Hawkeyes Excel at Junior High Performance Championship

July 6, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Six members of the University of Iowa field hockey team have excelled at the USA Junior High Performance Women’s National Championship. Sarah Drake, Geena Lesiak, Kelsey Mitchell, Danielle Peirson, Kathleen McGraw and incoming recruit Dani Hemeon competed on the Midwest Junior High Performance team that finished fourth overall. Hawkeye Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum served as an assistant coach for the team.

“The Hawkeyes were well represented,” said Griesbaum. “Their commitment, skill, and overall effectiveness as field hockey players allowed them to play vital roles on the Midwest team. It was great to observe them competing in the U.S. Field Hockey system this summer. Their experiences will help them in the future.”

McGraw, a junior goalkeeper, was named `Goalkeeper of the Tournament’ at the Championship, which was held June 18-25 in Virginia Beach, Va. McGraw, a native of Atherton, Calif., has started 33 of 34 career games played. She has notched five career shutouts. McGraw is a two-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member and was named Academic All-Big Ten in 2010.

“Merty (McGraw) had a great season with the Midwest,” said Griesbaum. “Her ability to make both the simple and complex saves throughout the tournament was key for the team.”

Four Hawkeyes, Drake, Lesiak, McGraw and Hemeon, have been selected from the tournament to attend the Junior National Team Camp, the most elite camp in the country. They were selected based on their performances at the Junior Women’s National Championship. The 2012 U21, U19 and U17 Junior National Squads will be selected from the Junior National Camp.

“We are thrilled that Merty (McGraw), Sarah (Drake), and Geena (Lesiak) will be participating in the Junior National Team Camp next week,” said Griesbaum. “Their solid play at the National Championship Tournament allows them a chance to take their game to the next level. Their experience this summer is vital to their overall development as an elite level field hockey player.”

In addition, Hawkeye sophomore Kim Scraper, a native of West Vancouver, Canada, has been selected to compete on the “Canada A” team, a Canadian Women’s Development team. The team will participate in the 4 Nation Classic July 15-24 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadian National Senior Men’s and Women’s Teams and teams from Japan, Chile and Trinidad and Tobago will compete.