Hawkeyes Set for Big Ten Tournament

Oct. 31, 2011

The 11th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team travels to University Park, Pa. to compete in the 18th annual Big Ten Tournament this week. Iowa (14-3, 4-2), the No. 4 seed, will battle fifth-seeded Indiana (9-7, 2-4) Thursday at 9 a.m. (CT) at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex on the campus of Penn State. The winner will face top seeded, and seventh-ranked, Michigan Friday at 9 a.m. (CT). The semifinals and championship will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

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

The semifinal matchups on Friday (9 a.m. and 11 a.m.) will both be televised live by the Big Ten Network (HD). Steve Jones and Kara Lentz will call the action. In addition, they will call the championship game live at 2 p.m. (CT) Sunday.

The Hawkeyes, winners of six-straight overall, finished the regular season with a 14-3 overall record, its best since the 2007 season when it finished 14-3. The Hawkeyes finished 13-4 during the 2008 regular season. The Black and Gold advanced to the NCAA Final Four that year. Prior to 2007, Iowa’s highest regular season win total came in 1999, when the team finished 16-1. The Hawkeyes’ highest win total ever during the regular season is 23 wins (23-3-1 in 1981).

The Black and Gold have won three of the last five Big Ten Tournaments. Iowa is one of three schools who have claimed at least four championships (1994, 2006, 2007, 2008), joining Penn State and Michigan. Penn State is the only other school to win three-straight titles. Iowa is 22-13 (.628) all-time in conference tournament play, owning the most wins all-time and the best winning percentage.

Iowa holds a number of Big Ten Tournament records. Anne-Marie Thomas and Vicki Sax are tied for the most goals (4) in one game. Thomas holds the record for most points (9) in one game. As a team, the Hawkeyes hold the mark for most goals in a game (8, against Indiana in 2007) and most goals in a tournament (15, in 2007).

Iowa (14-3, 4-2) concluded regular season conference action in a tie for second place at 4-2 with Ohio State and Penn State. Michigan won the regular season championship with a 5-1 record. Iowa finished with more regular season wins (14) than any other team in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes are 215-83-6 all-time against current Big Ten teams and lead every series: (Indiana: 14-6), (Michigan: 39-17), (Michigan State: 46-11-1), (Northwestern: 51-18-4), (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.

The Hawkeyes concluded the regular season with six of their final seven games on the road. Iowa finished the stretch with a 6-1 record. Iowa has won its last five games away from Grant Field. The Black and Gold are 8-2 away from Grant Field this season, 5-1 at road sites and 3-1 at neutral sites.

The Hawkeyes concluded the regular season with a 5-2 win at Ball State last Friday. Junior Jessica Barnett recorded her first career `hat trick’ in the win as she tallied three goals. Senior Becca Spengler and sophomore Aubrey Coleman each added a goal for Iowa.

Indiana is led by head coach Amy Robertson. Robertson is in her 12th season at the helm of the program. She was an assistant coach at Iowa from 1989-91. The Hoosiers finished the regular season with a 9-7 overall record and 2-4 conference record. They defeated Michigan State (4-2) and Northwestern (4-1) in league action. Indiana is 2-0 at neutral sites this season.

Iowa is 14-6 all-time against Indiana, including a record of 5-2 in games at neutral sites. The Hawkeyes defeated Indiana at home, 4-2, on Oct. 15. Sarah Drake scored two goals to lead Iowa and Jessica Barnett and Kelsey Mitchell each added a goal. The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers first met in 1977. In Big Ten Tournament play, the two teams have met twice. Iowa defeated Indiana in the first round in 2007 (8-2) and the first round in 2008 (5-2).

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

The Hawkeyes are ranked 11th in the latest (Oct. 25) NFHCA rankings. Iowa will play or has played six of the NFHCA top 20 this season. In addition, the Hawkeyes will play or have played four of the teams receiving votes in the most recent poll. The Big Ten currently has five 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. 17) and Northwestern (No. 20).

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.

Sophomore Kim Scraper ranks 14th nationally in points per game (2.54) and seventh 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.

Junior goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw ranks ninth nationally in goals against average (1.29) and sixth in the country in save percentage (.787). She has recorded a conference-leading six shutouts this season, giving her 11 for her career.

Junior Jessica Barnett has been key for Iowa during the six-game win streak. Barnett has recorded nine goals and has tallied three defensive saves during the stretch. All of her goals on the season (nine) have come during the win streak. During the streak, she has tallied at least one goal in five of the games and multiple goals in three games. Barnett has recorded at least one point in all six games. She recorded her first career `hat trick’ at Ball State last Friday as she tallied three goals. On the season, she ranks second on the team with nine goals and 20 points.

The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in a number of categories, including scoring margin 2.19), shutouts (six), goals against average (1.25), shots per game (16.50) and goals allowed (20). 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).

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 Oct. 15. Iowa honored Spengler prior to the start of the match. 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.

Iowa junior Jessica Barnett was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week last Tuesday, earning Iowa’s fifth weekly nomination of the season. It marks the most honors the Black and Gold have received in a season since 2008, when the team had seven weekly award winners.

Big Ten Players of the Week
Kim Scraper – Offense – Sept. 6
Kim Scraper – Offense – Sept. 13
Jessica Barnett – Offense – Oct. 11
Kathleen McGraw – Defense – Oct. 11
Jessica Barnett – Offense – Oct. 25

Iowa junior Jessica Barnett was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Tuesday. Barnett, a midfielder, garners her second weekly honor of the season and career. She earned her first weekly honor Oct. 11. Barnett played a key role in helping Iowa sweep No. 20 Northwestern and Pacific last weekend in Evanston, Ill. Last Saturday, the Hawkeyes downed the Wildcats, 5-2, in their final Big Ten regular season contest. Barnett recorded two goals and a defensive save, marking the third-straight game she registered a defensive save. A key contributor on Iowa’s offensive and defensive penalty corners, the North Vancouver, Canada, native tallied an assist in the 4-0 victory against Pacific last Sunday. For the weekend, she notched five total points, two goals, one assist and a defensive save. Barnett has scored six goals during the Hawkeyes’ current five-game win streak. She has tallied six goals and 14 points on the season.

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.

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).

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.

NCAA Tournament play begins next week. The winner of the Big Ten Tournament will receive an automatic bid. At-large teams will also be selected. The Hawkeyes will be looking to quality for their conference-leading 21st NCAA Tournament.