Hawkeyes Set For Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Aug. 24, 2010

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The University of Iowa field hockey team opens the 2010 campaign with the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Black and Gold, ranked 19th nationally, will travel to Chapel Hill, NC, for the ninth annual challenge. Iowa will face No. 6 Wake Forest Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Hawkeyes will then battle defending national champion and top-ranked North Carolina Sunday at 11 a.m. Both times are central.

The 2010 Big Ten/ACC Challenge marks the ninth year of the annual tournament. Iowa is 3-13 all-time in the Challenge, playing Wake Forest and North Carolina each year. Last season, the tournament was held at historic Grant Field in Iowa City. Iowa fell to both schools. Two years ago, the tournament was held in Winston-Salem, NC. After opening the season with a loss at Wake Forest, 3-2, the Hawkeyes downed the defending national champion Tar Heels, ending their 25-match winning streak. Iowa is 2-8 all-time against Wake Forest and 3-19 all-time against North Carolina.

Wake Forest is ranked sixth in the preseason rankings. They are led by Head Coach Jennifer Averill. The former Northwestern standout is in her 19th season at the helm of the program. She is 270-108-3 all-time at the helm of the Demon Deacon program. Under her watch, Wake Forest has been to 11 NCAA Tournaments, nine NCAA Final Fours and has won three national championships.

North Carolina, the defending NCAA Champion, is ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll. The Tar Heels are led by Head Coach Karen Shelton. Shelton is 482-133-9 all-time as head coach at North Carolina. She has led North Carolina to six national championships, six NCAA runner-up finishes and 27 winning seasons.

The Hawkeyes are ranked 19th in the preseason NFHCA rankings. Iowa will play eight of the NFHCA top 20 this season. In addition, the Hawkeyes will play five of the teams receiving votes in the latest poll. The Big Ten Conference currently has five teams ranked in the top 20. Michigan State sits seventh in the preseason rankings. Joining the Spartans are the Buckeyes (No. 14), the Hoosiers (No. 17), the Nittany Lions (No. 18) and the Hawkeyes (No. 19). All Big Ten teams are at least receiving votes. Both Northwestern and Michigan received votes.

The Black and Gold feature seven freshmen on the 2010 roster. Kelsey Mitchell (Berlin, NJ), who holds the high school record for career goals scored in the state of New Jersey, and Kim Scraper (West Vancouver, Canada) will see action on the forward line. Marike Stribos (Brussels, Belgium) and Aubrey Coleman (Mickleton, NJ) will see action in the Hawkeye midfield. In addition, Niki Schultheis (Hamburg, Germany), Danielle Peirson (Conestoga, Pa) and Karli Johansen (North Vancouver, Canada) will solidify the backfield.

Former Hawkeye Head Coach Beth Beglin is one of six individuals who will be inducted by the National Iowa Varsity Club and the University of Iowa Athletics Department into the Athletics Hall of Fame. A member of the 22nd class, she will be honored and inducted into the National Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame at Iowa’s home football game against Eastern Illinois Sept. 4.

Beglin was the Iowa field hockey coach from 1988 to 1999. She led the Hawkeyes to 10 NCAA Tournaments, including seven Final Fours and runner-up finishes in 1988 and 1992. Beglin guided the Black and Gold to seven conference championships and the 1994 Big Ten Tournament Championship. She was named conference coach of the year seven times, Midwest Region Coach of the Year five times and National Coach of the Year in 1992. In addition, Beglin coached 39 All-Americans, 67 All-Conference selections, 16 U.S. National Team members and two members of the 1996 USA Olympic Team.

The Iowa field hockey will appear on the Big Ten Network twice during the 2010 regular season. Iowa’s match against Big Ten rival Michigan will be shown live Oct. 10 at Grant Field at noon. The Hawkeyes’ match at home against Ohio State will also be shown. It will be televised as a same day tape delay at 5 p.m. Both times are central. In addition, coverage of the Big Ten Tournament can be seen on the Network. Iowa has won three of the last four tournaments.