Nov. 16, 2008
EAST LANSING, MI – The University of Iowa field hockey team battles fellow and familiar Big Ten opponent Michigan State today in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Iowa will face 10th-ranked Michigan State at 1 p.m. (CT) at Ralph Young Field, the home venue of the Spartans.
The Hawkeyes, one of eight remaining teams in the tournament, will be trying to make their first national semifinal appearance since 1999. Iowa has reached the NCAA finals 10 times, including capturing the 1986 national championship. The 10 appearances are the fourth-most of any school in tournament history and the most of any Big Ten school.
The Hawkeyes, seeded fourth overall in the tournament, have faced Michigan State twice already this season. Iowa won the first match during the regular season 4-3 in overtime on Oct. 25. All-Big Ten honoree Lauren Pfeiffer had two goals in the first battle, including the game winner in the 80th minute of play.
Iowa, ranked sixth nationally, also defeated the Spartans in overtime of the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, 3-2. Pfeiffer led the Hawkeyes again, scoring the game-winner. The Big Ten Tournament MVP scored in the 74th minute of play to send Iowa to its third-straight Big Ten Tournament title.
The Spartans (17-5) defeated defending national champion North Carolina Saturday in the other first round matchup, 3-2. Michigan State is 7-2 on its home turf this season, with one of the losses coming at the hands of the Hawkeyes.
Iowa (17-4) has won its last three games by one goal. In addition, during the Hawkeyes’ six-game winning streak, they have claimed three overtime victories. Overall, Iowa has won 15 of its last 17 games entering today, including four-straight in postseason play.
Fans can track the action today on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the `GT’ link on the field hockey schedule page to get live scoring and play-by-play.