Big Ten Action Begins

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Sept. 21, 2005

Big Ten Action Begins

The Hawkeyes travel to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend to face Ohio State. The contest starts at noon on the Woody Hayes North Turf Field. This weekend marks the beginning of the Big Ten field hockey season, which culminates in the Big Ten Tournament to be held in Iowa City November 4-6.

Hawkeyes go 1-1 in North Carolina

The tenth-ranked Hawkeyes were just one goal away from knocking off then fourth-ranked Duke last weekend. Despite a two-goal comeback, the Iowa offense stalled with 15 minutes left in the game and the Blue Devils went on to win, 3-2.

The Blue Devils jumped into action with a corner shot and goal by senior Nicole Dudek five minutes into the game. Duke sophomore Caitlin Williams stopped three consecutive corner shots by Iowa late in the first half and Marcy Burns scored right after the corner shots at the 28:03 marks to give Duke a 2-0 lead heading into the half.

Burns scored two minutes into the second half to put Duke ahead 3-0, but Iowa Katie Naughton sparked Iowa with a score minutes later to cut the lead to 3-1. Later, after a stroke by Debbie Birrell was blocked, Kara Zappone was there to follow through with a goal, shrinking Duke’s lead to just one goal. The Hawkeyes couldn’t muster any more offense after that and the Blue Devils picked up their fifth victory of the season, 3-2.

On the defensive end, both goal keepers had six saves in the game. Freshman Lissa Munley stopped Duke one attempt in the first half and had five saves in the second half.

Iowa took out their frustration over the loss on Appalachian State the following day. Five different Hawkeyes scored on the way to the 7-1 victory. Kara Zappone kicked off the Iowa scoring barrage with an unassisted goal late in the first half. Debbie Birrell added a score just two minutes away from the break to give the Hawkeyes a 2-0 advantage.

Caroline Blaum stroked a goal 43:55 into the game and Birrell scored her second goal on a penalty stroke just one minute later to put Iowa up 4-0. The Hawkeyes didn’t allow the Mountaineers time to set up their own offense because Caitlyn McCurdy found Katie Naughton for a goal at the 45:57 mark. Minutes later, Lauren Pfeiffer pushed in an unassisted goal to give Iowa a 5-0 margin.

Appalachian State’s Jessica Harris found Erica Muschamp near the end of the game to break up the Iowa shutout. However, the Hawkeyes weren’t done scoring yet, and the freshman duo of McCurdy and Naughton hooked up again for a score that gave Iowa the 7-1 victory.

Lissa Munley started for the Hawkeyes in the net, but Megan Heise made her first appearance this season at the 59:20 mark. She registered four saves and allowed just one goal against the Mountaineers.

Ohio State

The Buckeyes have 19 letterwinners and seven starters from last year’s squad, so experience is one thing that Ohio State doesn’t lack. Ohio State looks to improve over last season’s 10-10 overall record and 1-5 Big Ten mark.

Ohio State (5-2) is coming off two victories last week, including an upset of No. 14 Louisville. On Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Buckeyes trailed the Carindals by two goals with just 20 minutes remaining. Senior Lucy Clayton scored a goal to cut the deficit to 3-2, and Yesenia Luces tied the game, 3-3, with less than five minutes to go. Clayton scored her third goal of the contest six minutes into overtime to lift Ohio State past Louisville, 4-3.

Saskia Mueller, a junior midfielder, leads the Buckeyes with five goals and three assists. Sophomore Yesenia Luces is next with four goals and five assists, and Lucy Clayton, a senior, has netted five goals and has one assist.

Lindsay Williams is the starting goalkeeper for Ohio State. The senior has notched 25 saves this season and has had only ten goals scored against her for a goals against average of 1.41. Williams has also recorded two shutouts.

Anne Wilkinson is in her tenth season as head coach at Ohio State. Wilkinson earned 100th victory as a Buckeye last season and has accumulated the highest winning percentage of any head coach in Ohio State field hockey history.

Heather Schnepf Competes in Junior World Cup Action

Junior Heather Schnepf is currently competing with members of the Under-21 USA National Team in the Junior World Cup Championships in Santiago, Chile. The native of Medford Lakes, NJ, has started all five games for the USA team as a midfielder/forward.

The Junior World Cup is held every four years to determine the best field hockey team in the world. 16 teams earn spots in the two-week tournament including automatic qualifying berths for the hosts, the defending champions, berths for the champions of five continental tournaments (European Nations Cup, Americas Cup, Oceania Cup, Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations), the top two teams from the Olympic Games not already qualified and the top seven placing teams at the World Cup Qualifying Tournaments.

On Wednesday, September 14, the Americans faced England in their first game of the championships. After only two days of preparation the young squad pulled off a convincing 4-2 win over Great Britain.

The following day Schnepf played a key role in the United State’s 2-2 draw with The Netherlands. Though the game ended in a stalemate, the US team was happy to play the top-seeded Dutch team to a draw.

On Saturday, the US took on Chile in front of a large home crowd. As they did against England, the Americans had to comeback in the second half for the 3-1 victory.

The offense was rolling against Zimbabwe on September 18 as 11 different players scored in the United States 14-0 win. The win gave the United States seven points and a top spot in Pool E.

Yesterday, the Americans dropped a 1-0 decision to Australia. It looked like the contest would finish in a draw until the Aussies scored a goal with just one minute to go for the one point victory.

The US finishes pool play today against Spain. Tournament play will continue through September 25. For more information and up-to-date results go to

Schnepf is teammates with Big Ten competitor Lori Hillman of Michigan. She is also competing with several athletes from the Big Ten/ACC Challenge: Rachel Dawson and Laree Beans (University of North Carolina) and Jamie Whitten, Michelle Kasold and Lauren Crandall (Wake Forest).