No. 12 Iowa Prepares for Home-Opener

Aug. 29, 2012

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The 12th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team plays its home-opener Sunday, Sept. 2, against Missouri State. Action between the Hawkeyes and Bears is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field. Admission is free.

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

Sunday against Missouri State will be Junior Hawk Club Day at Grant Field. Junior Hawk Club members can enjoy a pregame tailgate that includes free pizza, bubbles and games. Free posters and schedule cards will be available for all fans in attendance. In addition, fans will have a chance to win a pair of 2012 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament tickets courtesy of the UI marketing department. Iowa field hockey t-shirts will be thrown into the crowd during every home game this season whenever the Hawkeyes have a penalty corner and/or score a goal.

Missouri State is 0-1 this season. The Bears dropped their season-opener, 6-1, at Virginia Commonwealth. Missouri State freshman defender Leah Reitmayer scored the Bears only goal against VCU. The Bears face Indiana on Saturday, Aug. 31, in Bloomington, Ind., before playing the Hawkeyes. Missouri State is coached by Gabby Gomez Sosa.

The Hawkeyes have a 24-4-1 record all-time against the Bears. Iowa defeated Missouri State, 10-2, last season at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes hold a 16-0 home record against the Bears and have won the last 21 meetings between the two teams.

Iowa is 29-6 all-time in home-openers. The Hawkeyes are 7-5 in home-openers under head coach Tracey Griesbaum. Iowa won its home-opener in 2011, downing Kent State, 7-3.

The Hawkeyes won their first five home games at Grant Field in 2011 and ended the season with a 6-1 home record. The Hawkeyes are 133-42 all-time playing at old and new Grant Field.

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 opened their season Aug. 25-26 at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Iowa went 1-1 against a pair of nationally-ranked foes at the Challenge, hosted at Kentner Stadium on the campus of Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Hawkeyes downed No. 13 Wake Forest, 3-2, in overtime on Aug. 25. Iowa trailed 2-0 at halftime, before junior Kelsey Mitchell and sophomore Corinne Allen scored goals in the second period to knot the contest at two and send the game in overtime. Senior Jessica Barnett secured the win in overtime with a goal at the 81:07 mark. Iowa fell, 5-0, to No. 2 North Carolina on Aug. 26.

After the first weekend of the season, senior goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw ranks second in the Big Ten in saves (13) and saves per game (6.5). McGraw finished 2011 ranked second in the conference with 106 saves (5.3 per game). In addition, the Atherton, Calif., native paced the Big Ten with five shutouts and a .768 save percentage that ranked 15th nationally. McGraw has made 259 career stops, ranking sixth all-time in school history.

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 was a regional All-America and a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2011.

– 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 opened its season at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the 11th consecutive season. The Hawkeyes faced Wake Forest on Aug. 25 (3-2 win) and North Carolina on Aug. 26 (5-0 loss) 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.

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
Jessica Barnett
Karli Johansen
Midwest Senior High Performance Team
Aubrey Coleman
Sarah Drake
Geena Lesiak
Kathleen McGraw
Danielle Peirson
California High Performance Team
Dani Hemeon
National Developmental Team selections
Dani Hemeon
Kathleen McGraw

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

The Hawkeyes travel to Stanford, Calif., for three games Sept. 7-10. Iowa faces Stanford on Sept. 7 at 4:30 p.m. before taking on Pacific on Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. and UC Davis on Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. All three games will be played at Stanford’s Varsity Field Hockey Turf. All times are Central.