Hawkeyes Look For Fourth-Straight Title

Nov. 3, 2009

Big Ten Tournament Guide in PDF Format

The University of Iowa field hockey team travels to East Lansing, MI, to compete in the 16th Big Ten Tournament. Iowa is the No. 4 seed in the tournament. The Hawkeyes will face fifth-seeded Michigan Thursday at 10 a.m. (CT). The winner will face regular season champion and top-seeded Michigan State Friday. That match is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. (CT) and will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

Iowa won at Michigan, 3-2, during the regular season. The Hawkeyes are 38-14 all-time against the Wolverines and are 10-2 at neutral sites.

Iowa against Big Ten opponents:
Opponent All-Time NeutralNorthwestern 50-17-4 6-1Indiana 13-5 5-2Michigan State 45-10-1 14-0-1Penn State 23-17-1 7-7Ohio State 41-12 11-2

The Hawkeyes have claimed four Big Ten Tournament titles in their history. Iowa claimed the title in each of the last three seasons and in 1994. Penn State and Michigan have also claimed the title four times. At 21-11 overall, the Hawkeyes have the best winning percentage all-time in the tournament. The Black and Gold have won nine-straight games in the tournament.

Iowa will be looking to defend its back-to-back-to-back Big Ten Tournament championships this weekend. The Hawkeyes were crowned champions in 2006 and 2007 and 2008 and have won nine-straight games in the tournament. Only one other team has ever captured four-straight tournament titles — Penn State won four straight from 1995-98.

Hawkeyes are receiving votes in the latest NFHCA rankings. Iowa played nine of the current NFHCA top 20 this season. In addition, the Hawkeyes competed against five 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 Ohio State (No. 12) and Indiana (No. 18). Michigan and Northwestern are both receiving votes.

The semifinal matchups on Friday (11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m.) will both be televised live by the Big Ten Network (HD). Leah Secondo, Karen Weaver and Kara Lentz will call the action. In addition, the trio will call the championship game live at 11 a.m. (CT) Sunday.

Iowa holds a number of Big Ten Tournament records. Anne-Marie Thomas and Vicki Sax are tied for the most goals (4) in one game. Thomas holds the record for most points (9) in one game. As a team, the Hawkeyes hold the mark for most goals in a game (8, against Indiana in 2007) and most goals in a tournament (15, in 2007).

Two Hawkeyes, Meghan Beamesderfer and Tricia Dean, have both been named NFHCA Division I Senior All-Stars. Beamesderfer has started every game of her Hawkeye career. She leads the Black and Gold with four defensive saves. Dean has started 79 of 80 career games. This season, she leads the Hawkeyes with 20 points (7 goals, 6 assists). The 2009 NFHCA Division I Senior All-Star game will be played Nov., 21, at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. The game will begin at a 4:30 p.m. (CT).

Iowa and Michigan met earlier this season in the conference opener Sept. 25. The Black and Gold scored three second-half goals to come back and beat the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, MI, 3-2.

Iowa won four of its last five games overall entering the tournament, including beating 11th-ranked James Madison the last weekend of the regular season. The Hawkeyes defeated Penn State, Northwestern, James Madison and American and fell to nationally-ranked Louisville to close the season. Iowa won its last two regular season conference games to finish at 3-3. In addition, the Black and Gold won two of three non-conference matches to conclude the regular season. The Hawkeyes defeated Penn State, 1-0, on Oct. 18. Against the Nittany Lions, freshman Geena Lesiak recorded her third goal of the season off a great pass from senior Tricia Dean. In addition, freshman goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw recorded her first career shutout and made three crucial saves in the final minutes to preserve the Hawkeye victory. The Black and Gold won in overtime at Northwestern, 1-0, on Oct. 23. Junior Sarah Pergine found senior Tricia Dean who scored the game winner for the Hawkeyes from the left wing. McGraw recorded her second career and second-straight shutout. She recorded nine saves on the day.

Senior Meghan Beamesderfer is tied for the Big Ten lead with four defensive saves this season. Additionally, freshman goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw is third in shutouts, with two.

Iowa has three seniors on this year’s team, Meghan Beamesderfer, Tricia Dean and Jess Werley. The trio has been an integral part of Iowa’s success the last three seasons, leading the Black and Gold to three-straight Big Ten Tournament championships and three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. All three started on Iowa’s team that reached the NCAA Final Four last year. Collectively, the trio has started 243 of 246 career games.

The Hawkeyes have received countless contributions from underclassmen this season. Of the 16 players on the Iowa roster, 11 are freshmen or sophomores. Of the 11, eight are freshmen. Four freshmen have started at least 14 of 17 matches this season. 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 competed this year. 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. She recorded her first career win at Boston (Sept. 6) and has recorded two shutouts since. Drake recorded her first career goals with two at UMass (Sept. 5) and added another against the Terriers (Sept. 6). She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for her efforts. She leads the team with six goals on the season. Dolfi recorded her first career goal against VCU (Sept. 11). Boyce recorded her first career game action against Saint Louis (Sept. 19). She played the second half and recorded two saves.

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. Iowa accumulated 26 total points in the contest, good 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.