No. 11 Hawkeyes Ready for Vital Road Test

Oct. 19, 2011

Complete Release

The University of Iowa field hockey team, ranked 11th nationally, continues action this weekend when it travels to Evanston, Ill., for two matches. The Hawkeyes (11-3, 3-2) will play at No. 20 Northwestern (10-6, 1-3) on Saturday and will then face Pacific (2-11) in Evanston on Sunday. The match against the Wildcats will be Iowa’s final Big Ten Conference match of the regular season.

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.

Iowa’s game at Northwestern Saturday will mark its final conference game of the regular season. The Hawkeyes are 3-2 in league play, a half-game behind Michigan and Penn State (3-1). Iowa, winner of three-straight, defeated No. 18 Indiana last Saturday (4-2), after winning at Ohio State (3-0) on Oct. 8 and Ohio (2-1) on Oct. 9.

The Hawkeyes defeated No. 18 Indiana, 4-2, last Saturday at Grant Field. Sarah Drake tallied two goals and Jessica Barnett and Kelsey Mitchell each notched one score. Barnett added a defensive save as the Hawkeyes won on “Senior Day.”

Iowa (11-3, 3-2) continues conference action this weekend. The Hawkeyes are 214-83-6 against current Big Ten teams and lead every series: (Indiana: 14-6), (Michigan: 39-17), (Michigan State: 46-11-1), (Northwestern: 50-18-4), (Ohio State: 42-13), (Penn State: 23-18-1). Iowa has claimed 11 Big Ten regular season titles in school history and four Big Ten Tournament championships.

Northwestern is led by head coach Tracey Fuchs. Fuchs is in her third season at the helm of the program. The Wildcats, ranked 20th nationally, are 10-6 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play. They have defeated Michigan State (3-0) in conference play, and lost to Penn State (4-3), Indiana (4-1) and Michigan (3-2). Northwestern is 4-3 at home. The Wildcats will host Pacific Friday at 3 p.m. (CT).

Pacific is led by head coach Linda MacDonald. MacDonald is in her 14th season at the helm of the program. The Tigers are 2-10 overall, including a record of 0-1 at neutral sites.

Iowa is 50-18-4 all-time against Northwestern, including a record of 21-11-2 in Evanston. The two teams first met in 1977. The Hawkeyes have faced Northwestern more than any other team in their history. Iowa is 5-0 all-time against Pacific, including a record of 4-0 at neutral sites.

The Hawkeyes are ranked 11th in the NFHCA rankings this week. Iowa will play or has played six of the NFHCA top 20 this season. In addition, the Hawkeyes will play or have played five of the teams receiving votes in the most recent poll. The Big Ten currently has six teams ranked in the top 20. Michigan sits seventh in the rankings. Joining the Wolverines is Penn State (No. 8), Iowa (No. 11), Ohio State (No. 18), Indiana (No. 19) and Northwestern (No. 20).

The Hawkeyes have three games remaining in the regular season, all of which will come away from Iowa City. The Black and Gold are 5-2 away from Grant Field this season, 3-1 at road sites and 2-1 at neutral sites.

Jessica Barnett and Kathleen McGraw earned Big Ten weekly honors Oct. 11. Barnett, a midfielder, was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and McGraw, a goalkeeper, was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. It is the first career weekly honor for both. It marked Iowa’s third and fourth weekly honors of the season. Kim Scraper won back-to-back offensive weekly awards Sept. 6 and Sept. 13. McGraw becomes Iowa’s first defensive winner since Meghan Beamesderfer in 2009 (Nov. 2). The honors also marked the first time Iowa has had two weekly winners in the same week since Nov. 2 of 2009, when Sarah Drake garnered Freshman of the Week honors. Barnett played a key role in wins over Ohio State (Oct. 8) and Ohio (Oct. 9), tallying three goals on four shots and a crucial defensive save. In the 3-0 win over the 18th-ranked Buckeyes, Barnett scored two goals on two shots. The North Vancouver, Canada, native scored the game-winning goal against Ohio and added a defensive save. McGraw tallied 11 assists and recorded her fifth shutout of the season in the win at Ohio State. The native of Atherton, Calif., came up big again for Iowa, as she led Iowa to a 2-1 win at Ohio. She allowed only one goal and saved 10 shots. For the weekend, the Hawkeye goalkeeper notched 21 saves, one shutout and allowed only one goal in 140 minutes of action.

The Hawkeyes finished the regular season with a 6-1 record at Grant Field. Iowa is 133-42 all-time on its home turf, including a 59-23 conference record.

Iowa has a trio of captains in 2011, senior Becca Spengler and juniors Jessica Barnett and Kathleen McGraw.

Junior goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw ranks 12th nationally in goals against average (1.34) and 12th in the country in save percentage (.775). She has recorded a conference-leading five shutouts this season, giving her 10 for her career.

Sophomore Kim Scraper ranks 11th nationally in points per game (2.54) and sixth in the country in goals per game (1.23). Scraper has recorded 16 goals and 33 points, marking the most for a Hawkeye in a season since former All-American Lauren Pfeiffer notched 20 goals and 44 points in 2008. Ellen Egan holds the Iowa records with 42 goals and 93 points in 1983. Scraper has scored at least one goal in nine of the 10 Hawkeye wins.

The Hawkeyes rank second in the Big Ten in a number of categories, including scoring margin (2.00), scoring average (3.29) shutouts (five) and goals against average (1.29). 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 contest this year. The Hawkeyes own the three highest scoring games in the Big Ten this season (10 goals vs. Missouri State, 7 vs. Kent State and Brown).

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).

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.

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.

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.

Senior Becca Spengler played her final regular season game at Grant Field last Saturday. Iowa honored Spengler prior to the start of the match. The former Warwick High School standout has appeared in 61 career games for the Hawkeyes and has made 50 starts. She has tallied eight career goals and 20 points. Spengler is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a three-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member. A three-time team captain, she has been named Iowa field hockey’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree each of the last two years and has received the Nancy McLinden Carr Award in each of the past two seasons. Spengler is a representative for Iowa’s student-athlete leadership group, ISAAC. She helped the Hawkeyes win their third-straight Big Ten Tournament title and reach the NCAA Final Four as a freshman in 2008.

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 concludes the regular season with a match at Ball State Friday, Oct. 28. The contest is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes will travel to the Big Ten Tournament in University Park, Pa., the following week.