No. 13 Iowa Set To Open Conference Action

Sept. 21, 2011

Complete Release

The University of Iowa field hockey team, ranked 13th nationally, opens conference action this weekend when it hosts rivals Michigan State (3-5) and No. 10 Penn State (5-3) in Iowa City. The Black and Gold (7-1) entertain the Spartans Friday at 3 p.m. and the Nittany Lions Sunday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be held at Grant Field. Admission is free.

Hawkeye fans can watch Iowa’s game against Penn State Sunday at 1 p.m. online. It will be streamed live on Click on the `Watch Live’ link found on both the front page and the field hockey schedule page. The contest will air on BTN Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 11:30 a.m. (CT).

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

Fans of the Hawkeyes can take advantage of a number of promotions this weekend at Grant Field. Friday is Retiree Day at Grant Field and Black-Out the Spartans day. Fans in attendance will receive a free Iowa Field Hockey window cling and fans are invited to play Hawks Bingo to win an Iowa Hawkeye coffee mug. Sunday is Students’ Day and the Be Bold, Wear Gold game at Grant Field. The first 200 fans in attendance receive Hawkeye sunglasses. In addition, the first 25 students receive free Iowa Field Hockey t-shirts and the first 75 receive a free Jimmy John’s sandwich.

Iowa is 7-1 on the season and has won six straight games. Iowa has outscored its opponents 32-6 during its streak. The last time the Hawkeyes started 7-1 was 2007. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament that season.

Michigan State is led by head coach Helen Knull. Knull is in her first season as head coach after serving as an assistant and associate head coach for the Spartans for five years prior to her hiring. The Spartans are 3-5 this season and are receiving votes in the latest NFHCA poll.

Penn State is coached by Charlene Morett. In her 25th season at Penn State, she is the longest tenured coach in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions are 5-3 this season and are ranked No. 10 in the most recent NFHCA poll.

Iowa is 45-11-1 all-time against Michigan State, including a record of 16-6 at home. The two teams first met in 1977. The Hawkeyes are 23-17-1 all-time against Penn State, including a record of 11-1-1 in Iowa City. The two teams first played in 1981.

The Hawkeyes are ranked 13th in the NFHCA rankings this week. Iowa will play or has played five 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 five teams ranked in the top 20. Penn State sits 10th in the rankings. Joining the Nittany Lions is Michigan (No. 11), Iowa (No. 13), Northwestern (No. 15) and Indiana (No. 18). All Big Ten teams are at least receiving votes as Ohio State and Michigan State also received votes in the latest poll.

The Hawkeyes swept Central Michigan and Missouri State last the weekend at Grant Field. Iowa blanked the Chippewas Saturday, 1-0. Kim Scraper scored the game winning goal for the Hawkeyes. The Black and Gold dominated Missouri State Sunday, 10-2. The 10 goals against Missouri State Sunday mark the most the Hawkeyes have scored in a game since defeating Saint Louis, 12-0, on Sept. 19, 2009.

Sophomore Kim Scraper ranks first nationally in goals per game and points per game. Scraper has recorded 14 goals and 36 points this season. She has scored at least one goal in each Hawkeye victory.

The Hawkeyes rank first in the Big Ten in scoring margin (3.12), scoring average (4.38), shutouts (3), goals against average (1.25), shots (167), goals scored per game (4.38) and goals allowed per game (1.25). Iowa currently leads the conference with a six-game unbeaten streak. The Hawkeyes 10 goals and 21 points against Missouri State are the most of any conference team in a game this season. Iowa notched 37 shots at Brown (Sept. 10), marking the most for a league team in a game this season.

Iowa forward Kim Scraper was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week on Sept. 13. Scraper led Iowa to a sweep of Providence and Brown in Providence, R.I., tallying six of Iowa’s 11 goals scored in the two contests. On Sept. 9, in Iowa’s 4-1 win at Providence, the sophomore scored two goals en route to her third multi-goal game of the season. She helped Iowa blank Brown on Sept. 10, 7-0. Scraper tallied her fourth multi-goal game of the year as she recorded four scores in the victory. It marked the first time a Hawkeye had recorded four scores in a game since Pattie Gillern scored five in a win over Missouri State on Sept. 28, 2003. The honor marked the first time Iowa won the conference offensive weekly award multiples times in a season since 2008, when the team earned three offensive weekly accolades. The last time a Hawkeye won the offensive award in back-to-back weeks was Caitlin McCurdy in 2005 (Oct. 17 and Oct. 24).

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.

The 2011 season marks the 25th anniversary of Iowa’s 1986 national championship team. Iowa honored the team at its game against Massachusetts Sept. 4 at Grant Field.

Former Hawkeye Mary Koboldt was one of six individuals inducted by the National Iowa Varsity Club and the University of Iowa Athletics Department into the Athletics Hall of Fame this year. A member of the 23rd class, she was honored and inducted into the National Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame at Iowa’s home football game against Tennessee Tech Sept. 3. The Hawkeye honored Koboldt at their game Sept. 4 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.

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

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 In addition, coverage of the Big Ten Tournament can be seen on BTN. Iowa has won three of the last five tournaments.

Iowa continues conference action next weekend when in travels to Michigan. The Hawkeyes and Wolverines play in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. CT.