Hawkeyes Set For Special Opening Weekend

Aug. 29, 2011

Complete Release

The University of Iowa field hockey team, ranked 23rd nationally, returns to Iowa City this weekend for its home opener on Friday against Kent State. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. The Hawkeyes will also face Massachusetts on Sunday at 1 p.m. Additionally, Kent State and Massachusetts will compete Saturday at 3 p.m. All matches will be held at Grant Field. Admission is free.

Iowa field hockey fans can follow the Hawkeyes with live stats (Gametracker) on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the GT link found on both the front page and the field hockey schedule page.

The 2011 season marks the 25th anniversary of Iowa’s 1986 national championship team. Iowa will honor the team at its game against Massachusetts on Sunday at Grant Field.

Former Hawkeye Mary Koboldt 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 23rd class, she will be honored at Saturday’s home football game against Tennessee Tech and inducted in a ceremony on Saturday night. The Iowa field hockey program will honor Koboldt at its game Sunday against Massachusetts.

A Hawkeye midfielder from 1982-85, the former U.S. National Team member and U.S. Olympian was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree and a two-time All-American. Koboldt, a member of four NCAA Tournament teams and two Big Ten championship teams, was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team after leading Iowa to its first ever trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1984. As a senior in 1985, she was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and was a nominee for the Honda Broderick Award, as the top collegiate female athlete in the country.

Fans of the Hawkeyes can take advantage of a number of promotions this weekend at Grant Field. Friday, fans can sign up for their 2011 Iowa field hockey punch card. Their punch card will make them eligible to win commemorative tickets, gift certificates, Iowa field hockey prize packs, and team autographed memorabilia. In addition, the first 100 fans in attendance will receive a free Iowa Hawkeye watch. Sunday, there will be a halftime ceremony honoring the 1986 national championship team. All fans who have signed up for a punch card will be entered in a drawing to win a commemorative ticket celebrating the 1986 national championship team. Additionally, the first 25 fans in attendance, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the 1986 team, will receive a free Iowa field hockey t-shirt.

Kent State is receiving votes in the most recent NFHCA poll. They are led by head coach Kathleen (Schanne) Wiler. Wiler is in her sixth season as head coach, where she has led the Golden Flashes to a 63-44 record and three-straight conference championships.

Massachusetts is receiving votes in the most recent NFHCA poll. UMass is coached by first year head coach Carla Tagliente. Tagliente served as an assistant coach at Iowa from 2003-05.

Iowa is 7-2-1 all-time against Massachusetts and 3-1 against Kent State. The Hawkeyes are 2-0 at home versus both teams.

A number of teams throughout the country have a former Hawkeye on their staff. Both opponents this weekend have a former Iowa player on staff — Roz Ellis of Massachusetts and Heather Schnepf of Kent State. Both are assistant coaches. Ellis (2005-08), a former All-American, helped lead Iowa to the 2008 NCAA Final Four. Schnepf (2003-06) was an All-American and became only the third player in Big Ten history to be named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back years.

Iowa opened its 2011 season with a 3-2 win over No. 11 Wake Forest Saturday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Sophomore Kim Scraper led the Hawkeyes with two goals and Niki Schultheis added another. Sunday, Iowa fell to NCAA runner-up and second-ranked North Carolina, 2-0. Kathleen McGraw recorded a career-high 11 saves.

Iowa’s game at Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 8 will be televised by the Big Ten Network (BTN). It will be shown as a tape delay at 1 p.m. on Oct. 9. Additional Hawkeye contests will be streamed live on BTN.com. In addition, coverage of the Big Ten Tournament can be seen on BTN. Iowa has won three of the last five tournaments.

The Hawkeyes feature five freshmen on the 2011 roster. Corinne Allen (Gibbsboro, N.J.) and Sara Watro (Audubon, Pa.) will both see action on the forward line. Dani Hemeon (Gilroy, Calif.) and Brynn Gitt (Lumberton, N.J.) will contribute to the midfield and Brittany Evangelisti (Voorhees, N.J.) looks to see action in the backfield.

Become fans of the official Iowa Field Hockey fan page by going to facebook.com/iowafieldhockey to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow the Black and Gold on Twitter at twitter.com/iowafieldhockey.

The Black and Gold opened the 2011 campaign with a 2-1 exhibition victory Aug. 19 against No. 16 Louisville at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes struck first, scoring in the 11th minute to take an early 1-0 lead. Junior Jessica Barnett, a 2010 Regional All-American and second team All-Big Ten honoree, scored off an assist from sophomore Kelsey Mitchell to give Iowa the early advantage. Iowa extended its lead to 2-0 in the 60th minute. Junior Sarah Drake, also a 2010 second team All-Big Ten selection, crossed a pass to freshman Corinne Allen, who chipped in the second Hawkeye goal of the afternoon. The Cardinals added a goal late in regulation, scoring in the 68th minute to make the final score 2-1. The Hawkeyes kept the pressure on throughout, tallying 17 shots and eight penalty corners. Louisville recorded five shots and one corner.

The Hawkeyes are ranked 23rd in the NFHCA rankings. Iowa will play six of the NFHCA top 20 this season. In addition, the Hawkeyes will play five of the teams receiving votes in the most recent poll. The Big Ten Conference currently has four teams ranked in the top 20. Ohio State sits at sixth in the rankings. Joining the Buckeyes are Penn State (No. 8), Michigan (No. 9) and Michigan State (No. 13). All Big Ten teams are at least receiving votes as Northwestern and Indiana also received votes in the first poll.

Four Hawkeyes (freshmen Brittany Evangelisti and Corinne Allen, sophomore Kelsey Mitchell, junior Geena Lesiak) hail from Eastern Regional High School in New Jersey. The school has won 12 consecutive New Jersey state championships. Jessica Barnett and Karli Johansen are both from Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver, Canada. Seven Hawkeyes hail from New Jersey, three from Pennsylvania, three from Canada, two from California, and one each from Delaware, Michigan, Belgium and Germany.

Iowa travels to Providence, R.I., to play Providence Friday, Sept. 9. The Hawkeyes will also face Brown Saturday, Sept. 10 in Providence.