4 Weeks, 4 Iowa B1G Defensive Honorees

Oct. 2, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw of the University of Iowa field hockey team has been selected as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday. It is McGraw’s third honor this season and the fourth consecutive week a Hawkeye has earned the distinction.

“Our defense held strong against a great Ohio State team,” said UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “Merty came up with a couple key saves in each half. We are looking to make improvements in our defense every week, and Merty is a big part of that. Her leadership and ability to organize the entire defense has been very helpful.”

McGraw earned the accolade after leading Iowa to a 2-1 victory over No. 18 Ohio State on Sept. 30 at Grant Field. She made four saves, while facing nine Buckeye shots and five penalty corners. The win was the team’s third victory over a ranked team in the last four games.

The Atherton, Calif., native is 8-2 with a 1.28 goals against average, a .745 save percentage and four shutouts in 2012. McGraw is leading the Big Ten in shutouts and shutouts per game, ranks second in goals against average and third in save percentage.

Iowa has earned the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor four straight weeks. McGraw received the accolade on Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, and senior Jessica Barnett was the recipient on Sept. 25. It is the first time in Big Ten history that a school has earned a specific weekly award (offensive, defensive or freshman) four consecutive weeks.

The honor is the fourth of McGraw’s Iowa career.

The 11th-ranked Hawkeyes (8-2, 2-0), winners of six straight, return to action Friday at Indiana. The game will be televised live on the BTN beginning at 2 p.m.