Hawks to take on Northwestern in Big Ten semifinals

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 07, 2014 5:00 AM

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In its next step toward a return to the Big Ten Tournament final, Iowa will take on Northwestern in semifinal soccer action today.

The Hawkeyes, who defeated Rutgers 1-0 on Wednesday, will face a Wildcat team that has not lost since Oct. 12. Northwestern has gone 4-0-2 in that span and took out number one seed Penn State, 1-0, in the first round.

“Anytime you don’t have to play the No. 1 seed in a tournament, that’s a good thing, but anyone who’s been watching soccer knows that Northwestern is one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten right now,” head coach Dave DiIanni said. “They went from last to eighth place in three weeks.”

To further complicate things for the Hawkeyes, they will likely be without second-leading scorer Melanie Pickert.

Also an anchor on a vaunted Hawkeye defense that ranked near the top of the Big Ten, her loss will be a major blow for a team that has prided itself as a defensive team throughout the season.

DiIanni believes that the team is more than mentally tough enough to deal with the setback.

“Our kids have showed an unbelievable amount of resilience in the face of adversity this year, and I’m proud of them for that,” he said. “Their mental and physical approach has been excellent, and again, I’m proud of them.”

— by Jordan Hansen

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