Iowa Set for NCAA Tournament

Nov. 9, 2011

NCAA Tournament Notes

The University of Iowa field hockey team has earned its conference-leading 21st NCAA Tournament bid in program history. Iowa (15-4) will travel to College Park, Md., to face No. 4 Maryland (15-4) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend. The Hawkeyes, ranked 12th nationally, will battle the Terrapins Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT) at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. Iowa has appeared in the NCAA Tournament five of the last eight years.

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

The Hawkeyes, who earned an at-large bid, will join No. 4 Maryland, No. 3 Syracuse and Richmond in College Park, Md., this weekend on the campus of the University of Maryland. Syracuse, the Big East Tournament champion, and Richmond, the Atlantic 10 champion who defeated Cal Tuesday in an NCAA Tournament play-in game, will compete Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (CT). The winners of Saturday’s games will play Sunday at 1 p.m. to advance to the NCAA Final Four.

In their last tournament appearance in 2008, the Hawkeyes reached the NCAA Final Four after defeating Louisville (1-0) and Michigan State (1-0) in the first and second rounds, respectively. Iowa lost to Maryland (2-1) in the NCAA semifinals in double overtime. Louisville will host the NCAA Final Four this year. The last time Louisville hosted the Final Four was 2008.

Iowa has enjoyed great success in the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes have now appeared in the NCAA Tournament 21 times, reaching 11 Final Fours (both are the most of any Big Ten program). In addition, Iowa won the 1986 National Championship. The Hawkeyes are 26-21 all-time in the tournament, owning the most wins of any Big Ten team in NCAA Tournament play.

The Hawkeyes have faced five of the other 15 teams in the tournament field this fall. Iowa defeated Ohio (2-1) and Ohio State (3-0) and lost to North Carolina (2-0), Penn State (3-0) and Michigan twice (2-0 during the regular season and 4-1 in the Big Ten Tournament).

Maryland is led by head coach Missy Meharg. Meharg is in her 24th season at the helm of the program. The Terrapins are 15-4 overall. They finished 4-1 in conference play. Maryland is 8-2 on its home turf this season. The Terrapins defeated one Big Ten opponent, Michigan, earlier this season (2-1). Maryland has won four of the last six national titles (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010).

Iowa has played Maryland 12 times, including five times in the NCAA Tournament. The Black and Gold trail the all-time series, 3-8-1. The last time the Hawkeyes and Terrapins met was in the 2008 NCAA Final Four. Maryland won 2-1 in double overtime in Louisville, Ky. The Terrapins have won both games played in College Park.

Iowa is 2-0 all-time against Richmond and 1-1 all-time against Syracuse. The Hawkeyes have not faced either opponent in NCAA Tournament play.

The Hawkeyes advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament last weekend in University Park, Pa. Iowa, the No. 4 seed, defeated fifth-seeded Indiana in the first round last Thursday (3-2) before falling to top-seeded Michigan Friday in the semifinals (4-1).

Two Hawkeyes, junior Jessica Barnett and sophomore Karli Johansen, were named to the 2011 Big Ten All-Tournament Team.

Three Hawkeyes earned All-Big Ten honors last week. Juniors Jessica Barnett and Sarah Drake were named to the first team and junior Kathleen McGraw was named to the second team. Senior Becca Spengler represented Iowa’s field hockey Sportsmanship Award honoree for the third consecutive year.

Iowa, winner of seven of its last eight games 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). Iowa currently stands at 15-4, marking its highest win total since 2008 when it finished 18-5.

The Hawkeyes have played seven of their last eight games away from Iowa City. Iowa is 7-1 during the stretch. The Black and Gold are 9-3 away from Grant Field this season, 5-1 at road sites and 4-2 at neutral sites.

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 are ranked 12th in the latest (Nov. 8) NFHCA rankings. Iowa will play or has played seven of the NFHCA top 20 this season. In addition, the Hawkeyes will play or have played three of the teams receiving votes in the most recent poll. The Big Ten currently has four teams ranked in the top 20, all of which were selected for the NCAA Tournament. Penn State sits seventh in the rankings. Michigan is ranked eighth, Iowa is No. 12 and Ohio State is No. 15.

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 (2.33) and seventh in the country in goals per game (1.13). Scraper has recorded 17 goals and 35 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 14th nationally in goals against average (1.52) and 13th in the country in save percentage (.770). She has recorded a conference-leading five shutouts this season, giving her 10 for her career.

Junior Jessica Barnett has been key for Iowa during the last eight games. Barnett has scored 11 goals, all of which came during Iowa’s seven-game win streak that ended after the Indiana victory in the Big Ten Tournament. During the streak, she tallied at least one goal in six of the games and multiple goals in four contests. She ranks second on the team with 24 points and tied for first with three defensive saves and has tallied two game-winning goals.

The Hawkeyes rank first in the Big Ten in shutouts with six. 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 three 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 Nov. 1, earning Iowa’s sixth 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
Jessica Barnett – Offense – Nov. 1

Iowa junior Jessica Barnett was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Nov. 1. Barnett, a midfielder, garnered her second consecutive weekly honor, and third of the season and career. She earned her first weekly honor Oct. 11 and her second Oct. 25. Barnett is the first Hawkeye to win three weekly awards in a season since Kristy Gleason accomplished the feat in 1992. Barnett led Iowa to a 5-2 victory in its regular season finale at Ball State last Friday. The junior recorded her first career `hat trick’, as she scored three goals in the win. Barnett has scored nine goals, all of which have come during Iowa’s six-game win streak. During the streak, she has tallied at least one goal in five of the games and multiple goals in three contests. She has recorded at least one point in all six games and has added three defensive saves. Barnett is the second Hawkeye to garner back-to-back weekly awards this year (Kim Scraper, Sept. 6 and Sept. 13).

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).

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

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