Iowa football drops to Big Ten tournament semifinals

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The defending Big Ten Tournament champions fell 2-0 to No.4 Rutgers on Thursday.

Dimia Burrell

Iowa defenseman Samantha Cary and midfielder Addie Bundy scramble to keep the ball away from Maryland during a soccer game between Iowa and Maryland at UI Soccer Complex on September 30, 2021. The Hawkeyes have defeated the Terrapins 2-1.


A season after winning the Big Ten Tournament, the Iowa football team will not repeat the feat. The Hawkeyes lost 2-0 to No. 4 Rutgers in the conference semifinals on Thursday.

After a scoreless first half, the Scarlet Knights scored their first goal in 67e minute. Rutgers forward Allison Lowrey fired a shot from outside the penalty area that barely slipped in by Hawkeye goalkeeper Macy Enneking.

Rutgers picked up the momentum from there and struck again 15 minutes later.

Scarlet Knights midfielder Amirah Ali rushed onto the pitch with two Iowa defenders in front of her, then executed a juke that sent defender Sara Wheaton in a different direction. Ali then unleashed a shot that bypassed defenseman Sam Cary and Enneking to seal the game.

The Hawkeyes only managed six shots against the Scarlet Knights, including three on goal. Midfielder Hailey Rydberg led Iowa with two shots.

“It has been an honor to coach this team this year,” head coach Dave DiIanni said in a statement. “We asked them to compete for 90 minutes, to be brave and confident with the ball and to leave everything on the pitch. This is exactly what they did. Unfortunately, Rutgers was more dangerous offensively than us.

“I personally want to thank the senior class for everything they have done in this program. They have been special people, students and players during their time here. They leave as the most successful class in the history of our program. Two NCAA tournaments, one Big Ten Championship and three Big Ten tournament appearances. It’s a great class that has stuck together and invested in all areas to become a successful Hawkeye. The adversity this team was forced to face could have shattered us, but instead you saw us grow stronger. “

BIG PICTURE

The loss to Iowa knocked the Hawkeyes out of the Big Ten Tournament.

The Hawkeyes were fifth in the regular season conference standings. Iowa sat at 67e in the RPI ahead of Thursday’s game, and the NCAA Football Selection Committee will select 32 general teams to fill a 64-team field.

END OF TOURNAMENT WINNERS SERIES

With Thursday’s loss, the Hawkeyes’ conference tournament winning streak ended at five.

In their race to win the Big Ten Tournament last April, the Hawkeyes won four straight games. They beat Illinois and Minnesota in the regional conference weekend, then outscored Penn State in the semifinals and Wisconsin in the championship game.

In this fall’s tournament, Iowa beat Michigan State in the quarterfinals.

FOLLOWING

If the Hawkeyes are selected for the NCAA Championship, they will find out at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

Iowa has qualified for a national tournament three times in program history. The Hawkeyes were selected as a general offer in 2013 and 2019. Iowa automatically qualified for the spring 2020 season because they won the Big Ten Tournament.

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