Oct. 3, 2012
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Sarah Drake’s game-winning goal in the 66th minute against Ohio State on Sunday did more than extend the University of Iowa field hockey winning streak to six. It could extend Tracey Griesbaum’s coaching career as well.
“It might keep me in coaching longer because this is what I live for,” said Griesbaum, who collected career victory No. 150 against the Buckeyes. “I wanted this win for the team. I’m coaching to give them an opportunity to do what they did (Sunday). If I can be a part of it, and do my role, then that is all that matters to me.”
The 11th-ranked Hawkeyes trailed No. 18 Ohio State, 1-0, with less than nine minutes to play. Jessica Barnett scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season at the 61:24 mark off assists from Niki Schultheis and Geena Lesiak.
“When there were 16 minutes left in the game, I felt like we were playing like we had a minute left,” Griesbaum said. “It was way too frantic. That is so much time in a hockey game when teams are evenly matched. You can’t waste time, but you don’t need to panic; then they settled in a little bit and from there, we made a lot of positional and tactical changes.”
Two Hawkeye seniors were involved in the game-winner that came on a penalty corner with approximately four minutes remaining. A first UI shot attempt was blocked by Buckeye keeper Emma Voelker; the ball ricocheted high off her pads, clearing the chaos of bodies in front of the goal. Lesiak waited for the ball to settle and fired a shot that Drake tipped in behind Voelker, putting the UI ahead for good, 2-1.
“The win wasn’t going to happen because we were on Grant Field, and it wasn’t going to happen because it was a beautiful sunny day. It wasn’t going to happen for any other reason than we were going to make it happen. We had to be ready to fight and compete because it wasn’t going to come easily.”
UI head coach
“I was super-impressed with their stick-to-it-ness,” said Griesbaum, the 2004 Big Ten Coach of the Year. “It’s not over until it’s absolutely over.”
“It shows our poise and experience,” Lesiak said. “We were a little hectic in the second half, but we came together, decided what needed to be done, and we took care of it. It shows a lot of maturity from the team to come back from a 1-0 deficit and score two goals.”
“It was all about maintaining composure,” Drake said. “As soon as we took a second breath and maintained our passing game, I think that’s what calmed us down.”
The Hawkeyes have won six games in a row, a streak that dates to a 6-0 decision against Pacific on Sept. 9. Iowa is 3-0 against nationally ranked teams during the stretch, including Big Ten Conference wins at No. 15 Michigan State (1-0) and against Ohio State.
A season-high 322 fans watched Sunday’s come-from-behind win on a 74 degree afternoon at Grant Field.
“The win wasn’t going to happen because we were on Grant Field, and it wasn’t going to happen because it was a beautiful sunny day,” Griesbaum said. “It wasn’t going to happen for any other reason than we were going to make it happen. We had to be ready to fight and compete because it wasn’t going to come easily.”
Griesbaum, in her 13th season with the Hawkeyes, has compiled nine seasons of double-digit victories, including a six-year stretch from 2003-08 where the UI won 81 times. The win against Ohio State evened Griesbaum’s career record in conference play at 37-37.
“It feels really cool to be able to leave a mark on the program like that and help coach win her 150th game,” Drake said. “That means a lot, but I think we were all concentrating on beating Ohio State. It’s a Big Ten win and a regional win, and it’s a cherry on top that it was the 150th win for coach.”
The Hawkeyes (8-2 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) look to improve upon their 3-1 road record when they travel to Indiana (6-4, 0-2) on Friday, Oct. 5, and then to Louisville (7-5) on Sunday, Oct. 7.
“It gives us a lot of momentum,” Lesiak said. “Ohio State is a really skilled team, and I think we handled their skill pretty well. Going forward, that’s all we’re going to face. We’re going to see ranked team after ranked team, and showing we can handle that (against Ohio State) is going to give us confidence.”
“Each week presents different challenges depending on our opponents, and we have to take it for what it’s worth,” Griesbaum said.
The Big Ten Tournament will be held on Grant Field from Nov. 1-4.