Hawkeyes Battle Northwestern

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Oct. 21, 2003

IOWA CITY – This Week The Hawkeyes will take on the Northwestern Wildcats this weekend in Evanston, IL. The game will be held at the Leonard B. Thomas Sports Complex and start at 1 p.m.

Sunday’s game will count in the Big Ten standings. Iowa and Northwestern played a non-conference game earlier this year, with Iowa winning 1-0 at Grant Field.

Last Weekend

The University of Iowa field hockey team split a pair of games last weekend in the state of Ohio. The Hawkeyes fell to Ohio State, 2-1, in Columbus, then traveled to Athens, OH, where they defeated Ohio University in overtime, 2-1.

Iowa entered the locker room trailing the Buckeyes 2-0 at the half and could not mount a second-half rally despite holding a 13-9 shots on goal edge in the contest. The Hawkeyes fired 11 shots on goal in the first 35 minutes of action but managed just two shots on goal in the second half.

Ohio State put the Hawkeyes in an early hole by finding the back of the net twice in a seven-minute period. Ohio State’s Curlyne Wynn broke a scoreless tie at the 12:23 mark when she fired her third goal of the season into the back of the net. Just over seven minutes later, teammate Vanessa Immordino stretched the Buckeye lead to two goals with her 18th goal of the season.

The Hawkeyes cut the lead in half early in the second half when Debbie Birrell found the net on a penalty corner at the 36:56 mark. The teams struggled in a defensive battle after Birrell’s score and Ohio State watched the clock wind down en route to their third victory in five games.

Against Ohio, Iowa took a first period lead on Pattie Gillern’s unassisted goal with 22:31 left before half. Gillern scrambled to the right side and fired her team-leading 14th goal past Ohio goalkeeper Jen Cote.

Ohio answered six minutes later when Kristin Haan accepted a pass from Chelsea Medrig on a penalty corner and beat Iowa’s Barb Weinberg to tie the score, 1-1.

The Hawkeyes waited just over a minute into overtime before Heather Schnepf picked up a loose ball in front of the Ohio goal and fired the game-winner into the back of the net, giving the Hawkeyes a 2-1 victory.


The Hawkeyes fell to 10th in this week’s STX/NFHCA coaches poll.

Five of the seven Big Ten teams were ranked in the top 20, led by Michigan at No. 5, Michigan State at No. 6, Penn State at No. 7 and Ohio State at No. 18.

Northwestern was listed as receiving votes. Wake Forest held down the No. 1 spot.

On Northwestern

The Northwestern Wildcats are currently 7-7 (1-3) on the season and coming off a two-game weekend sweep over Indiana and No. 18 California.

Northwestern’s offense is led by junior midfielder Candice Cooper, who has 17 points on seven goals and three assists. The Wildcat’s second leading scorer is freshman forward Meghan Small, who has ten points off four goals and two assists.

As a whole, the Wildcat offense is the lowest scoring squad in the Big Ten Conference.

On the defensive side of the field, freshman goalkeeper Sherri-Anne Nyberg is having a solid rookie season. Her record stands at 6-5 and she owns a 1.76 goals against average and .792 save percentage.

The Wildcats are coached by Marisa Didio, who is in her seventh and final season with Northwestern, having announced her retirement before the season started.

Earlier This Season

The Hawkeyes and Wildcats have played once already this season, with Iowa coming out with a hard-fought, 1-0 win at Grant Field.

Iowa controlled play most of the way and out-shot Northwestern 14-5, including a 10-1 advantage in the second half. Iowa also earned six penalty corners to Northwestern’s one.

After a scoreless first half, Pattie Gillern finally cracked the cage with a goal at the with 21:47 left in the game. The senior forward carried the ball into the right side of the circle and blasted the ball past Northwestern goalkeeper Sherri-Anne Nyberg from 15 yards out.

Junior Barb Weinberg earned her first shutout of the season, making three saves.

Well-Known Adversaries

The Hawkeyes have played the Northwestern Wildcats a grand total of 58 times throughout the years, more than any other opponent.

Iowa’s record in the series with the Wildcats is 38-16-4. Their 38 wins is tied for the most with any opponent (Michigan State is the other), while their 16 losses is also the most at the hands of an opponent.

Iowa is on a ten-game winning streak against Northwestern, with its last loss coming on October 9, 1998.

She Just Keeps Scoring

Senior forward Pattie Gillern is having a career-season in her senior year.

The Medford, NJ, native has scored a team-best 14 goals so far this season. She has also added two assists for a total of 30 points.

Her season total is already better than the team leaders from each of the past three seasons combined. Tiffany Fodera led the team with ten in 2000, Sarah Dawson led the team with 10 in 2001, while Gillern and Tiffany Leister led the team last season with six apiece.

Shooting Gallery

Senior forward Pattie Gillern leads the Big Ten in shots on goal with 77. The forward is responsible for 34-percent of Iowa’s shot output.

Last Line of Defense

Freshman back Heather Schnepf has been enjoying an outstanding debut season with the Hawkeye defense.

The Medford Lakes, NJ, native has recorded a team-best five defensive saves so far this season, more than the entire Hawkeye team had last year. That total ties her with Michigan State’s Jessica Miller for the top spot in the Big Ten.

Lauren Stiver and Shelby Roche are second on the team with two apiece.

Masked Marauder

Freshman forward Kelly Slattery took on a new, “tougher” look last weekend when she donned a facemask for the weekend’s games in Ohio.

Slattery sustained a broken nose in the first half of Iowa’s loss to Michigan State on October 11.

Offensive Improvement

The Hawkeye offense is performing at a much higher level than last season, scoring 35 goals so far. Last year, Iowa scored only 26 goals all season.

Gillern in the Big Ten

Senior Pattie Gillern leads the Big Ten with five game-winning goals.

She is third in the Big Ten in goals (14), sixth in points (30) and second in shots per game (5.13).

Tenacious D

The Hawkeye defense is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Iowa has given up only 13 goals all season.

The team is sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing only 1.07 goal per game.

Iowa’s 16 goals allowed is the fewest in the Big Ten.

Weinberg Ranks Nationally

Barb Weinberg is making her case as one of the top goalkeepers not only in the Big Ten, but in the entire country.

The junior is eighth nationally with a 1.06 goals against average and ranks sixth with a robust .837 save percentage.

Weinberg in the Big Ten

Junior goalkeeper Barb Weinberg leads the Big Ten in shutouts (5) and is second in goals against average (1.06).

Weinberg was a first team all-Big Ten selection last season.

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.