Nov. 17, 2008
EAST LANSING, MI – The University of Iowa field hockey team resumed play in its second round NCAA Tournament game against Michigan State Monday morning. Iowa defeated the Spartans on another cold day at Ralph Young Field, 1-0. This marks the third time the Hawkeyes defeated Michigan State this season, all by one goal. With the victory, Iowa, seeded fourth overall in the tournament, advances to the national semifinals.
“The events that unfolded this weekend seemed to be happening for a reason,” said Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum. “This team does a very good job handling adversity and the leadership they display is incredible. The upperclassmen choose to look at things positively and they find ways to get motivated.”
“Today everyone stepped up. We were sharp and very determined and we capitalized on our opportunities. Our defensive unit was incredible as we knew we would have to handle Michigan State’s pressure.”
“To advance to the final four is something we have been working towards,” Griesbaum added. “With this senior class we thought we were fully capable of advancing. We went in 1999 and that was my last year as an assistant at Iowa. It is good to get back.”
The first half, played Sunday, was a defensive battle as neither team could muster many good scoring opportunities. Blizzard-like conditions met the teams at the start of the second half. Officials were forced to switch to an orange ball, opposed to the standard white. In the 47th minute of regulation, the game was delayed in attempt to clear the snow off the playing surface. Officials then decided the game would be delayed.
Play resumed Monday with 27:45 left in regulation. The stingy Hawkeye defense stopped an early Spartan scoring threat. Iowa then broke through in the 50th minute of play. Caroline Blaum found an open Sarah Pergine, who scored to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 advantage. Michigan State (17-6) was awarded a penalty corner in the final seconds. On the last play of the game, with no time remaining, senior goalkeeper Lissa Munley made a beautiful save to preserve the victory for Iowa.
Iowa, winner of seven straight, advances to Louisville, KY, to compete in the national semifinals. The Hawkeyes, ranked sixth nationally, will make their first appearance in the national semifinals since 1999. Iowa has reached the NCAA finals 11 times, including capturing the 1986 national championship. The 11 appearances are the fourth-most of any school in tournament history and the most of any Big Ten school.
The Hawkeyes, one of four remaining teams in the tournament, are now 26-20 all-time in the tournament. The 26 victories are the fourth-most all-time in tournament history.
Iowa will face top-seeded Maryland (20-2) Friday at 4 p.m. (CT) in Louisville, KY. The other semifinal contest pits Wake Forest (21-3) against Syracuse (22-1) at 6:30 p.m. (CT). All four top seeds advanced to the national semifinals.
GAME SUMMARYIOWA 0 1 1MSU 0 0 0
UI Sarah Pergine (Caroline Blaum) 50:44/2nd
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