Oct. 31, 2006
Iowa City, IA –
The University of Michigan will host the Big Ten Conference Tournament that begins at 9 a.m. on Friday. The second round will start on Saturday at 10 a.m., with the championship game Sunday at 12 p.m. Fifth-seeded Iowa will face fourth-seeded Michigan (4-2,11-8) at 11 a.m. Thursday in Ann Arbor, MI.
The University of Iowa field hockey team split a pair of games last week. On Friday, No. 7 Penn State defeated Iowa 1-0. The Hawkeyes then bounced back to defeat No. 11 Louisville 2-1. Freshman Kelly Hondros scored the first goal of her career and sophomore Lauren Pfeiffer scored her fifth of the season. The Hawkeyes finished the regular season with an overall record of 9-8 and a conference record of 2-4.
Season Finished Already?
According to the STX/NFHCA Coaches Poll, Iowa ends the regular season ranked 21st in the country. Fieldhockecorner.com has the Hawkeyes with the sixth thoughest schedule in the nation. Iowa’s eight losses came against ranked teams (Wake Forest, North Carolina, Duke, Villanova, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana and Penn State). Three of the losses came during overtime (Duke, Michigan and Ohio State). This season, Caitlin McCurdy was the only Hawkeye to be named Big Ten Player of the Week. She earned the accolade after her outstanding performances against Kent State and No. 3 Duke. McCurdy recorded three goals and two assists during the two games.
Big Ten Regular Season Ends!
The Hawkeyes ended the regular season in fifth place in the Big Ten with a 2-4 record. Ohio State took the conference title with a record of 5-1. Indiana, Penn State and Michigan all tied for second place with records of 4-2. Iowa (2-4) came in fifth followed by Northwestern (1-5) and Michigan State (1-5).
Hawkeyes In The Big Ten Ranks
Sophomore Lauren Pfieffer leads the Big Ten in shots taken during conference play with 27 and shots per game with 3.71. Pfieffer ranks second in shots taken, when including all games with 63. Sophomore Caitlin McCurdy ranks third in number of shots taken with 58.
Different Year, Different Result!
Last season, the Hawkeyes entered the Big Ten Tournament seeded No. 5 and played No. 4 Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes 3-2. The Iowa goals were scored by Debbie Birrell and Lauren Pfieffer. Michigan went onto beat Indiana in the championship game 3-0. This year No. 5 Iowa is matched with No. 4 Michigan in the first round.
No. 15 Michigan
Early in conference play, the Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes in overtime by a score of 2-1. The Wolverine’s finished the season winning six of their last seven games. The loss coming in overtime to No. 5 Ohio State. Michigan is tied with its opponents for goals during the first period (16.) They excel during the second period, out-scoring their opponents by nine. The Wolverine’s have had three athletes named Big Ten Player of the Week. Michigan is led by Lucia Belassi who has 10 goals for the season.
THE REST OF THE STORY
No. 5 Ohio State
Ohio State finished on top of the Big Ten with a record of 5-1. It is Ohio State’s second Big Ten Championship in its history. The Buckeyes are currently ranked No. 5 in the nation. They finished the regular season with a record of 14-2 while defeating Iowa 4-3 in overtime. Ohio State will receive a bye in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. This season, Ohio State has had nine Big Ten Player of the Week selections.
No. 12 Indiana
Indiana finished tied for second in the Big Ten with a conference record of 4-2 and an overall record of 14-4. The Hoosiers defeated the Hawkeyes 2-1 during the middle of the season. Indiana is currently ranked No. 12. They will meet Michigan State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Indiana has had five Big Ten Player of the Week selections this season.
No. 6 Penn State
Penn State finished the regular season tied for second in the Big Ten with a conference record of 4-2 and an overall record of 13-4. Last week, Penn State defeated the Hawkeyes 1-0. The Nittany Lions are currently ranked No. 6. They will meet Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State has had four Big Ten Player of the Week selections this season.
Northwestern finished the regular season tied for sixth in the Big Ten with a conference record of 1-5 and an overall record of 7-11. The Hawkeyes defeated Northwestern twice this season (3-1, 2-1). Northwestern is paired with Penn State for the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan State finished the regular season tied for sixth in the Big Ten with a conference record of 1-5 and an overall record of 6-11. The Hawkeyes defeated Michigan State 2-1 in double overtime. Michigan State will play Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. This season the Spartans have had one Big Ten Player of the Week selection (Stephanie Yuhasz).
Big Ten Tournament History
The first Big Ten Tournament was won by Iowa in 1994. Iowa has an overall record of 12-11 in tournament games trailing only Penn State (14-8) and Michigan (14-8). Iowa has made the championship game six times since 1994, a mark that Ohio State equals. Only Michigan has more appearances with seven. The Big Ten Tournament will be hosted by The University of Michigan for only the second time since 1994. In 2000 Michigan defeated Penn State 2-1 on their homefield for their second Big Ten Tournament Championship.
The Big Ten Conference is one of six conferences to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the Big Ten Tournament will receive the bid.