Hawkeyes Head to Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Aug. 21, 2006

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This Week
The University of Iowa opens it’s 2006 season in Chapel Hill, NC participating in the Big 10/ACC Challenge. The Hawkeyes first game is against Wake Forest on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. They will play a second game on Sunday at 11 a.m. against the host, North Carolina.

2006 Outlook
The Hawkeyes are hoping to improve their 10-8 record from a year ago, with twelve players returning from last year’s squad, including Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Heather Schnepf and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Caitlin McCurdy.

Last Week
The University of Iowa field hockey team opened its 2006 campaign with a bang, routing the Missouri State Bears 6-0 in an exhibition game at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes dominated the flow of the game, out-shooting the Bears 45-4. Sophomore Lauren Pfeiffer had a pair of goals for Iowa, including one off a penalty stroke. She also added an assist. Freshman Jess Werley opened the scoring with an unassisted goal in the first ten minutes of the game. Pfeiffer then added her first tally on a penalty corner, and reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Caitlin McCurdy gave Iowa a 3-0 halftime lead in the final five minutes of the frame. Senior Kara Zappone buried a pass from Werley at 49:07 to open the second half scoring. Sophomore Lindsey Duffy had an unassisted goal at 50:21, and Pheiffer ended the scoring with her penalty corner conversion. Both Hawkeye goalkeepers saw a half of action on the day, with Lissa Munley recording one save and Melissa Helsel stopping two.

Wake Forest
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons were 21-2 last year overall and had a conference record of 5-0, which earned them a place atop the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Demon Deacons lost in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament to conference rival, Duke.

North Carolina
The Tar Heels had an overall record of 14-7 with a conference record of 2-3. That mark placed North Carolina fourth in the ACC. North Carolina lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to an Indiana team that finished second in the Big Ten.

Team USA Comes Calling
Four members from the University of Iowa field hockey team will be playing for the US Under 21 squad – Roz Ellis, Lauren Pfeiffer, Kadi Sickel and Caitlin McCurdy. Iowa led all schools with four representatives selected to the team. This marks the second year in a row in which the Hawkeyes have had four players selected.

Welcome Back
Kristy Gleason, a familiar face to the Iowa field hockey program, has returned to the team to join head coach Tracey Griesbaum and assistant coach Lisa Cellucci to help guide the Hawkeyes. Gleason was a two-time Big Ten MVP as well as a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. She is also a memeber of the Univeristy of Iowa Hall of Fame.

All-Big Ten Teams
The Hawkeyes were represented well in the Big Ten post-season awards. There were three players who earned a spot on the all-Big Ten team. Heather Schnepf was a first team selection where as Caroline Blaum and Caitlin McCurdy were both second team selections. Lauren Pfieffer played well enough in the Big Ten Tournament to be named to the all-tournament team. Pfieffer was the only Hawkeye to be named to the team.

Big Ten Awards
Three Hawkeyes received post-season awards. With her season filled with outstanding defensive plays, Heather Schnepf was awarded the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award. Schnepf was the first Hawkeye to earn that award since 1996. With a great freshman season, Caitlin McCurdy was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The final Hawkeye to receive an award was Kara Zappone, who awarded the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

Been There, Done That
Iowa welcomes back many players from a year ago. There are twelve players returning this season that are working to improve on their 10-8 record from last year.