Hawkeyes Set For Two-Game Home Stand

Oct. 12, 2009

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The University of Iowa field hockey team returns to Iowa City this weekend for a two-game home stand. The Black and Gold will face No. 8 Michigan State Friday at 4 p.m. The Hawkeyes will then face Penn State Sunday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be held at Grant Field. Admission is free.

The Iowa field hockey team appeared on the Big Ten Network more than any other conference school last season – six times. This season, Iowa’s game at Michigan Sept. 25 was televised by the Big Ten Network. Sunday’s match against the Nittany Lions will be shown as a taped-delayed broadcast in Big Ten Network (HD). The match can be seen Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. central time.

The Black and Gold are 45-9-1 all-time (16-5 at home) against Michigan State. Additionally, Iowa is 22-17-1 against the Nittany Lions and 10-1-1 against them in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions met during the regular season in 2008. Iowa lost at Penn State, 2-1, Oct. 10. Iowa and Michigan State faced off three times in 2008. Both teams were ranked in the top ten in each matchup. The Black and Gold won at Michigan State in overtime during the regular season, 4-3. Iowa then defeated the Spartans, 3-2, in overtime of the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes went on to win their third-straight conference tournament. The two teams met for a third time in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Iowa won 1-0 in East Lansing, MI, in a game delayed due to snow, sending the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Final Four.

Michigan State is 11-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play. Additionally, they are 3-0 at home. They are ranked eighth in the latest NFHCA rankings. Michigan State is coached by Rolf van de Kerkhof. In his fourth year as head coach, he is 52-27 all-time.

Penn State is 4-9 overall and tied with the Hawkeyes at 1-2 in conference play. They are 0-6 on the road this season. The Nittany Lions are coached by Charlene Morett. In her 23rd year at Penn State, she is 355-129-8 all-time. Morett is the longest tenured coach in the Big Ten and the seventh longest in Division I.

The Hawkeyes are receiving votes in the latest NFHCA rankings. Iowa will play nine of the current NFHCA top 20 this season. In addition, the Hawkeyes will play seven of the teams receiving votes in the latest poll. The Big Ten Conference currently has three teams ranked in the top 20. Michigan State sits at eighth in the latest rankings. Joining the Spartans is Northwestern (No. 18) and Ohio State (No. 20). All Big Ten teams are at least receiving votes as Indiana, Penn State and Michigan are also receiving votes.

The Hawkeyes defeated Saint Louis at Grant Field, 12-0, on Sept. 19. The 12 goals are the most scored by Iowa since 1997 when the Hawkeyes defeated Saint Louis, 13-0. Six Hawkeyes recorded at least one goal in the contest. Seniors Tricia Dean and Jess Werley each recorded their first career hat tricks. In addition, freshman Geena Lesiak (1), sophomore Becca Spengler (1), freshman Sarah Drake (2) and senior Meghan Beamesderfer (2) tallied goals. Iowa accumulated 26 total points in the contest, tied for second most in a game this season in the Big Ten. Additionally, the 12 goals are tied for the most scored this season by a Big Ten team.

All eight freshmen have seen action this season for the Hawkeyes. Geena Lesiak, Sarah Drake, Jess Barnett, Grace Dolfi, Hailey Chadbourne, Sarah Pedrick, Kelsey Boyce and Kathleen McGraw all have seen game action. Lesiak recorded her first career goal Aug. 30 against Wake Forest. McGraw saw her first career game action in goal Aug. 31 against North Carolina, playing the second half. McGraw recorded her first career win at Boston Sept. 6. Drake is tied for the team lead in goals scored with six. She recorded her first career goals with two Sept. 5 at UMass and added another Sept. 6 against the Terriers. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for her efforts. Dolfi recorded her first career goal against VCU Sept. 11. Boyce recorded her first career game action Sept. 19 against Saint Louis. She played the second half and recorded two saves.