Sept. 23, 2003
IOWA CITY –
The Eye of the Hurricane
The Iowa field hockey team is at the midpoint of its six-game homestand, with three games remaining this week. The Hawkeyes will take on No. 17 California Thursday at 3 p.m., then open up the Big Ten season against No. 6 Penn State Saturday at noon and wrap up the homestand with a battle against Southwest Missouri State Sunday at noon.
The Hawkeyes didn’t allow a single goal in their three games last week against Northwestern (1-0), Ball State (2-0) and Temple (1-0). In their non-conference game against Northwestern, the Hawkeyes out-shot the Wildcats 14-5, but only managed one goal in a sloppy contest. Senior Pattie Gillern nabbed the game-winner with just over 20 minutes left in the game. Barb Weinberg made three saves for the shutout. Against Ball State, it was more of the same, with Iowa dominating play most of the way en-route to the 2-0 win. Gillern put Iowa on the board midway through the first half with a tough-angle shot from the right side of the cage. Freshman Kelly Slattery gave Iowa an insurance goal in the second half on an assist from Lindsay Miller. It was Slattery’s second goal of the season. Again, Weinberg made three saves for the shutout. Iowa’s most impressive, and most frustrating performance came against Temple. The Hawkeyes out-shot the Owls 33-1 in the game, but superb goalkeeping from Temple and a few bad bounces held Iowa to only one goal. The Hawkeyes hit the post twice and Erin Conroy made some spectacular saves for Temple. Iowa’s lone goal came from Debbie Birrell, who buried a crossing path from Pattie Gillern with 13 minutes left in the game.
The Hawkeyes were remained ninth in this week’s STX/NFHCA coaches poll. Six of the seven Big Ten teams were ranked in the top 20, led by Michigan at No. 5. Penn State came in at No. 6, Michigan State at No. 8, Indiana fell to No. 19, while Northwestern dropped to No. 20. The only other Big Ten team, Ohio State, was listed as receiving votes. Wake Forest held down the No. 1 spot.
The California Golden Bears are currently 3-0 and coming off an emotional, 4-3 overtime win over the Stanford Cardinal. California is ranked 17th in the latest NFHCA poll. The California offense has been sparked by freshman forward Valentina Godfrid, who scored a pair of goals in the Bears’ last game. In goal for California is junior Kelly Knapp, who is 3-0 on the year. Iowa leads the all-time series with California, 6-1, and has never lost to the Golden Bears at Grant Field. Cal is coached by Shellie Onstead, who is in her eighth year.
On Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions are 6-1 and ranked sixth in the latest NFHCA coach’s poll. The Nittany Lion offense is led by Timarie Legel, who has 20 points off seven goals and six assists. The totals are good for fourth in the Big Ten Conference. As a whole, the offense is the highest scoring in the Big Ten, averaging 4.29 goals per game. The goalkeeping duties are held down by Annie Zinkavich, who is tied for the Big Ten lead with 41 saves. She has a 1.22 goals against average and two shutouts. The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series with Penn State 18-12-2, with an 8-1-1 advantage at Grant Field. The Nittany Lions are coached by Char Morrett, who is in her 17th season at Penn State.
On Southwest Missouri State
The Southwest Missouri State Bears come into the weekend with a 1-6 record. The Bear offense is led by Abbey Rolfe, who has eight points on four goals. The goalkeeping duties are held down by Jessie Lininger, who has a 4.71 goals against average and a .522 save percentage. The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series 19-5-1, and are a perfect 10-0 at Grant Field against the Bears. Southwest Missouri State is coached by Dawn Porter, who is in her sixth season with the Bears.
Other Weekend Action
There will be plenty of field hockey at Grant Field this weekend, with California playing Southwest Missuori State at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Penn State taking on California at noon on Sunday.
Player of the Week
Iowa goalkeeper Barb Weinberg was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Monday after compiling three-consecutive shutouts. The Hawkeye defense helped out too, allowing Weinberg to have to make only six saves in three games.
The Hawkeyes peppered opposing defenses with shots last weekend. Iowa out-shot its three opponents a total of 64-12 in the three games.
Gillern’s a Gamer
Senior forward Pattie Gillern comes through when it counts. She currently leads the team with five goals, three of which were game winners. Last weekend alone, the New Jersey native was involved with all three Iowa game-winning goals. She scored them against Northwestern and Ball State, then assisted the game-winner against Temple.
Weinberg in the Big Ten
Junior goalkeeper Barb Weinberg leads the Big Ten with three shutouts, and is second with a 0.850 goals against average. The Louisville native also leads the league in minutes played at 491:35. Weinberg was a first team all-Big Ten selection last season.
Who Needs Corners?
Of the 20 goals the Hawkeyes have scored this season, 19 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.
Sophomore midfielder Debbie Birrell scored her first-career goal in Iowa’s 1-0 win over Temple last Sunday. Birrell took five shots as a freshman, but didn’t score. She has taken seven shots this season.
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 has only allowed two so far. The Hawkeye defense is giving up less than a goal per game (0.86).
The Hawkeyes are currently riding a three-game shutout streak, halfway to the school record. Iowa teams shut out six-consecutive opponents in 1993, 1986 and 1978. The longest streak under head coach Tracey Griesbaum came in 2000, when Iowa blanked five straight teams.
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 92-17 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.
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.
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.