Sept. 9, 2005
When many young players make the transition to collegiate athletics, there is usually a period of adjustment, which can take months or even a year in some cases. The freshmen on Iowa’s field hockey team decided that pace wasn’t for them, however, and have contributed in big ways to the Hawkeyes success this year. Today was no exception in Iowa’s 6-1 victory over Ball State.
Freshmen scored five of the Hawkeyes six goals today as Iowa improved its season record to 4-2. Lauren Pfeiffer had two scores and Katie Naughton, Roz Ellis, and Caitlin McCurdy each had one goal apiece. Sophomore Caroline Blaum also scored one goal for the Hawkeyes.
Though the game ended on a high note for Iowa, it sure didn’t start that way. The Cardinals Lindsay Quay gave Ball State a 1-0 lead just a minute into the game on a corner shot.
The Hawkeyes then were on defense for much of the first half until Pfeiffer tied the score with a goal on an Iowa corner shot. Blaum’s score came just a few minutes later when the Hawkeyes had the ball deep in the right corner near Ball State’s goal. Blaum had to lay out for the ball on a long pass from McCurdy to score her first goal of the season and put Iowa ahead 2-1.
In the second half, the Hawkeyes set the pace from the get go when Naughton scored her first collegiate goal at 40:58 and gave Iowa a 3-1 advantage. During the next 20 minutes of play, Iowa outshot Ball State eight to two, with Pfeiffer picking up her second goal of the game on a corner shot; assists went to Naughton and Debbie Birrell. Ellis and McCurdy soon followed with their first career scores at Iowa to put the game in the bag, 6-1.
“Awesome” was the consensus by the freshmen after the game when asked what it was like to score their first goals in Black and Gold.
In fact, of the 19 goals scored by Iowa this season, nine have been by freshman. “It doesn’t seem like there’s any difference now between seniors and freshmen,” said McCurdy when speaking about the cohesiveness of the team.
In today’s contest, the goals were bound to come as the Hawkeyes took 25 shots total, including 16 shots on goal. The Cardinals, meanwhile, only took ten shots total and just six shots on goal.
Lissa Munley, also a freshman, picked up her fourth win of the season. She had two saves in the first half and three in the second half to increase her season total to 23. Only seven goals have made it past Munley this year for a goals against average of just 1.50.
When asked what it felt like to get their first win of the season at Grant Stadium, “amazing” was the buzz word.
“The nerves were rolling in the first part of the season,” explained Ellis. “The field is just as new to us as any of the older players, but the more we play on it, the better it is.”
Iowa (4-2) has another game on the new turf this Sunday when they take on Providence College (2-1). The Hawkeyes and the Friars square off at 1 p.m. in what will be just the third meeting between the two schools.