Hawkeyes Kick Off Home Season

Sept. 16, 2003

Mama I’m Comin’ Home The Iowa field hockey team will make its 2003 home debut this week when it plays a trio of games at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes will open against Northwestern in a non-conference game Wednesday at 3 p.m., then play a pair of games against non-conference foes over the weekend. Iowa will take on Ball State Friday at 3 p.m., then battle Temple Sunday at noon.

Offensive Explosion After scoring only one goal and going 0-2 in their opening weekend, the Hawkeyes routed their two opponents two weeks ago, taking down Syracuse 6-1 and dismantling New Hampshire 9-1. Against Syracuse, senior Pattie Gillern led the way with a pair of goals, and four other Hawkeyes put their names in the scoring column as Iowa out-shot the Orangewomen 18-11. Goals from Heather Schnepf, Gillern, Lindsay Miller and Margot McMahon gave Iowa a 4-1 halftime lead. In the second half, Gillern added her second goal and Kara Zappone added some insurance to give Iowa the 6-1 win. Barb Weinberg made seven saves in picking up her, and the team’s, first win of the season. It was more of the same against New Hampshire, where Iowa out-shot the Wildcats 29-8. McMahon collected her first-career hat trick, while junior Sarah Dawson added a pair of goals in the rout. Miller, Gillern, Schnepf and Kelly Slattery also scored for Iowa. Weinberg had an easy day, making only two saves and upping her record to 2-2.

NFHCA Poll The Hawkeyes were ranked ninth in the first STX/NFHCA poll of the season. Six of the seven Big Ten teams were ranked in the top 20, led by Penn State at No. 4. Michigan came in at No. 7, Michigan State was No. 8, and Indiana made their first-ever top 20 appearance at No. 14. Northwestern was ranked 19th. The only other Big Ten team, Ohio State, was listed as receiving votes. Wake Forest held down the No. 1 spot.

On Northwestern The Northwestern Wildcats are currently 3-1 and are ranked 19th by the NFHCA. Their last time out, the Wildcats defeated Ball State by the score of 3-2. The Northwestern offense is led by freshman Meghan Small, who has eight points on three goals and two assists. Candice Cooper leads the team with three assists, a total good for third in the Big Ten. The goalkeeping duties are held down by freshman Sherri-Anne Nyberg, who has made 25 saves and has a 2.33 goals against average in three starts. Iowa swept Northwestern in 2002, and leads the all-time series 37-16-4. The Wildcats are coached by Marisa Didio, who is in her ninth season at Northwestern. This will be her final year, as she has announced her retirement effective at the end of the 2003 season.

On Ball State The Ball State Cardinals are currently 3-3 and coming off a pair of losses last weekend. The Cardinals fell to Northwestern 3-2, the lost to Delaware 3-1. The Cardinal offense is led by Afton Hess, who has 14 points on five goals and four assists. Tracy Bannister is the starting goalkeeper, and has a 1.56 goals against average with a .654 save percentage. The Hawkeyes have a 17-2 series advantage over Ball State, winning the last meeting 3-1 in 2001. Ball State is coached by former Hawkeye Annette Payne, who is in her first season at the helm. Payne was a four-year letterwinner for Iowa from 1994-97.

On Temple The Temple Owls are currently 3-3. They come into Iowa City on a three-game losing streak, with their last two losses coming in overtime. The Owls have a very balanced attack, with seven different players having scored a goal this season. Haley Dirvinis leads the way with eight points on one goal and six assists. Iowa holds a 4-2-1 advantage over Temple, and won last year’s meeting 2-1 in Philadelphia. Temple is coached by Lauren Fuchs who is in her 11th year as head coach.

Stiff Competition The Hawkeyes definitely aren’t ducking anybody, as evidenced by their first two opponents. The Hawkeyes only two losses have come to the two highest ranked teams in the country. Iowa fell to top-ranked Wake Forest, 1-0 in overtime, then lost to No. 2 North Carolina 3-1.

They Just Kept Coming The nine goals Iowa scored against New Hampshire is the most a Hawkeye team has scored under Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum. It is the biggest goal total since Iowa defeated Southwest Missouri State 11-1 on Nov. 11, 1997, when Beth Beglin was the head coach.

She’s Back Junior forward Margot McMahon scored four goals in New Hampshire, just one short of her career total. McMahon’s last goal came as a true freshman against Indiana on October 22, 2000, a span of almost three years.

Making Their Presence Known Three freshmen scored their first-career goals during their trip to New Hampshire. Heather Schnepf, Kara Zappone and Kelly Slattery each picked up the first score of their careers, Schnepf and Zappone in the Syracuse game, while Slattery got her first against New Hampshire. Schnepf also added her second goal against New Hampshire.

Who Needs Corners? Of the 16 goals the Hawkeyes have scored this season, 15 of them have come from the field. The Hawkeyes have only scored one goal on a penalty corner, when Heather Schnepf poked home a rebound during a scramble in front of the net.

GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL! Despite only scoring one goal in their first two games, the Hawkeyes are the second-highest scoring team in the Big Ten, averaging 4.0 goals per game.

Tenacious D The Hawkeyes have allowed only six goals this season, good for second in the Big Ten. The only team that has allowed less is Indiana, who hasn’t allowed a single goal all season.

Freshman Contribution After Iowa’s pair of games in New Hampshire, each field player from Iowa’s freshman class has now seen time on the field. Three players – Heather Schnepf, Kelly Slattery and Caitlin Weller – have been in the starting lineup. The only member of the Class of 2007 that has yet to see any action is backup goalkeeper Courtney Moore.

Welcome to the Jungle Since the facility was introduced in 1989, it has been known to opposing teams that to visit Grant Field usually meant leaving unhappy. Iowa stands 89-17 in the facility and is 11-2 in NCAA games played at Grant Field. Originally named the Hawkeye Field Hockey Field, the facility was renamed Grant Field September 22, 1991, in honor of longtime University of Iowa Women’s Athletics Director, Dr. Christine H.B. Grant. The Hawkeyes set a home attendance record October 24, 1993 with 1,339 fans watching Iowa defeat No. 4 Penn State, 4-0. Iowa has gone undefeated on its home field in six separate seasons, including a 40-game home winning streak.

Sisterly Love Hawkeye ties always seem to run deep. This season, two juniors are the younger sisters of former Iowa all-Americans. Junior Tammy Leister is the younger sister of 2002 all-American Tiffany Leister, while junior Sarah Dawson is the younger sister of 2000 all-American Natalie Dawson.

The Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum returns to the helm of the Hawkeye field hockey program for her third year. She has done a good job rebuilding the Iowa program, recording a 27-15 record. Before taking the head coaching job at Iowa, she was with United States Field Hockey. Griesbaum not only served as a full-time assistant, but was the head coach for the United States Under-21 Team. She led the Under-21 team to a second-place finish at the Pan American Junior Championships and a spot in the 2001 Junior World Cup. Her work was good enough to earn her the 2000 United States Field Hockey Coach of the Year award. Before taking the job with USA Field Hockey, Griesbaum was an assistant coach at Iowa for eight years.

The Assistants Former Hawkeye Lisa Cellucci and Carla Tagliente will serve as the assistant coaches this season. Cellucci was a four-year starter in the cage for Iowa. From 1995-98, Cellucci was a three-time All-American, four-time Regional All-American and a four-time All-Big Ten selection. After graduation, Cellucci was an assistant coach at James Madison, where she helped the Dukes to a 15-7 record. Tagliente was a four-time all-America selection for Maryland from 1997-2000, earning first team laurels her final three years. She led the Terps to three ACC Titles and the 1999 NCAA Championship. She was also a two-time Broderick Award finalist and was a member of the U.S. National team from 1997-2003.