Cinderella stories are the best sports stories and our own Iowa Hawkeye soccer team is in the midst of one as we speak. A team expected to see the end of their season last week has instead pulled off multiple upsets. Nothing to lose, playing for each other, all of the cliches fit and I'm here for every single one of them. It's a wonderful story, the team is easy to root for and it's made for an exciting time in what was an otherwise quiet week in Iowa sports.
Go Iowa Soccer Awesome.
- The story of the Women's Soccer season has been stout defense without an offense to match. Heading into the Big Ten Regionals, Iowa was a #7 seed, where little was expected of them outside of showing up to take on the #2 Illini. Instead, Iowa battled the Illini tough all match. Iowa scored first early in the second, but Illinois quickly matched and the game remained tied into overtime. Iowa continued to apply the pressure and eventually forced Illinois into a turnover in their own third, which Iowa's Meike Ingles turned into the golden goal. Not a bad time for your first college goal.
- Iowa's win earned them a date with the #3 seed Minnesota Gophers on Sunday. In a rainy, sloppy affair, Iowa left no doubt. They scored in the first minute of the game, catching Minnesota's goalkeeper out of position and followed it up six minutes later with a perfectly placed ball into the top corner. From there, Iowa leaned on their tough defense and came away with the 2-0 win.
- With the win, Iowa advances to the Big Ten Tournament, which starts on Thursday when they take on #1 seed Penn State. The game will be televised on BTN and starts at 4 PM Central. Tune in and cheer on one of the best Hawkeye sports stories of the year.
- The women's tennis team won a pair of matches, besting both Rutgers and Maryland 5-2 last weekend. The wins give Iowa 11 conference victories on the year, the most in school history in a single season.
- The story of the day, and the season, continues to be Freshman Alexa Noel. Noel won two more matches from the #1 spot, both in straight sets, bringing her record to 21-0 on the season and earning her Big Ten Player of the Week Honors. I mean just look at everything she's accomplished so far this year...
Let's take a moment to talk about @iowa_tennis' Alexa Noel...— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) April 13, 2021
21-0 Overall; 15-0 B1G
3x B1G Player of the Week
5 wins vs. ranked foes
19 straight-set victories
No. 20 national ranking - highest in program history
& that's only what we could fit in a tweet... pic.twitter.com/rdRsntn1kl
- Did I mention that she's only a freshman?
- The men's team dropped a pair of matches last week, falling to Illinois 5-2 and Northwestern 6-1.
- It's been a tough stretch for the Hawks who started strong but have now dropped eight matches in a row. They've been strong in doubles and competitive every week, but haven't been able to get over the hump.
- Kareem Allaf was able to pick up a win against Illinois, adding another win to his school-record win total, which now sits at 162. Will Davies win in the doubles match brings him within 1 of the all-time school record for doubles wins (71)
Track and Field
- It was a "quiet" week for the Iowa track and field team during last week's Big Invite #2, but Iowa still managed to set 10 career bests.
- The standout performance of the weekend came in the men's 400 meters, where the Hawks placed 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th. Wayne Lawerence Jr. won the event with a time of 46.14, while Jenoah Mckiver finished second in 47.18. Nolan Kembel and Josh Andrews placed fourth and fifth.
- Iowa competed in fewer events last week, but still find themselves ranked #25 on the men's side and #27 on the women's side.
- Iowa softball cooled off a bit last week, losing three of four to Wisconsin.
- Iowa lost both parts of a doubleheader Friday, falling 7-1 in the opener and 1-0 in the second game. It was a tough day for the offense, who were unable to get anything going in either game.
- The Hawkeyes were able to flush the Friday losses quickly and rebounded with a 3-1 win on Saturday. Lauren Shaw pitched a complete game, improving her record on the season to 4-0. Iowa got on the board early scoring two in the first and tacked on the insurance run in the third, which was more than enough for Shaw.
- The Hawkeyes had a chance to split the series on Sunday, but came up just short, losing a close game 3-2. Wisconsin took an early 2-0 lead and Iowa fought back and tied in the 6th, but Wisconsin scored the winning run in the 7th. Kalena Burns had a strong game, going 3-3 with an RBI.
- Iowa will look to bounce back next weekend when Northwestern comes to town for a 4-game series.
It's Most Valuable Monday @laurenshaw_8 improved to 4-0 with a complete game win. In the win she allowed only 1 run and struck out 3.— Iowa Softball (@iowasoftball) April 12, 2021
Riley Sheehy hit .444 and slugged .778. She had a double and a triple. She drew 3 walks and laid down a sacrifice bunt. pic.twitter.com/YVfU47YZuh
- The women's golf team took part in the UNI Spring Invite last week, where they scored an 897 (+33) to take the win. The Hawks won the event by twenty strokes and placed six golfers in the top ten.
- Klara Wildhaber and Morgan Goldstein led the way for the Hawkeyes, tying for second place with scores of 223 (+7). Lea Zeitler's 227 (+11) earned her fifth place.
- Iowa will travel to Bloomington as part of the Indiana Spring Invitational April 17-18
- The Iowa volleyball team wrapped up their season two weeks back but received a bit of postseason love last week when Courtney Buzzerio was named to the first team All-Big Ten, Iowa's first first team All-Big Ten selection in 20 years. Buzzerio was all named an Honorable Mention on the AVCA North Region All-Region team, becoming just the 5th Hawkeye in school history to earn all-region recognition.
- Edina Schmidt was also honored with the Big Ten Sportmanship Award