Hawkeyes Wrap Up Regular Season in Michigan

Oct. 25, 2005

Hawkeyes Travel to Michigan for Two Games

The tenth-ranked Hawkeyes (10-5, 3-2) hit the road next week to take on No. 11 Michigan (11-6, 2-3) in Ann Arbor on Friday and will stay in Ann Arbor to face No. 16 Louisville (12-6) on Saturday. Iowa returns home to host the Big Ten Tournament Nov. 4-6.

Iowa Upsets Indiana 2-1 in Overtime

The Hawkeyes picked up an important win over the Indiana Hoosiers (13-2, 4-1) in field hockey action last Saturday. The Hawkeyes stopped the Hoosiers 2-1 in overtime and halted Indiana’s ten-game win streak, while improving their Big Ten record to 3-2.

Indiana, then ranked eighth nationally, led the Hawkeyes at halftime by a score of 1-0. The Hoosiers took the early lead six minutes into the game when senior Kayla Bashore scored her 11th goal of the season.

Iowa junior Kara Zappone tied the game up at 1-1 on a goal five minutes into the second half. Defense was the name of the game after that, with both teams trying hard to keep the other from scoring. The first corner shot of the second half didn’t come until there was 13 minutes left in the game and Indiana managed to get a shot off, but Lissa Munley came up with a big save.

Neither team could score before the end of regulation, sending the Hawkeyes into their first overtime game of the season. Caitlin McCurdy dribbled into the arc and had the net in her sight when Indiana’s Haley Exner came out of the goal and took her out with a slide. Senior Debbie Birrell took the one-on-one penalty shot for the Hawkeyes, but Exner blocked the attempt. Following the penalty shot, each team had an opportunity to close the game out on corner shots, but couldn’t score. Iowa kept the momentum on their side and McCurdy scored the game-winning goal eight and a half minutes in overtime.

Kelly Slattery and Heather Schnepf both had outstanding defensive games for the Hawkeyes. Slattery’s assignment was to hold Bashore, Indiana’s top offensive weapon, in check; she limited the senior forward to just two shots and one goal in the game. Schnepf came up big for Iowa with two defensive saves, including one on an Indiana corner shot attempt.

Offensively, Birrell took six shots for Iowa and had one assist. McCurdy had four shots and one goal and Zappone was 1-1 on the day.

Munley picked up her tenth win of the season. She had five saves to boost her season total to 63 for a save percentage of .716. The Indiana goal scored against her raises her season total to 25, meaning Munley has an average of only 1.67 goals scored against her.

McCurdy Named Big Ten Co- Offensive Player of the Week

Freshman forward Caitlin McCurdy was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week with Michigan State’s Inge Kaars Sijpestijn today. It is McCurdy’s second-consecutive weekly Big Ten honor.

McCurdy picked up the accolade for her game-winning overtime goal in Iowa’s 2-1 win over Indiana last weekend. The then 11th-ranked Hawkeyes handed the Hoosiers, at that time ranked eighth, their second loss of the season and snapped their ten-game winning streak. The win improved Iowa’s conference record to 3-2 and gave Indiana their first Big Ten loss.

The Mountain Top, PA, native leads the Hawkeye offense with ten goals, three game-winning goals, 26 points and 59 shots. She is tied with senior Debbie Birrell with six assists. McCurdy has scored at least one point in nine of Iowa’s 15 games this season.

Hawkeyes Ranked Tenth

Iowa is ranked tenth in this week’s STX/NFHCA Division I poll. The Hawkeyes moved up one spot after their 2-1 overtime win over Indiana last weekend. Penn State is the highest ranked Big Ten in the sixth spot, Ohio State is eighth, Indiana dropped one position to ninth, Michigan is ranked 11th, and Michigan State comes in at the no. 15 spot.

Iowa ranks fourth in margin of victory with a 1.40 differential; Penn State tops the list with a 3.14 margin of victory. The Nittany Lions also lead the conference in scoring average with 3.89 goals per game and the Hawkeyes are fourth with an average of 3.12 goals per game. The Hawkeyes are third in shots per game with 16.33 (245 total); Indiana is first with an average of 20.40 shots per game. Iowa ranks last in the conference in penalty corners, averaging only 6.67 compared to Ohio State’s 9.17 average.

Caitlin McCurdy is tied for second in shots taken with an average of 3.93 (59 total) shots per game through 15 contests and Debbie Birrell is tenth with an average of three shots per game (45 total). McCurdy is third in the league with an 1.73 points per game average; she has 26 total points from ten goals and six assists. McCurdy and Birrell are seventh and tenth, respectively, in goals per game; McCurdy averages 0.67, Birrell has 0.53 and Lucy Clayton of Ohio State leads with an average of 0.94 goals per game. McCurdy and Birrell are tied for seventh with 0.40 assists per game; Buckeye Saskia Mueller has 17 assists through 18 games, an average of 0.94 assists.

Heather Schnepf is tied for second in the league with three defensive saves in 13 games for an average of 0.23. Lissa Munley is ranked fifth with 67 saves for an average of 4.47 saves per game and is fifth in goals against average with just 26 goals scored in 15 games for a 1.73 average. Megan Akstin of Penn State leads the league with just 12 goals scored against her in 16 contests for an average of 0.79.

Big Ten Statistics (Conference)

With a 3-2 record in conference action, Iowa’s margin of victory is -0.39, which ranks fifth. Penn State leads with 2.40, Ohio State has a 0.93 average and Indiana is the only other Big Ten school with a positive average with 0.92. Iowa is fifth scoring average with 10 goals in five games for a 1.95 average; Penn State is tops with an average of 3.40 (17 total) goals through five games. The Hawkeyes are fifth in goals allowed per game with an average of 2.34 (12 total) and are fifth with 1.20 (six total) assists per game in four Big Ten contests. Iowa is last in the league with just 5.60 (28 total) penalty corners per game and shots taken per game with an average of 11.80 (59 total); Ohio State leads the conference in both categories with 9.60 (48 total) penalty corners per game and shots per game with 19.20 (96 total).

McCurdy is second in the conference with 4.60 (23 total) shots taken per game through five contests. She is first in points per game with an average of 2.40 (12 total) and is tops in goals per game with six goals in five games for an 1.20 average. Birrell is tied for second in Big Ten games with three assists in five games for a 0.60 average. McCurdy is first with three game-winning in five contests to lead the Big Ten.

Defensively, Schnepf is first in the league with two defensive saves in five games for a 0.40 average. Munley is fourth in the league with 28 saves and a 5.60 saves per game average in five games; Indiana’s Haley Exner leads the conference with 47 saves in four games for a 9.40 saves per game average. Munley is fourth in saves percentage with a .700 mark; Exner is first in the category with a .870 save percentage.

Scouting Michigan

Iowa and Michigan (11-6, 2-3) have met 43 times since 1979 with the Hawkeyes defeating the Wolverines 35 times. Last season the teams met in Iowa City with Iowa earning the victory 4-3 in overtime. Debbie Birrell, Kadi Sickel and Heather Schnepf each scored in the win.

The Wolverines are coming off two victories last weekend over California (3-2 OT) and Tigers (3-0). The Hawkeyes had two wins over the same teams in the beginning of the season, defeating California 2-1 and topping Pacific 8-1.

Katie Morris, Erin Dallas and Lucia Belassi lead the Wolverine offense. Morris, a junior forward, has nine goals and three assists, plus three game-winning goals this season. Dallas, a freshman forward, has seven goals, two assists and one game-winner through 17 games. Belassi is a sophomore forward with five goals, one assist and one game-winner in Michigan’s 2-1 overtime victory against California.

Beth Riley is the starting goalkeeper for Michigan. The junior has recorded four shutouts this season. She has 97 saves for a .746 save percentage and has allowed only 33 goals for an average of two goals per game.

Nancy Cox is in her first season at the helm of the Wolverine field hockey program. Cox worked at Michigan for six seasons as an assistant for Marcia Pankratz before being named as the seventh head coach of the University of Michigan field hockey program last spring.

While on the Michigan coaching staff from 1999-2004, Cox has helped the Wolverines to compile a 92-32 record, including four Big Ten Conference regular-season titles and three Big Ten Tournament titles. Michigan has also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in every season since Cox’s arrival and earned the Michigan’s first women’s championship when they captured the national title in 2001.

Scouting Louisville

When Louisville (12-6) and Iowa meet in Ann Arbor this weekend it will be just the third time. The Cardinals hold a 2-0 lead in the series over Iowa. The last meeting was a 2-1 Cardinal victory in Iowa City in 2000, Iowa coach Tracey Griesbaum’s first year as head coach of the Hawkeyes.

Last weekend, the Cardinals defeated Rutgers University, 8-1, and Rutgers University , 8-0.

Junior midfielder Jessica Javelet has 27 goals and 13 assists for a total of 67 points this season. She also has five game-winning goals. Janelle Avila, a sophomore forward, is next with 20 goals, eight assists and three game-winners. Big East Offensive Player of the Week Jen Payne has 11 goals and five assists for the Cardinals.

Marie-Claire Heller is a sophomore goalkeeper for Louisville. Heller has a 12-6 record with three shutouts to her credit over Appalachian State, Syracuse and Radford.

Coach Pam Bustin is in her seventh season as the head coach of the Cardinals. Bustin has helped Louisville turn into a national power since her arrival in 1998. She helped the Cardinals break a 34-game losing streak with a victory in 1998 and continued to build the program into a leader of the Mid-American Conference. In 2002, the Cardinals earned their first MAC title and were ranked as high as fourth in the National NFHCA poll. Last season, Bustin was named the MAC Coach of the Year, leading Louisville to first in the MAC conference and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.