Sitting at 12-5-1, with a 7-4-1 conference record, the Hawkeye soccer team is sitting in the midst of the Big Ten and guaranteed a spot in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Hawks will receive either a fourth, fifth, or sixth seed in the conference tournament. On paper, it would seem that they would want the 4-5 match-up, either with Rutgers or Minnesota which would keep them out of the 3-6 pairing with either Michigan or Wisconsin.
However, head coach Dave DiIanni feels confident in a matchup with pretty much any team.
“We need for our NCAA tournament to resume and we need quality wins and for us to get those quality wins, we have to keep playing and no to be honest, no matter who we play, they’re all going to have an RPI that’s going to help us,” DiIanni said. “Whether that’s Rutgers, Minnesota, or Michigan , but for me it’s more of a mentality thing- win or go home.”
The general consensus around the team is that Iowa has to make the finals again to be give a shot in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa’s RPI, currently at No. 68, is not particularly good and it does not have much for quality wins on to its name.
Iowa has been in every game it’s played this season and that is even more true with its quality opponents. The only team that Iowa lost by more than one goal to was Michigan and even that was a closer-than-the-score showed 4-2 loss.
Most likely, Iowa will be slated in the previously mentioned 4-5 match-up and that will probably be with Rutgers. The Hawks lost to Rutgers 1-0 earlier in the season and played better than the Scarlet Knights for long stretches of that game. If they win that game, they will probably get a rematch with a nationally ranked Penn State squad that beat the Black and Gold 2-1 last week.
No matter what the standings or who they play, Iowa has a simple goal right now — win baby win.