Hawkeyes Host No. 15 American In Home Opener

Sept. 2, 2008

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The University of Iowa field hockey team (1-1, 0-0) will return home for the first homestand of the season. Iowa will face No. 15 American in a non-conference battle Friday. That match begins at 3 p.m. The Hawkeyes will then face No. 12 Duke in another key non-conference match-up Sunday at 1 p.m. In addition to Iowa’s games Friday and Sunday, American and Duke will square off Saturday at 2 p.m. All matches will take place at Grant Field.

AMERICAN (2-0, 0-0)

The American Eagles, ranked 15th in the STX/NFHCA preseason poll, are 2-0 on the young season. Saturday, American defeated New Hampshire 4-0 in the first day of the American Invitational. In the win, the Eagles out-shot New Hampshire by a margin of 18-5. Sunday, the Eagles won the American Invitational with a 2-0 victory over No. 19 Albany. The Eagles are led by tenth-year Head Coach Steve Jennings. He has an all-time record of 122-54 as the coach of American.

DUKE (1-1, 0-0)

Duke, ranked No. 12 in the NFHCA preseason poll, is 1-1 on the year after splitting with No. 17 Louisville and Delaware over the weekend. The Blue Devils fell to Louisville 1-0 Saturday to open the season and then defeated Delaware 2-0. Both matches were played in Louisville, KY. They are coached by Beth Bozman. She is entering her sixth year at Duke and holds a record of 84-30 all-time at the helm of the Blue Devil program.


The Hawkeyes won at Duke last season, 2-0. Iowa has not faced American since the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The Eagles beat the Hawkeyes 2-1 on the campus of the University of Maryland. Duke leads the all-time series against Iowa, 3-2, and American and Iowa are tied all-time at one win.


With Iowa’s victory Sunday over defending national champion North Carolina, the Iowa field hockey program is just one victory from 500 all-time. In addition, after winning her 100th game as a head coach last season, Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum is just two wins from 100 career wins at the University of Iowa.


“We put two halves together,” said Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum. “We stuck to our game plan and everyone gave unbelievable effort. It was a complete team effort and a great rebound from Saturday.”

Senior captain Roz Ellis was also happy with the victory.

“We did an awesome job bouncing back from Saturday,” said Ellis. “It was a total Hawkeye effort. We played strong and everybody left it all out on the field.”


Senior Caitlin McCurdy was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, Monday. She received the honor after leading the Hawkeyes over the weekend in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. McCurdy recorded three goals over the weekend. In Iowa’s win over defending national champion North Carolina, she had two goals, including the game-winner in the 68th minute. It is McCurdy’s fourth career weekly Big Ten honor.


The Hawkeyes received more accolades for their play over the weekend. Senior Caroline Blaum was named to the Women’sFieldHockey.com Week One Honor Roll. She recorded one goal and two assists over the weekend. In addition, Women’sFieldHockey.com has Iowa ranked No. 2 in the new poll that came out Monday. Wake Forest is No. 1 and North Carolina is ranked third.


Iowa’s last three NCAA Tournament opponents (2004, `06, `07) are on the season’s schedule. Iowa hosts American Friday and Boston (Sept. 21). The Hawkeyes lost to American 2-1 in 2004 on the campus of the University of Maryland. The Black and Gold fell to Boston a year ago, 1-0, in double overtime on the campus of the University of Connecticut. Iowa plays Virginia (Oct. 11) on the campus of Penn State University. The Hawkeyes lost to the Cavaliers 1-0 in 2006 on the Campus of Wake Forest.


Iowa had quite the season in 2007, finishing 17-4 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes won their second-straight Big Ten Tournament Championship and reached their 19th NCAA Tournament in program history. Five Hawkeyes were named all-Big Ten. Lauren Pfeiffer, Roz Ellis, Meghan Beamesderfer and Caroline Blaum were all named first team. Each returns for 2008. Additionally, Kadi Sickel was named to the second team. Goalkeeper Lissa Munley won the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Blaum and Sickel were each named to the Big Ten Tournmant Team, as Blaum took MVP honors. The Hawkeyes gained plenty of national attention also. Pfeiffer was named a first team all-American by Women’sFieldHockey.com and was named second team all-American by NFHCA. Women’sFieldHockey.com named Beamesderfer to their second team squad. In addition, she was named a third-team all-American by NFHCA. Ellis also was named to an all-American squad, landing on the Women’sFieldHockey.coms third team. Six Hawkeyes were named Academic all-Big Ten. Tricia Dean, Katie Naughton, Ellis, Pfeiffer, Munley and Sickel were all named to the squad.