Aug. 20, 2014
The University of Iowa women's soccer team opens the 2014 regular season with a pair of road matches. The Hawkeyes travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Aug. 22 to take on in-state foe Northern Iowa at the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex's Premiere Field at 7 p.m (CT). Iowa is back in action Aug. 24 for a matchup with the University of Illinois-Chicago at Wish Field in Chicago. Sunday's contest is slated for a 1 p.m. start time.
ON THE WEB
Iowa soccer fans can follow both contests via live stats (GameTracker) on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the "GT" link found on both the front page and the soccer schedule page to access the live stats feed.
SCOUTING NORTHERN IOWA
The Panthers finished the 2013 season with a 4-15 overall record, including a 1-5 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. UNI returns seven starters from last year's team, including its top three scorers in senior Caitlyn Fuller and juniors Maddie Welch and Annie Dale. Northern Iowa is led by sixth-year head coach James Price.
NORTHERN IOWA VS. IOWA -- THE SERIES
Iowa is unbeaten against Northern Iowa, leading the all-time series, 11-0.
Last season, the Hawkeyes posted a 2-1 overtime victory over the Panthers.
In the 11 game series, Iowa has outscored Northern Iowa, 35-4, and held the Panthers scoreless in eight matches.
The Flames are a first-year program this season and are coached by Brain Rigby. The 25-player roster features 20 freshmen, four sophomores, and one junior in Flo Beshiri.
ILLINOIS-CHICAGO VS. IOWA -- THE SERIES
Sunday marks the first meeting in the all-time series between the two schools.
The Hawkeyes fell to DePaul, 1-0, on Aug. 14 in an exhibition match in Chicago. The Hawkeyes tallied three shots on goal, but were unable to connect with the back of net. It wasn't until the 81st minute that DePaul scored what was the eventual game-winning goal.
HAWKEYES LOOK TO CONTINUE TREND
The Hawkeyes have won their last three season openers, outscoring their oponents, 9-0. Iowa defeated Drake in last year's season opener, 1-0, in Des Moines.
NEW FACE AT THE HELM
First-year head coach Dave DiIanni takes over the Hawkeyes' program after a successful run at Grand Valley State. DiIanni amassed a 221-18-18 record with the Lakers and guided the team to three NCAA Division II national championships and nine-consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference titles.
Assistant coach Erica Demers joins the Hawkeye staff after spending the last nine years with DiIanni at Grand Valley State.
DIIANNI IN GOOD COMPANY
In 11 seasons at Grand Valley State, head coach Dave DiIanni posted a 221-18-18 overall record for a .895 winning percentage. The mark is the third-best all-time in women's soccer history.
Over the past three seasons, Iowa has been dominant in non-league competition. The Hawkeyes have compiled a 25-1 nonconference record during the stretch.
Iowa's only nonconference blemish came against No. 23 Notre Dame in last year's opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
During the three-year period, the Hawkeyeshave outscored their opponents, 76-16.
LEADER OF THE DEFENSE
Junior Hannah Clark returns in goal after a successful run as a sophomore.
Clark started all 23 matches, where she ranked second in the Big Ten in goals against average (1.07) and sixth in saves (85). She also anchored a defense that tied a school record with 10 shutouts. Clark logged every minute in goal (2,105:38) in 2013.
Pickert led the way with seven goals, Lacasse scored six goals last season, pushing her career total to 31, and Toelle added four goals in her first season as a Hawkeye.
Sophomore Natalie Krygier joined the Hawkeye soccer program this fall after spending one year at the University of Connecticut.
Krygier played in six games as a true freshman, helping the Huskies to an 11-9 overall record in the American Athletic Conference.
RETURNING ALL-BIG TEN SELECTIONS
Cloe Lacasse and Melanie Pickert return for their senior seasons after earning secondteam All-Big Ten honors a year ago. Sophomore Amanda Lulek was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshmen team last season.
LACASSE HISTORICALLY SPEAKING
In three years, junior Cloe Lacasse has made her mark on the Iowa soccer program.
The Sudbury, Ontario, native currently ranks second in career goals (31) and assists (20), third in points (82) and shots (224), and second in game-winning goals (10).
Lacasse led Iowa in goals scored, points, and shots taken in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
She capped off her junior year by garnering second-team All-Big Ten selection and second-team NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region honors.
HAWKEYES ON TV
The Hawkeyes' Sept. 25 home contest against Maryland will be broadcast live on BTN. The match will begin at 2:30 p.m. (CT).
The BTN will also be televising the Big Ten Tournament from Nov. 5-9 in West Lafayette, Indiana
B1G IN THE POLLS
Michigan, Nebraska, and Penn State are ranked in the initial NSCAA Top 25 poll of the 2014 season.
Michigan is ranked No. 7 in the poll, Nebraska came in at No. 13, and Penn State was voted No. 24. Illinois is receiving votes.
The Hawkeyes will open their home schedule on Aug. 29 against Fresno State at 7 p.m. at the Iowa Soccer Complex.