Laramie, Wyo. – Wyoming soccer will welcome the Montana Griz to the Louis S. Madrid Soccer Complex on Friday, Aug. 26, at 4:30 p.m. MT. The Cowgirls will then hit the road for a matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes, with kick-off scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Sunday at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
Wyoming is now 2-0-0 to start the season for the first time since the 2005 campaign following Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Idaho State. The Cowgirls also shut out their first two opponents of the regular season for the first time in program history. Junior goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree has logged 180 minutes in goal and tallied seven saves. Of the nine Mountain West teams with two games played, San Jose State is the only other team with zero goals-against and UNLV is the only conference foe with a 2-0-0 record.
The Cowgirl offense is one of the most active in the conference as well. Wyoming is second in shots taken (39), and tied for second in goals per game (2) and assists per game (1.50). The Cowgirls continue to lead the conference in corner kicks with a combined 19 after two games. The offensive contributions are coming from all over the field, too. Seven Wyoming players have been involved with the team’s four goals. Sophomore defender Taylor Burton netted Tuesday’s game winner on a corner kick service from fellow defender, senior Sammi Dunda.
Wyoming is 3-5-2 all-time against the Griz, but undefeated in the last three meetings with a 1-0-2 record. Last season, the Cowgirls and Griz tied 0-0 in their season-opening matchup.
Montana finished 2015 with 9-11-2 overall record, but a fifth-place finish in the Big Sky Conference with a mark of 5-4-1. Similar to Wyoming, the Griz return 11 starters and 21 letterwinners, including seven seniors.
Montana sits at 2-0-0 on the year after a 2-0 win over Oakland in its season-opener and a 2-1 comeback victory at Purdue last Sunday. The Griz check in at No. 10 in the Pacific Region according to the NSCAA poll released on Wednesday. Sophomore forward Hallie Widner leads the team in goals with two, and also tallied the game-winning assist on Montana’s overtime goal to shock the Boilermakers. Widner scored the Griz’s first goal of that game on a header in the 84th minute to force extra time. Senior defender Mary Gintz leads Montana in assists with two.
Senior goalkeeper Kailey Norman was selected to the 2015 All-Big Sky Second Team and All-Tournament Team. Norman has been solid between the posts, saving five of the six shots on goal she has faced so far this year. 2015 First Team All-Big Sky selection Tess Brenneman anchors the back line, and is tied with Norman for a team-high 181 minutes played.
“We have a tough weekend ahead,” head coach Pete Cuadrado said. “This will really be, in my opinion, Mountain West standards. We’re going to see two teams that are good teams. We know we have our hands full, but if we take care of our business we can compete in both games and get results.”
Despite closing out 2015’s non-conference schedule with a 6-1-0 record, the Iowa Hawkeyes finished the season 7-10-1. Iowa returns six starters and 22 letterwinners, and were picked 13th out of 14 teams in the Big Ten Conference’s pre-season poll.
The Hawkeyes own a 1-1-0 mark in 2016 after earning their first win of the year at Missouri on Sunday. The Hawkeyes faced a 1-0 deficit for much of the game before freshman forward Devin Burns equalized in the 83rd minute to force overtime. It took just five minutes for another freshman, midfielder Isabella Blackman, to notch the game-winner. All five of Iowa’s goals through the first two games of the season have been scored by five different Hawkeyes.
Iowa will face Eastern Michigan on Friday before hosting the Cowgirls in its home-opener on Sunday afternoon. Iowa and Wyoming are facing each other for the first time.
The live stream of Friday's match against Montana will be available through GoWyo.com, and will also be available for viewing on the Mountain West Network at TheMW.com and on Campus Insiders at CampusInsiders.com. Live stats for Sunday’s contest at Iowa can be found at the link above. Follow the Cowgirls on Twitter (@WYOSOCCER) for live updates throughout each match.