Nov. 4, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The third-seeded University of Iowa field hockey team earned its second consecutive Big Ten Tournament championship and the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, by defeating top-seeded Michigan, 4-1 today. Iowa, who is ranked sixth nationally, improve its record to 17-3, while the fifth-ranked Wolverines fall to 15-6.
Junior Caroline Blaum was named Most Valuable Player, recording two goals and two assists in the tournament. She is the second Hawkeye to be named tournament MVP in as many years, Lauren Pfeiffer won the award last season. Senior Kadi Sickel was also selected to the all-tournament team. She recorded one goal to go along with her outstanding defensive play.
“They (Sickel and Blaum) both had a very good tournament,” Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum said. “Kadi kept everyone very organized in the back and did a great job. Caroline played well all three games, including the key goal in the overtime win Friday against Michigan State.”
This marks the third tournament championship for the Hawkeyes. They now have the most wins in tournament history with 18, surpassing Penn State who has 17. Also, Iowa set a tournament scoring record with 15 goals (Indiana 8, Michigan State 3, Michigan 4). The Hawkeyes best a previous best of 13 goals set by the 1981 Iowa squad and the 2000 Penn State team.
This is the second time in as many games that the Hawkeyes have avenged a regular season loss (Michigan State). Iowa was defeated by Michigan in double overtime, 3-2, on Sept. 21.
“This was a really great performance by everyone,” Griesbaum said. “They all followed the game plan very well and everyone stepped up. There wasn’t one person that wasn’t part of this victory.”
Midway through the first half, junior Katie Naughton scored her third goal of the tournament. Naughton was able to control a Caitlin McCurdy miss and slammed the ball into the cage.
During the 22nd minute, the Hawkeyes converted on a penalty corner. Pfeiffer recorded the goal, assists coming from Blaum and sophomore Tricia Dean. The goal is Pfeiffer’s 15th of the season, most for an Iowa player since 2003 (Pattie Gillern, 15), it is also her 38th point, most since 1999 (Lesley Irvine, 47).
“All three of our captains, Kadi, Adrienne (Dybus) and Caroline did a great job of leading. They weren’t going to be denied.”
Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum
Early in the second half, sophomore Jess Werley scored the third Iowa goal, knocking a loose ball out of midair. It is Werley’s fourth goal of the season.
Michigan scored its only goal in the 50th minute. Ashley Lennington rebounded a Munley save and slapped the ball into the goal, cutting the Hawkeye advantage to two.
With one minute remaining, the Hawkeyes scored their final goal. Werley received the pass from Blaum and blasted the ball into the goal for her second of the contest.
After not facing one shot in the first half, Munley made six saves in the second period preserving the Hawkeye lead.
“All three of our captains, Kadi, Adrienne (Dybus) and Caroline did a great job of leading,” Greisbaum said. “They weren’t going to be denied.”
The sixth-ranked Hawkeyes will return to action Friday in the NCAA Tournament. The site is yet to be determined. The NCAA Tournament selection show will be shown on CSTV Tuesday at 7 p.m. (CT).
Back-to-back for the Hawkeyes!
A replay of the Big Ten Championship game can be seen on CSTV, Tuesday at 5 p.m. (CT).
Scoring 1st 2nd FinalIOWA 2 2 4MICH 0 1 1
IOWA Naughton 16:20/1stIOWA Pfeiffer (Blaum, Dean) 21:53/1stIOWA Werley 45:49/2ndMICH Lennington 49:13/2ndIOWA Werley (Blaum) 68:37/2nd
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