Hawkeyes Set To Open Big Ten Play

Sept. 21, 2010

Complete Release

The University of Iowa field hockey team travels to the state of Michigan this weekend. The Black and Gold will open conference play at Big Ten rival and seventh-ranked Michigan State Friday. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Ralph Young Field. Iowa will then travel to Central Michigan Sunday. That match is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the CMU Field Hockey Complex. Both times are central.

Michigan State is 8-1 and ranked seventh nationally in the latest Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll. They are 4-0 at home. The Spartans have defeated Central Michigan (4-2), Duke (1-0), California (4-3), Pacific (10-0), Stanford (3-2), Providence (1-0) James Madison (1-0) and Boston University (6-1) and lost to Kent State (2-0). The Spartans are coached by Rolf van de Kerkhof, in his fifth season as head coach.

Central Michigan is 2-4 overall and 1-0 at home. The Chippewas have defeated Providence (3-2, OT) and Saint Louis (2-1) and lost to Michigan State (4-2), Louisville (9-0), Michigan (4-0) and UC Davis (3-0). They will host New Hampshire Saturday. Central Michigan is coached by Cristy Freese. She has been the head coach of the Chippewas for 24 years.

The Hawkeyes are 45-11-1 all-time against Michigan State. The Spartans downed Iowa last year in Iowa City, 3-0. The two teams also met at the Big Ten Tournament in East Lansing, MI. Michigan State won that semifinal matchup, 5-1. The conference rivals battled three times in 2008, with Iowa claiming each match, including wins in the regular season, conference tournament and NCAA Tournament.

Iowa is 5-0 all-time against Central Michigan. The two teams last met in 2008. Iowa downed the Chippewas 9-0 en route to an 18-5 record that year. The last time the Hawkeyes traveled to Mount Pleasant, MI, was in 2007. Iowa won 3-0.

Iowa opens conference play Friday at Michigan State. The Hawkeyes finished 3-3 in the Big Ten last season. Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum is 31-29 in conference play. Iowa is 211-76-6 against current Big Ten teams and leads every series: (Indiana: 13-5), (Michigan: 39-14), (Michigan State: 45-11-1), (Northwestern: 50-17-4), (Ohio State: 41-12), (Penn State: 23-17-1).

The Hawkeyes downed Ball State last Saturday at Grant Field, 2-0. Freshman Kim Scraper and senior Sarah Pergine scored goals for Iowa in the second half to seal the victory.

Iowa will play, or has played, eight of the current NFHCA top 20 this season. In addition, the Hawkeyes will face or have faced four 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 seventh in the latest rankings. Joining the Spartans is Ohio State (No. 6) and Penn State (No. 14). Northwestern, Indiana and Michigan are receiving votes.

2010 marks the sixth year Iowa has played on the new Grant Field. After defeating Ball State Saturday, Iowa now owns an overall home record of 127-38, a conference record of 57-19 at home and an 11-2 record in NCAA Tournament games played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have gone undefeated on their home field in six separate seasons, including a 40-game home winning streak. Iowa is 2-1 at home this season, falling to Miami (OH) (5-1) and downing Brown (5-0) and Ball State (2-0).

Sophomore Jessica Barnett leads the Hawkeyes in a number of statistical categories. She leads the team with 31 shots, good for sixth in the Big Ten. She also leads the team with eight points and four goals. Sophomore Geena Lesiak has recorded three assists to lead Iowa. Additionally, sophomore Kathleen McGraw ranks third in the conference with 32 saves. McGraw is tied for third in the league with two shutouts.

The Iowa field hockey team 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 (Oct. 30) 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 Big Ten tournaments.

Former Hawkeye Head Coach Beth Beglin is one of six individuals who was 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 was honored Sept. 5 at Grant Field at the conclusion of Iowa’s game against Miami (OH).

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.