Nov. 14, 2008
EAST LANSING, MI – The University of Iowa field hockey team, fresh off its third-straight Big Ten Tournament title, traveled to East Lansing, MI, Thursday for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It was a quick turnaround for the Hawkeyes as they returned to Iowa City late Sunday night after capturing the title in Bloomington, IN.
The sixth-ranked Hawkeyes (16-4) will face Louisville (14-6) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. (CT) at Ralph Young Field. Fans can track the action this weekend on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the `GT’ link on the field hockey schedule page to get live scoring and play-by-play.
Iowa is familiar with Ralph Young Field, having played at Michigan State on Oct. 25. The Hawkeyes topped the Spartans 4-3 in an overtime thriller.
The Black and Gold, seeded fourth overall in the tournament, left Iowa City Friday by charter bus at approximately 9 a.m. After a pit stop for lunch, Iowa was forced to switch buses in Chicago due to mechanical issues.
The resilient Hawkeyes said it did not faze them. They added they have had bus issues in the past during the season, and actually prefer to travel by bus. The Black and Gold arrived in East Lansing around 7:30 p.m. (EST) and were eager to get back in their routine Friday.
After a good night’s rest, Iowa enjoyed a solid breakfast followed by an intense practice in preparation for Louisville Friday morning. Iowa won at 13th-ranked Louisville, 1-0, during the regular season.
“We prepared similarly to what we would normally do at practice,” said Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum. “Today we focused on certain tactics to use against Louisville. Earlier in the week we watched film on our previous match with Louisville and today we incorporated other opponents into our film session.”
“At practice we had a time limitation and we were not use to that. As a team we wanted to come out with good energy and we did that. Overall, practice definitely went well.”
The weather for Friday’s practice was nice in comparison to what is projected for the weekend in East Lansing. Friday morning’s temperatures were in the mid-50’s with overcast skies. Weather for Iowa’s battle with Louisville should feature temperatures in the high-30’s and a mix of snow and rain.
This group is ready for anything that is thrown at them. Several Hawkeyes have tournament experience, as Iowa features eight seniors. The Hawkeyes will enter tomorrow’s first round with a swagger having won five-straight matches, including three in overtime.