116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Josie Durr wasn’t comfortable talking about herself.
A redshirt junior on the University of Iowa women’s soccer team, the former Solon prep said “that’s a tough question” when asked how she’s playing this season.
“I feel a lot of us are at the top of our game right now,” she said, preferring to talk about the team.
There’s no question about that statement. The Hawkeyes — and Durr — definitely are playing their best soccer right now. After a 0-6-1 start, Iowa has won three of its last four, including back-to-back wins in the Big Ten “regionals,” putting the Hawkeyes in Thursday’s conference “final four.”
Iowa (4-8-1) plays fourth-ranked and top-seeded Penn State (9-1-1) at 4 p.m. in State College, Pa., hoping for a berth in Sunday’s Big Ten championship game. The game will be televised on BTN.
“I think we’re in a really good spot right now,” Durr said. “We’re jelling ... We’ve got the momentum.”
The Hawkeyes earned a spot in the semifinals with 2-1 and 2-0 wins over second-seeded Illinois and No. 3 Minnesota last weekend, avenging regular-season losses.
“I think we knew we could beat Minnesota and Illinois,” Durr said. “... We just really wanted those games back.”
As for that rough start, Durr said a young team was simply trying to figure out its identity.
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net,” she said. “... we were just trying to find our click.”
Iowa is 2-26 against Penn State and hasn’t scored against the Nittany Lions since 2015 or ever won in State College. But the Hawkeyes’ 1-0 loss to Penn State on March 25 gives them hope.
It was Penn State’s lowest offensive output of the season.
“We played really well in that game,” Durr said. “We’re just glad to get a second shot at them.”
Durr is one of five Hawkeyes who have scored at least one goal this season. Meike Ingles and Samantha Tawharu lead the team with two goals each and Sara Wheaton and Gianna Gourley also have scored.
Iowa has scored just seven goals in 13 games, but allowed only 14.
Like a lot of players in the postseason, Durr said she’s “a little banged up” right now, but is ready to help the Hawkeyes upset Penn State and earn their first finals berth since 2014.
“I’m doing well right now,” she said. “We’re all really excited.”
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