Iowa Returns Home To Face Central Michigan and Boston

Sept. 16, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

The University of Iowa field hockey team (4-2, 0-0) returns to Iowa City for its second homestand of the young season. The sixth-ranked Hawkeyes will face Central Michigan Friday at 3 p.m. (CT). Iowa will then face Boston Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT). In addition, Central Michigan and Boston will play Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT). All matches will be played at Grant Field in Iowa City. Hawkeye fans can track the action this weekend on Click on the Gametracker link on the field hockey schedule page to get live scoring and play-by-play.

Central Michigan, a member of the MAC conference, is 1-3 on the season. This season, the Chippewas have defeated Colgate (7-1) and have lost to No. 3 Syracuse (8-3), Stanford (3-2) and Miami (OH) (2-0). Central Michigan is led by Head Coach Cristy Freese. Freese is in her 22nd season as the coach of the Chippewas. She has an all-time record of 170-229-6 at the helm of the program.

BOSTON (2-3)
The Boston Terriers, a member of the America East Conference, enter the weekend with a record of 2-3 and are receiving votes in the latest STX/NFHCA rankings. This season the Terriers have defeated Northwestern (3-0) and Delaware (1-0). Boston has been defeated by Temple (3-2), No. 10 Michigan State (2-0) and Northeastern (2-1). The Terriers are coached by 28th-year head coach Sally Starr. She is 348-215-21 all-time at the helm of the Boston program.

The Hawkeyes faced both Central Michigan and Boston in 2007. Iowa won at Central Michigan, 3-0. Boston defeated Iowa, 1-0, in double overtime of the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Iowa has never lost to Central Michigan, leading the all-time series, 4-0. Additionally, the Hawkeyes are 7-1 all-time against Boston, with the lone defeat coming last season.

Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum celebrated her 100th win at the University of Iowa with a 3-2 victory at Stanford Saturday. She has a record of 101-60 all-time at the helm of the Hawkeye program. Griesbaum won her 100th game as a head coach last season.

The Iowa Hawkeye field hockey program reached its 500th all-time victory with a win over American Friday, Sept. 5. With the 4-1 victory at Granf Field, Iowa reached the plateau with an all-time record of 500-177-25. The Hawkeyes’ first season was in 1977.

The Hawkeyes are now sixth in the current STX/NFHCA rankings. Iowa trails only No. 1 Wake Forest, No. 2 Maryland, No. 3 Syracuse, No. 4 Connecticut and No. 5 North Carolina in the latest rankings.

The Big Ten Conference Monday named senior Caroline Blaum Offensive Player of the Week for her play in Iowa’s matches against Stanford and Pacific over the weekend. It is Blaum’s first career Big Ten weekly honor and the second for the Hawkeyes this season. Saturday, Blaum led Iowa with a goal as the Hawkeyes defeated Stanford, 3-2. In addition, Blaum had two goals and one assist in Sunday’s 8-0 victory over Pacific. In total, she recorded seven points in the two victories. The Wilkes-Barre, PA, native leads the Hawkeyes in assists (five) and is second in goals scored (four).

“Caroline had a very consistent performance both days,” Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum said. “She played both forward and midfield and was really solid in breaking down the opponents’ defense. This honor reflects our entire team’s performance.”

Iowa’s last three NCAA Tournament opponents (2004, `06, `07) are on the season’s schedule. Iowa defeated American (4-1) Sept. 5 and faces Boston Sunday. 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.

The Hawkeyes have ten players who have recorded at least one point this season. Seniors Caitlin McCurdy and Caroline Blaum lead the way. McCurdy has 15 points and ranks 15th in the nation in points per game. Blaum has 13 points and is 23rd nationally in points per game. Blaum leads Iowa with five assists. McCurdy leads the Hawkeyes with seven goals. The Hawkeyes have four game-winning goals this season and each has been scored by a different person. McCurdy, Blaum, Sarah Pergine and Jess Werley each have scored one each.

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’ and was named second team all-American by NFHCA. Women’ 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.

Senior Caitlin McCurdy was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, Sept. 1. She received the honor after leading the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. McCurdy recorded three goals over the contests against Wake Forest and North Carolina. In Iowa’s win over defending national champion North Carolina, she had two goals, including the game-winner in the 68th minute. It was McCurdy’s fourth career weekly Big Ten honor.

The Iowa field hockey team will appear on the Big Ten Network more than any other conference school this season – three times. Iowa’s games at Penn State (Oct. 10) and at Michigan State (Oct. 25) will be shown as same-day delays. The Hawkeyes’ final home match against Michigan (Oct. 27) will be shown live.