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Iowa vs. No. 23 Nebraska
Date: Oct. 3
Time: 4 p.m. Central
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Field: Nebraska Soccer Field
Live Stats: Huskers.com
Video: BTN.com (subscription)

No. 21 Michigan vs. No. 23 Nebraska
Date:
 Oct. 6
Time: 1 p.m. Central
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Field: Nebraska Soccer Field
Live Stats: Huskers.com
Video: BTN.com (subscription)

Lincoln - The Huskers are playing with confidence after last weekend’s two-game conference road sweep extended its current win streak to six games, its longest since 2004. Nebraska soccer also received its first NSCAA ranking since 2005, coming in at No. 23 in the latest poll released Tuesday. NU’s recent play has put them at No. 18 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings announced Monday and at No. 4 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional Rankings.

NU Defense Coming Up Clutch
NU is currently 8-2-1 on the season after an exciting road trip that saw the Huskers pick up two big victories in the state of Illinois, despite being outshot in each match. The eight wins is the most for Nebraska since 2010 and bested last year’s win total through just 11 matches.

Nebraska has pulled out all of its previous five matches by just one goal on its way to a six-game run. Senior Ari Romero and sophomore Jaylyn Odermann key the Nebraska defense as they are leading the team in minutes, with seniors Kylie Greischar and Maritza Hayes providing more experienced leadership on NU’s back line. Romero has missed just three minutes of action in the past five matches as Odermann had played all 90 in five-straight matches before sitting out for just over seven minutes in Sunday’s victory. Senior Maritza Hayes also saw the field in all 180 minutes of action last weekend in the Land of Lincoln.

NU senior goalkeeper Emma Stevens picked up her 26th career victory in net with four saves against the Illini to earn her career-best eighth win of the year. Stevens, who moved up to second in all-time saves (220) at Nebraska two weeks ago, is just 19 stops shy of Erin Miller (239) for the all-time mark.

Lincoln’s Friendly Confines
The Huskers have outshot the opposition by an 86-30 margin and a 40-11 on-net advantage in four home matches en route to a 4-0 mark at the Nebraska Soccer Field. NU has surpassed the visitors on the home scoreboard by an 11-2 margin with a pair of shutouts. Freshman Jaycie Johnson has recorded five of her team-leading seven goals on the home turf, including a pair of game-winners in the last two home battles with Michigan State and Denver.

Sunday’s matchup with Michigan will be the first Top 25 matchup in Lincoln since 2003 and the first since the Huskers moved on campus to the Nebraska Soccer Field in 2005. The Huskers are looking for another big crowd this weekend after Sept. 22’s attendance of 636 was the fifth highest in the last five years.

Inside Iowa (RPI: 103, Bennett: 67)
Thursday’s matchup with Iowa will be the sixth meeting between the two programs, with the Huskers holding a perfect 5-0 series lead. Nebraska defeated Iowa 2-1 on the road in overtime last year with Caroline Gray notching the game-winning goal, while also adding an assist.

The Hawkeyes and Huskers just finished the same road trip as Iowa lost a 2-1 decision at Illinois Friday night, before shutting out Northwestern 1-0 on Sunday to earn its first Big Ten win. Iowa went a perfect 8-0-0 during the non-conference schedule and outscored the opposition by a 20-5 margin over that time.

Iowa has since gone 1-2-0 within the conference and are led by senior Ashley Catrell (4 G, 3 A) and junior Cloe Lacasse (2 G, 5 A), while sophomore Hannah Clark is boasting a 0.73 goal-against average in net for the Hawkeyes, including six shutouts. Head Coach Tom Rainey has averaged over 10 wins per season the last five years as Iowa has seen its most successful stretch in program history since his arrival in 2006.

Inside No. 21 Michigan (RPI: 29, Bennett: 35)
The weekend homestand will finish up on Sunday with a visit from No. 21 Michigan for the sixth matchup in the series. The Huskers trail 1-3-1 and have lost to the Wolverines the last two years by 2-1 decisions. The lone victory for NU came in a 1997 NCAA Tournament match in Lincoln.

The Wolverines are 7-2-1 on the year and 1-1-1 in Big Ten play, having outscored the opposition by a 20-6 differential. Nkem Ezurike leads Michigan with six goals and six assists and sits fourth in the league in points. Ezurike also is second in the conference in shots with 4.30 per match.

Michigan goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin has been tough to beat in net as she has recorded a slim 0.50 goals-against average through 10 contests, thanks in part to the defense in front of her as she has had to make just 26 stops. The Wolverines are coming off of a winless weekend homestand where they finished with a scoreless tie against No. 18 Wisconsin before falling 1-0 against Minnesota. The Wolverines will battle rival Michigan State on Thursday before making the trip to Lincoln.

Husker Power Start
The Huskers have jumped out to its best start in the Big Ten since joining the conference for the 2011 season and are tied atop the B1G standings with No. 7 Penn State. NU will look to equal its best four-game league start since 2006 with a win on Thursday and best five-game start since 2000 with a weekend sweep. If the Huskers win the next two matches to extend the win streak to eight, it will be the first occurrence since 2000, which was a part of a 15-game run.

Jackson Moving On Up
Jordan Jackson’s 29th career score was the game-winning goal on Friday at Northwestern, which moves her into a tie for ninth all-time at Nebraska with Kelly Rheem. Jordan is one tally shy of tying for eighth and currently sits at 10th in all-time points with 80. The game-winner was the seventh of her NU career, the 11th most in Husker history.

Leading at the Break?
Nebraska is 201-5-5 all-time (.964) when leading at the half. In 23 all-time Big Ten Conference games, the Huskers have led at the half just six times, but are 3-0 this year in the conference holding leads in all three.

Nebraska Notes
- The Huskers have scored 15 of its 24 goals this season in the second half
- Nebraska is outscoring its opponents 9-1 at home in the second half in 2013
- Five different Huskers have scored three or more goals in 2013
- Senior Mayme Conroy was named to CollegeSoccer360.com’s Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll and CollegeSportsMadness.com’s Big Ten Player of the Week on Tuesday, Oct. 1


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