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OLYMPIC SPORTS OVERVIEW: SOCCER WINS AGAIN AND FALL BASEBALL?

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More sports, more wins for the good guys (and gals).

Recapping the week that was for Iowa sports outside of the big sports...

GOALFESTS ARE FUN, TOO. Iowa soccer began the season with a pair of 1-0 wins, but the offense erupted in last Sunday's win -- Iowa trounced Nebraska-Omaha 4-0.  Freshman Alina Magruder (just try not to say that name without an upbeat soundtrack wailing in the background) scored twice for the Hawkeyes, while fellow freshman Jenna Kentgen and sophomore Karly Stuenkel added the other goals.  The scoreline was dominant and Iowa certainly did control the game, but most of the goals came late on -- three of the four goals were scored after the 80th minute.

Iowa was meant to have a home game against South Dakota State on Friday evening; alas, Mother Nature had other ideas.  The game was abandoned after 20 minutes due to excessive rain and lightning.  It certainly didn't look like very pleasant conditions out there:

The game is planned to be rescheduled, although no make-up date has been announced yet.  The Hawkeyes return to action (weather permitting!) on Tuesday night for an in-state showdown with UNI in Iowa City.  They'll follow that up with their first road trip of the season, heading out to Missoula, Montana for a pair of games with Utah State (on Friday) and Montana (on Sunday).

FIELD HOCKEY IN ACC-TION. You know about the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in men's basketball and if you follow women's basketball, you probably know that there's an ACC-Big Ten Challenge in that sport, too.  But did you know that there's an ACC-Big Ten Challenge in field hockey, too?  (I did not.)  It's not the same format as the basketball version -- it's hosted at a single site (the University of Michigan, this year) and features games on back-to-back days. Iowa, ranked #17 in the season-opening Coaches Poll rankings, opened the Challenge (and their season) with a win, knocking off #11 Wake Forest, 2-1, in overtime.  Freshman Makenna Grewe put Iowa up 1-0 just five minutes in, but Iowa didn't score again until sophomore Stephanie Norlander poked in the game-winning goal in overtime.

The competition didn't get any easier for Iowa today and unfortunately they came up short, suffering a 2-1 loss against #2 North Carolina.  Iowa went down 2-0 in the first half, and while junior Chandler Ackers cut the Tar Heel lead to 2-1 early in the second half, Iowa wasn't able to get an equalizing goal.  Iowa next heads to Harrisonburg, Virginia, for a pair of games with Richmond and James Madison next week.  Neither of those teams is ranked, so hopefully Iowa is able to return from the weekend with a 3-1 record.

LICENSE TO THRILL. Iowa volleyball opened up their season this weekend as well, taking on opponents at the NIU Tournament in DeKalb, Illinois.  In their first match on Saturday, Iowa cruised to an easy three-set win over South Dakota State, winning all three sets by lopsided margins: 25-13, 25-18, and 25-12.  Loren Brobst paced the Hawkeyes with 14 kills, while Loxley Keala led the team with 31 assists.  Iowa won a thriller later in the day, outlasting Pacific in a five-set win: 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 19-25, 15-12.  Jess Janota and Brobst led the Iowa offense, with 17 and 16 kills respectively, while Keala dished out a whopping 52 assists over the course of the five sets.

Alas, Iowa's run in the NIU Tournament ended with a loss earlier this afternoon, as they lost to NIU in four sets.  The hosts topped Iowa 27-25, 25-17, 21-25, 30-28.  Iowa has another tournament next weekend, heading to Hawaii for the Hawaii Tournament for three matches on 9/5 and 9/6.  The competition is going to pick up significantly there, too -- Iowa is slated to face Hawaii (#18 in the rankings) and UCLA (#20 in the rankings) in their first two matches there.  Even their third opponent, American, is no pushover -- they received 4 votes in the most recent rankings.  This tournament should be an excellent early challenge for Iowa.

FALL BALL. College baseball is primarily a spring-summer sport (and also no longer technically an Olympic sport, but hey) -- but it's not completely dormant in the fall, either. Iowa baseball is hosting five events this fall:

9/19: 12 PM: Ontario Blue Jays
10/2: 2 PM: Scout Day vs. ???
10/13: 2 PM: Black and Gold World Series
10/14: 2 PM: Black and Gold World Series
10/15: 2 PM: Black and Gold World Series

Per our own Randy Johnson's Mullet, "The Ontario Blue Jays are a high-end travel ball team composed of high school kids (Austin Guzzo played for them). They travel during the fall for exposure and play other D1 teams."  The Black and Gold World Series, meanwhile, is "just intrasquad with the winner usually getting a big dinner and the losers having to eat celery or something. Kinda fun but it's at the end of the fall and it drags a bit (at least for hungover student managers)," per RJM.  None of the games "count" as official NCAA competitions and they shouldn't impact the redshirt status for any players or limit the number of games Iowa is able to schedule in the spring.  But hey: if you're in the Iowa City area, it's a chance to get an early look at next year's team and watch some fun baseball.

IOWA SPORTS CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK

(all times Central)

8/31: none
9/1: soccer -- Iowa vs UNI (7 PM, Iowa City, IA)
9/2: none
9/3: none
9/4: soccer -- Iowa vs Utah State (3 PM, Missoula, MT); field hockey -- Iowa vs Richmond (4 PM, Harrisonburg, VA); cross country -- Hawkeye Early Bird Invitational
9/5: football -- Iowa vs Illinois State (11 AM, Iowa City, IA); volleyball -- Iowa at Hawaii (12 AM, Honolulu, HI), Iowa vs UCLA (9:30 PM, Honolulu, HI)
9/6: field hockey -- Iowa vs James Madison (11 AM, Harrisonburg, VA); soccer -- Iowa vs Montana (11:30 AM, Missoula, MT); volleyball -- Iowa vs American (7:30 PM, Honolulu, HI)