Hawkeyes Look To Continue Winning Ways On Road

Oct. 7, 2008

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The University of Iowa field hockey team (10-2, 2-0) travels to University Park, PA, this weekend to battle two ranked opponents. Friday, the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes will face No. 13 Penn State at 2 p.m. (CT). The match will be shown as a same-day delay at 5 p.m. (CT) on the Big Ten Network. Frank Giardina and Karen Weaver will call the game. In addition, the Hawkeyes will battle No. 10 Virginia Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT). All matches will be played at AstroTurf Field.

PENN STATE (7-4, 1-0)
Penn State, the 2007 national runner-up, is ranked 13th in the country and enters the weekend with a record of 7-4 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten Conference play. The Nittany Lions have defeated Old Dominion (2-0), Temple (4-0), Georgetown (6-0), West Chester (3-2), Ohio State (1-0), Lafayette (3-0) and Lock Haven (3-1). They lost to Maryland (1-0), Connecticut (1-0), North Carolina (4-0) and Princeton (3-2). Penn State is led by Head Coach Charlene Morett. In her 22nd season at the helm of the Nittany Lions, she is 349-126-8 all-time.

VIRGINIA (10-3, 1-1)
The Virginia Cavaliers, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, enter the weekend with an overall record of 11-2 and are ranked 10th. This season the Cavaliers have defeated William & Mary (5-0), Providence (4-1), Vermont (7-2), Old Dominion (2-0), Kent State (4-2), Louisville (4-2), Virginia Commonwealth (3-0), Ohio (2-1) and Richmond (7-1). They lost to James Madison (1-0), Boston University (3-2) and Maryland (4-3). Virginia is led by third-year head coach Michele Madison. She is 35-21 all-time at the helm of the program.

The last time the Hawkeyes faced Virginia was in 2006 during the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers defeated Iowa in Winstom-Salem, NC, 1-0. The Black and Gold defeated Penn State last season in Iowa City, 2-1, in overtime. The Hawkeyes are 1-2 all-time against the Cavaliers. Additionally, Iowa is 22-17-1 all-time against Penn State, including a record of 5-9 at University Park, PA.

The Iowa field hockey team has three different individuals that lead the conference in seven different categories. Senior Lauren Pfeiffer, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, leads the conference in shots (84) and shots per game (7.0). Senior Caitlin McCurdy leads the league in points per game (2.50), goals (13) and goals per game (1.08). In addition, senior goalkeeper Lissa Munley leads the conference in shutouts per game (.42), goals against average (1.00) and shutouts (6).

The Big Ten Conference Monday named University of Iowa senior back Lauren Pfeiffer Defensive Player of the Week for her play in Iowa’s matches against Northwestern and Missouri State over the weekend. This is Pfeiffer’s second career Big Ten weekly honor. Friday, the Mt. Laurel, NJ, native led the Iowa defense as the Hawkeyes shutout Northwestern, 2-0. In the victory, the Hawkeyes only allowed three penalty corners and four shots. Sunday, she anchored the Iowa defense as the Hawkeyes dominated Missouri State, 8-0. The stingy Hawkeye defense allowed only three penalty corners and four shots during the shutout. In addition, the senior tallied three goals against the Bears. It is the second time this season the senior has recorded three goals in one contest. Iowa has outscored its last eight opponents by a 42-4 margin.

“Lauren has played at a high level throughout the entire season,” said Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum. “She is completely deserving of this award. She has displayed great consistency in both her defensive and offensive work this season.”

It is the fourth-straight week a Hawkeye has been honored and the fifth for the season. Iowa leads the Big Ten in weekly honors earned.

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Of the 19 Hawkeyes, 14 are from the state of Pennsylvania. Of the 24 Nittany Lions, 21 are also from the state. Hawkeye seniors Lissa Munley and Caitlin McCurdy attended the same high school as Penn State sophomore Jordan Petchel. All three attended Crestwood High School in Mountain Top, PA. Many Hawkeyes will have family members in attendance this weekend. An estimated 200 or more family and friends of the Hawkeyes will be present.

Iowa’s last three NCAA Tournament opponents (2004, `06, `07) are on the season’s schedule. Iowa defeated American (4-1) Sept. 5 and defeated Boston (5-1) 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 Saturday on the campus of Penn State University. The Hawkeyes lost to the Cavaliers 1-0 in 2006 on the Campus of Wake Forest.

Iowa Assistant Coach Meridith Thorpe played and coached at Virginia before joining the Hawkeye staff. She was a member of the coaching staff for six seasons helping the Cavaliers advance to the NCAA Tournament twice.

Thorpe had an outstanding playing career at Virginia. Thorpe became the first Virginia field hockey player to be named a NFHCA first-team all-American. She was a four-time all-American, including three years as a first team selection. Thorpe was named the ACC Rookie of the Year in 1995. She is one of only three athletes in conference history to be selected to the all-ACC team four years. In 1997, Thorpe was named the University of Virginia’s Female Athlete of the Year. She led the Cavaliers to back to back Final Four Appearances and was also named team MVP two years in a row. In 2002, she was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary Team.

Additionally, Thorpe holds the career point and career goal records at the University of Virginia and in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with 230 career points and 101 goals.

Virginia Head Coach Michele Madison was an assistant coach at Iowa for seven seasons from 1982 to 1989. During that time, the Hawkeyes advanced to the NCAA Final Four four times and won their first national title in 1986.

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) announced its ninth Hall of Fame class and former Iowa Head Coach Beth Beglin (1988-99) and player Dawn Chamberlin (1981-85) are two of the six to be honored as part of the Class of 2008. Beglin and Chamberlin will be inducted Jan. 17, 2009, at the 2009 NFHCA Hall of Fame Luncheon in Philadelphia.

Beglin boasted a 199-57-3 (.774) career record on the Iowa sidelines. She led the Black and Gold to seven regular-season Big Ten championships, one conference tournament title and 10 NCAA tournament appearances, with trips to the Final Four seven of those 10 seasons. Four of Iowa’s seven Big Ten titles, under Beglin, came with perfect 10-0 league records. Beglin was honored as the 1992, ’95 and ’96 Big Ten Coach of the Year. In 1992, she was recognized as the National Coach of the Year after guiding Iowa to a 20-1 record and a national runner-up finish. Under her tutelage, 33 Hawkeyes earned all-American laurels. As a team, the Hawkeyes won an NCAA-record, 40-straight home games on Grant Field.

Chamberlin is a 1985 graduate of the University of Iowa, where she was a four-year letterwinner. The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten championship outright from 1981 to 1983, before sharing the top spot in 1984. The `84 squad finished second in the nation. Chamberlin, Iowa’s co-captain as both a junior and senior, was also a member of the national indoor championship team and was selected to the all-Big Ten team her senior year. Chamberlin is in her 22nd year as head coach at Salisbury University (MD).

Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum celebrated her 100th win at the University of Iowa with a 3-2 victory at Stanford Sept. 13. She has a record of 105-60 all-time at the helm of the Hawkeye program. Griesbaum won her 100th game as a head coach last season.

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 (Friday) 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.