No. 12 Hawkeyes Set to Start Season with Challenge

Aug. 22, 2012

Complete Release in PDF Format

The 12th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team opens its 2012 season Aug. 25-26 at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, facing No. 13 Wake Forest on Saturday and No. 2 North Carolina on Sunday. Both games will begin at 1 p.m. (CT) and will be played at Ketner Stadium on the campus of Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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 Big Ten/ACC Challenge is in its 11th year of existence, as it has been played annually since the 2002 season. Iowa is 4-16 all-time at the Challenge, including a 1-1 record at the 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Wake Forest was tabbed 13th in the NFHCA preseason rankings after ending 2011 with a 10-9 (2-3 ACC) record. The Demon Deacons were picked fifth out of six teams in the ACC preseason coaches poll. Wake Forest returns two All-ACC performers in sophomore Anna Kozniuk and senior Lizzie Rae. Kozniuk was the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2011, while Rae led the Demon Deacons with 13 goals. Both individuals were preseason All-ACC selections. Wake Forest is coached by former Northwestern standout Jennifer Averill.

North Carolina enters the 2012 season ranked second in the NFHCA preseason poll. Head coach Karen Shelton and the Tar Heels were the 2011 NCAA runners-up, finishing 23-2 (5-0 ACC). North Carolina was also the NCAA runner-up in 2010 and won the national title in 2009. UNC was selected second in the preseason ACC coaches poll and are led by seniors Kelsey Kolojejchick and Caitlin Van Sickle. Kolojejchick, the 2011 ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and Van Sickle, the 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, were both preseason All-ACC selections.

The Hawkeyes are 3-9 all-time against Wake Forest and 3-21 against North Carolina. Iowa won its last meeting with the Wake Forest, 3-2, on Aug. 27, 2011 at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge hosted in Ann Arbor, Mich. The two teams last met in Winston-Salem on Aug. 30, 2008. The Demon Deacons won, 3-2. The Hawkeyes fell to the Tar Heels, 2-0, on Aug. 28, 2011, at the 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge in the two teams last meeting. Iowa last defeated North Carolina at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Aug. 31, 2008, as it downed the then-ranked No. 1 Tar Heels, 3-2.

Iowa is ranked 12th in the country in the 2012 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Preseason Poll. The Hawkeyes garnered 347 points in the rankings. The Hawkeyes were one of five Big Ten Conference schools in the team rankings along with Penn State (9), Michigan (10), Ohio State (15) and Northwestern (20.) A total of nine Iowa opponents appeared in the top-25. The Hawkeyes ended the 2011 season ranked 12th in the poll.

The Hawkeyes will face No. 2 North Carolina on Sunday, marking the fourth time since 2007 Iowa has faced the second-ranked team in the country. The Hawkeyes are 1-2 in those games, with the win coming Aug. 25, 2007, against Wake Forest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Iowa made its 21st NCAA tournament appearance in 2011 and finished with a 15-5 record (4-2 Big Ten). The Hawkeyes’ season ended when they fell at eventual national champion Maryland, 4-2, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Iowa closed the season ranked No. 12 in the final NFHCA poll.

Seniors Jessica Barnett and Kathleen McGraw will serve as team captains for the Hawkeyes in 2012. Barnett and McGraw were both team captains in 2011. Barnett was an All-America and All-Big Ten selection after ranking second on the team in goals (11) and points (24) as a junior. McGraw led the Big Ten with five shutouts and a .768 save percentage that ranked 15th nationally. The Atherton, Calif., native also ranked second in the league with 106 saves (5.3 per game).


  • The Hawkeyes have 21 student-athletes on their roster; five freshmen, five sophomores, five juniors and six seniors.
  • Iowa returns 15 letterwinners, including nine starters. Four of the nine starters are seniors (Jessica Barnett, Sarah Drake, Geena Lesiak, Kathleen McGraw). All four will become fourth-year starters in 2012.
  • Offensively, Iowa returns nine of the 11 players that netted a goal in 2011. The nine returnees accounted for 64 percent of the team’s goals (42-of-66) and 68 percent of the team’s points (114-of-167).
  • Seven Hawkeyes hail from New Jersey, four from Pennsylvania, two from California and Canada, and one from Belgium, Delaware, Germany, Maryland, Michigan, and Virginia.
  • Five members of the Iowa roster were also teammates in high school. Corinne Allen, Geena Lesiak and Kelsey Mitchell all played at Eastern Regional High School in New Jersey, while Jessica Barnett and Karli Johansen competed for Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver, Canada.


  • Iowa opens its season at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the 11th consecutive season. The Hawkeyes will face Wake Forest on Aug. 25 and North Carolina on Aug. 26 on the campus of Wake Forest in Winston Salem, N.C.
  • The Hawkeyes open Big Ten play against Michigan State for the third-straight season. Iowa takes on the Spartans on Sept. 21 in East Lansing, Mich.
  • Iowa will play 11 games away from home during the regular season, the most since 2006 when it also played 11 games away from Iowa City.
  • The Hawkeyes are slated to play six teams that appeared in the final NFHCA poll on Nov. 8, 2011. Five of those teams (Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford) competed in the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Four of the five Hawkeyes — Jessica Barnett, Sarah Drake, Kathleen McGraw and Karli Johansen — who received postseason honors in 2011 return for the 2012 season. Barnett became Iowa’s 81st All-American, as she was a third team NFHCA All-America selection. Barnett, Drake and McGraw were first team NFHCA West Region All-America honorees. In addition, Barnett and Drake were named first team All-Big Ten, while McGraw was a second team pick. Barnett and Johansen were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team. Head coach Tracey Greisbaum was chosen as the NFHCA West Region Coach of the Year, marking the second time she earned the honor.

Iowa earned the NFHCA Division I National Academic Team Award in 2011, which was given to programs that maintained a 3.0 GPA or better during the first semester of the 2011-12 academic year. Eight Hawkeyes were selected to the NFHCA National Academic Squad that honors student-athletes who achieved a 3.30 GPA or better during the first semester of the 2011-12 academic year. Iowa saw 11 individuals receive Academic All-Big Ten honors, setting a new school record. Four of the 11 earned the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award, which requires a minimum 3.7 GPA.

Iowa will host the Big Ten Tournament at Grant Field in 2012. The tournament will begin with first round play on Nov. 1, followed by semifinal action on Nov. 2 and the championship game on Nov. 4. The Hawkeyes will host the conference tournament at Grant Field for a third time in 2012. Iowa City previously hosted the event in 1997 and 2005.

Six University of Iowa field hockey regular season contests will be available via live coverage during the 2012 season. Two Hawkeye games will be televised on the BTN, while four contests will be streamed on All seven games at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament at Grant Field will also feature live coverage. Iowa hosts the tournament Nov. 1-4. Below is a complete list of the Iowa broadcast schedule:

2012 Iowa Live Coverage Schedule

  • Sept. 16 – vs. Albany (
  • Sept. 30 – vs. Ohio State (
  • Oct. 5 – at Indiana (BTN)
  • Oct. 21 – vs. Ball State (
  • Oct. 26 – vs. Michigan (BTN)
  • Oct. 28 – vs. Northwestern (

2012 Big Ten Tournament (Iowa City, Iowa)

  • Nov. 1 – First Round – 3 Games (
  • Nov. 2 – Semifinals (BTN)
  • Nov. 4 – Championship (BTN)

Eight Hawkeyes competed nationally or internationally this summer. Five of the eight competed on the Midwest Senior High Performance Team. UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum served as an assistant coach for the squad. Assistant coach Meghan Beamesderfer also played on the team and was selected to the National Developmental Team. Listed below are Iowa student-athletes that competed this summer:

Canadian National Team

Midwest Senior High Performance Team

California High Performance Team

National Developmental Team selections

Former Hawkeye Liz Tchou will officially become a member of the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 14, the night before the Iowa football team hosts Northern Iowa. Tchou will be joined by four other former Iowa athletes in the 2012 class, the 24th class to be inducted.

Tchou was a standout at Iowa from 1984-1987, becoming the first female in Iowa history to have her number retired. Tchou led the Hawkeyes to the 1986 National Championship, as she paced Iowa with 15 goals. She was a first team All-American in 1987 after leading the team in goals (30) and points (65). Tchou scored 75 career goals, a mark that still stands fifth in the Iowa record books. She was a four-time All-Big Ten first team selection, twice being named Big Ten Conference MVP. Tchou was also a two-time Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient at Iowa. Following her Hawkeye career, she played for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1989-95 and was a member of the 1996 Olympic Team. She is currently the Youth Development Manager for U.S.A. Field Hockey.

HEAD COACH Tracey Griesbaum
Head coach Tracey Griesbaum enters her 13th season as the Hawkeyes’ head coach. Griesbaum owns a 142-92 record at Iowa and a 155-113 career record. At Iowa, she has mentored 16 national All-Americans, 45 regional All-Americas, 44 All-Big Ten selections, three Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award winners and two Big Ten Freshman of the Year honorees. She is joined on the coaching staff by associate head coach Lisa Celluucci, who also enters her 13th year as a member of the coaching staff, and assistant coach Meghan Bemesderfer, who returns to the sidelines for her second season.

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