

Wisconsin midfielder Maia Richters celebrates after scoring for Wisconsin at a soccer game against Iowa and Wisconsin, Wisconsin beating Iowa, 4-1 at the University of Iowa Soccer Complex in Iowa City on Sept. 16, 2022.

Sam Knupp, Sports Reporter

The Iowa soccer team suffered a 3-1 defeat to the visiting Wisconsin Badgers on Friday night at the Iowa Soccer Complex to open Big Ten Play.

Three Wisconsin goals in the first five minutes of the second half propelled the Badgers to victory. 

The Hawkeyes got off to a fast start and controlled the first 30 minutes of the game, as sophomore forward Elle Otto scored the contest’s first goal off a feed from senior midfielder Hailey Rydberg in the sixth minute.

“I just remember Maggie [Johnston] playing me a great ball down the line,” Rydberg said. “I saw the space was open, and I was going to go in for a shot. And then I saw Elle sitting there at the top of the box, pretty wide open, and she just had a great touch and finish.”

Iowa outshot Wisconsin, 7-1, in the first half, keeping the Badgers from getting a shot off until the 44th minute.

The momentum shifted coming out of halftime when a Wisconsin player was taken down in the box, setting up a penalty kick that Badger senior Emma Jaskaniec softly slotted to the right side of the goal in the 46th minute.

Wisconsin scored the go-ahead goal and added a third quickly after Jaskaniec’s successful penalty. In the 47th and 50th minutes, junior Aryssa Mahrt and grad student Natalie Viggiano each found the back of the net. 

Wisconsin outshot Iowa, 8-5, in the second half, and controlled the ball for 55 percent of the 90-minute clock.

“I thought [Iowa] came with the intent and the motivation to play and compete,” Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni said. “And you saw some really good soccer in the first half. And unfortunately, we just weren’t able to sustain that. But certainly positive for us to start the way we did.”

Big Picture

Although his team dropped its opening conference game for the second time in three years, DiIanni, who has said Iowa has struggled at the start of multiple games this season, noted he was pleased with Iowa’s poise at the onset of Friday’s match. 

RELATED: Around the Big Ten | Women’s soccer nonconference play

“I thought their investment in the game was very good,” DiIanni said. “We just have to sustain it and it’s got to be longer than 45 minutes. I think if we can do that, then we’re going to be in every game in the Big Ten. If not, we’re going to get punished.”

Iowa pays for physical play

Going into Friday’s game, Iowa led the Big Ten in yellow cards with 14 and was second in fouls with 104 to Nebraska’s 114.

The Hawkeyes tacked on seven more fouls against Wisconsin, an improvement from their average of 13 per game. One of those fouls, however, led to the game-tying penalty-kick goal.

Up next

Iowa will travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans on Sept. 22.

The Hawkeyes battled the Spartans twice in 2021, once at home where Iowa lost, 2-1, and once in the Big Ten Tournament, where the Hawkeyes were 1-0 victors.

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