The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa women’s soccer continues growth with tough spring schedule

The Hawkeyes placed fifth at the Spring Cup and have focused on developing their attack.
Emily Nyberg
Iowa midfielder Millie Greer runs for the ball during a soccer game between Iowa and Kansas City at the University of Iowa Soccer Complex on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Roos 2-0.

 The Iowa women’s soccer team had a historic 2023 season, setting a high bar for the future. As the Hawkeyes wrap up their spring schedule, players are focused on developing and getting ready to compete in the new-look Big Ten.

Iowa started its spring schedule with the unique opportunity to play an exhibition match against an NWSL pro team: The Chicago Red Stars.

The Hawkeyes then shifted focus to the 2024 Spring Cup, where they played two teams that qualified for the 2023 NCAA Tournament and an SEC foe — Saint Louis, Missouri, and Notre Dame.

Iowa placed fifth in the Spring Cup, losing to Saint Louis, tying with Missouri, and winning 1-0 over Notre Dame.

“I think we played probably the hardest spring [schedule] we’ve had,” Iowa head coach Dave DiIanni said. “We wanted to make sure that we were playing the best teams we could play to put us in a position to be exposed and grow.”

DiIanni emphasized development as the central focus this spring because the team was “pretty young last year.” He wants to shore up Iowa’s offensive and scoring output while maintaining its strong defensive and transitional play.

Two young players who stand out to fourth-year forward Delaney Holtey are Sofia Bush and Millie Greer.

“Sofia Bush has done a fantastic job in the midfield,” Holtey said. “She’s a crucial part of this group. She’s so calm and collected on the ball. I think that’s really needed, especially in games when things can get so heated. She’s super creative and a playmaker.”

Holtey said Greer had an excellent rookie campaign in 2023 and has continued to improve her game, becoming a calming presence on the field.

Holtey has also seen personal growth in her attacking play. She’s focused on driving the ball forward and creating scoring chances in transition, helping the Iowa offense be more dynamic.

After an injury kept her out most of last fall, forward Meike Ingles returned to the field, which has helped the attack develop. DiIanni also pointed to Kenzie Roling, Abby Skiff, and Sonya Mehta as players who have taken a big step forward this spring and are playing with more confidence.

Defender Miah Schueller stepped up for the team going into her senior season. Schueller said she feels like she’s taken on a leadership role, helping fill the hole left by graduating starters Josie Durr and Samantha Cary.

“I’ve been taking more people under my wing and talking to them a little bit more and walking them through the process,” Schueller said. “I’ve been here for a few years now. I know how the program runs, and I just have a different level of confidence this spring.”

Two newcomers who impress DiIanni are Caleigh Collard and Charlotte Bien. Though Bien had an injury early in the year that forced her to have surgery, DiIanni expects she’ll be ready by the fall.

DiIanni said Collard has been a bit inconsistent, but that’s to be expected with someone who should still be in high school and is transitioning to college athletics. He said she’s been up to the challenge so far and is adapting well.

“Our team has been really focused this semester,” Holtey said. “Our big thing has just been growth in all areas. We’re trying not to be complacent. We’re defending Big Ten champions, and it’s really important to keep that growth mindset.”

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About the Contributors
Isaac Elzinga
Isaac Elzinga, Sports Reporter
Isaac Elzinga is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass communication. This is his first year working at The Daily Iowan; he also works as a producer for 1600 ESPN a sports radio station in Cedar Rapids.
Emily Nyberg
Emily Nyberg, Visual Editor
Emily Nyberg is a second-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic arts. Prior to her role as a Visual Editor, Emily was a Photojournalist, and a News Reporter covering higher education.