No. 12 Iowa Closes Regular Season Against Ranked Foes

Oct. 24, 2012

Complete Release in PDF Format

The 12th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team closes out conference play and its regular season this weekend at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes host No. 14 Michigan on Friday at 2 p.m., and No. 8 Northwestern on Sunday at noon. Both times are Central. Admission to both contests is free.

Iowa field hockey fans can watch both games live this weekend. The Hawkeyes and Michigan will be broadcast live on the BTN with Lisa Byington and Kara Lentz calling the action. Lentz played at Michigan from 2003-06, earning second team All-Big Ten honors as a senior. Iowa and Northwestern will be streamed live online at

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

Friday’s contest against Michigan will be the Hawkeyes’ “Be Bold, Wear Gold” game. Fans should wear gold, and will receive free gold poms and megaphones, while supplies last. Sunday against Northwestern will be Halloween, Senior, and Fan Appreciation Day at Grant Field. Kids will receive free candy bags, while all fans will have a chance to win prize packs and autographed field hockey memorabilia. Fans can also win a pair of 2012 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament tickets at both contests, 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.

Michigan is 11-5 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten this season. The Wolverines enter the contest on a four-game winning streak, defeating Michigan State (3-2 OT), Ohio State (3-1), Indiana (4-3), and Miami (Ohio) (3-0). Michigan in 3-2 in road games this season. Junior forward Rachael Mack paces the team and is ranked third in the Big Ten in points (41) and goals (17), while senior Liesl Morris and sophomore Leslie Smith share the team lead in assists with 10. Goalkeeper Haley Jones ranks second in the Big Ten in saves (86), saves per game (5.38), and save percentage (.768). In addition, Jones has posted a 1.71 goals against average. The Wolverines are coached by former Iowa All-American Marcia Pankratz, who is in her 13th season as head coach.

Northwestern enters Sunday’s game riding an eight-game winning streak. The Wildcats own a 16-2 record, including a 4-1 conference mark. The Wildcats are 6-1 on the road this season, with their only loss coming against Ohio State (3-2). Senior Chelsea Armstrong has posted team and Big Ten highs in shots (121), points (65), goals (29), and game-winning goals (9) this season. Armstrong ranks second nationally in points per game (3.61) and goals per game (1.61). Junior Julia Retzky has tallied a team-best 14 assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Carpenter is among the conference’s best, leading the Big Ten in goals against average (1.01). Northwestern is coached by fouth-year head coach Tracey Fuchs.

Iowa is 39-18 all-time against Michigan, despite falling to the Wolverines in each of the last four meetings. Michigan defeated the Hawkeyes twice in 2011, winning 2-0 in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Oct. 1 and 4-1 in the Big Ten Tournament, hosted by Penn State, on Nov. 4, 2011. The Hawkeyes last win in the series occurred on Nov. 5, 2009, when they downed the Wolverines, 5-3, in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa is 11-7 all-time in games played in Iowa City, last defeating Michigan at home on Nov. 2, 2008. The Wolverines won the last time they visited Grant Field, beating the Hawkeyes, 2-0.

The Hawkeyes are 51-18-4 all-time against the Wildcats. Iowa won the last time the two teams met, downing Northwestern, 5-2, in Evanston, Ill., on Oct. 22, 2011. Northwestern was victorious in the last meeting in Iowa City, winning 4-2 on Oct. 24, 2010. The Hawkeyes are 26-6-1 all-time in games played in Iowa City, last winning Oct. 3, 2008 (2-0).

Iowa is a perfect 5-0 at Grant Field this season, scoring victories over Missouri State (10-0), No. 20 Albany (2-1), No. 18 Ohio State (2-1), Kent State (3-1), and Ball State (6-0). It is the second straight season the Hawkeyes won their first five home games. Iowa posted a 6-1 home record in 2011. The Hawkeyes are 138-42 all-time in games played in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes will honor six seniors — Jessica Barnett, Kelsey Boyce, Sarah Drake, Geena Lesiak, Kathleen McGraw, and Sarah Pedrick — when they host No. 8 Northwestern on Senior Day. Barnett, Drake, Lesiak, and McGraw have all served as four-year starters for Iowa. Entering the weekend, the group boasts a 39-33 record during their Hawkeye careers.

With a win against Michigan on Friday, Iowa would secure a chance to play for the regular season Big Ten title Sunday against Northwestern. Iowa owns a 3-1 league mark, trailing 4-1 Penn State and Northwestern by half a game. Iowa would win the conference outright with two wins weekend, and a Penn State loss in its final Big Ten game against Michigan State on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes will play two nationally-ranked opponents this weekend in No. 14 Michigan and No. 8 Northwestern. Iowa has faced eight ranked opponents this season, posting a 5-3 record. It is the most ranked opponents Iowa has defeated in a single season since 2008, when it beat nine.

Sunday’s match-up against Northwestern will feature the top two defensive teams in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats are ranked No. 1 and 2 in shutouts, goals against average, goals allowed, and goals allowed per game. Northwestern leads the league in all four categories.

The Hawkeyes remained 12th in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll on Oct. 23. Iowa collected 396 points. The Hawkeyes were one of five Big Ten teams to appear in the rankings. Eight Hawkeye opponents were tabbed in the poll, including three in the top 10 — North Carolina (1), Penn State (5), and Northwestern (8).

Iowa is currently tabbed 12th in the NCAA RPI rankings, which were last released Oct. 16. Five Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, as were eight Hawkeye opponents. Iowa opponents claimed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, as North Carolina holds the top spot, followed by Penn State.

Michigan head coach Marcia Pankratz was a standout for the Hawkeyes from 1982-85, leaving Iowa with 76 career goals — a mark that still ranks third in program history. Pankratz, a two-time All-America and All-Big Ten selection, led the Hawkeyes in goals and points in 1984 and 1985. She was twice honored as Iowa’s Female Athlete of the Year and as a Honda Sports Award finalist. Pankratz, the 1986 Big Ten Medal of Honor award winner, was named to the Big Ten’s First Team All-Decade Team of the 1980’s and was inducted to the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

Four Hawkeyes will compete against a high school teammate this weekend. Senior Geena Lesiak, junior Kelsey Mitchell, and sophomore Corinne Allen all attended Eastern Region (N.J), as did Northwestern junior Colleen Petronchak. Senior Sarah Drake prepped at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., the same high school as Northwestern sophomore Kelsey Thompson, Michigan sophomore Emy Guttman, and Michigan junior Haley Jones.

Iowa closed nonconference play with a pair of wins over Mid-American Conference (MAC) opponents. The Hawkeyes collected wins over Kent State (3-1, Oct. 20) and Ball State (6-0, Oct. 21). Iowa ends the regular season 9-3 against nonconference foes.

Iowa will host the Big Ten Tournament at Grant Field next weekend. 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.

Senior Kathleen McGraw posted her Big Ten-leading fifth shutout Oct. 21 against Ball State (6-0). McGraw matched her 2011 shutout total, which also led the conference. McGraw has also held Missouri State (10-0), Pacific (6-0), UC Davis (3-0), and Michigan State (1-0) without a goal this season. The Atherton, Calif., native has played every minute of the Hawkeyes 16 games, posting a 1.41 goals against average that ranks second in the Big Ten and 13th nationally. Thirteen of McGraw’s stops came against Penn State on Oct. 14, the second-most in a single game by a Big Ten goalkeeper this season. McGraw boasts a .760 save percentage, ranking fourth in the conference and 16th nationally.

Senior Jessica Barnett scored her team-high eighth and ninth goals of the season against Ball State on Oct. 21. Barnett struck twice in the first half scoring at in the second and 22nd minute. It was Barnett’s second multi-goal game of the season. Barnett has scored game-winning goals on four different occasions, ranking fourth in the Big Ten.

Freshman Natalie Cafone was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Oct. 23. The honor is the first of Cafone’s career. The Fairfield, N.J., native earned the accolade after doubling her season goal and point outputs in victories over Kent State and Ball State. She finished the weekend with three goals and one assist for seven points. Cafone made her first career start against the Golden Flashes, where she accounted for the team’s first goal in a 3-1 triumph. Against Ball State, she finished with a career-best seven points with two goals and one assist. It was her second career two-goal game. Cafone is the first Hawkeye to earn Freshman of the Week honors since Sarah Drake on Nov. 2, 2009.

Sophomore Sara Watro scored the first goal of her collegiate career Oct. 21 against Ball State. Watro scored via a Natalie Cafone assist, striking at the 66:50 mark. It was the first shot attempt of Watro’s sophomore campaign.

Junior Kelsey Mitchell scored two goals in the same game for the second time this season and of her career Oct. 20 against Kent State. Mitchell connected on her first goal 10 minutes into the second half after receiving a cross from Hemeon. The Berlin, N.J., native stuck again at the 49:44 mark, as sophomore Corinne Allen assisted on the play. Mitchell posted her first multi-goal game earlier against Albany on Sept. 16.

Iowa is one of the Big Ten’s best at getting scoring opportunities. The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten in shots (299), shots per game (18.69), and penalty corners (133). In conference games only, Iowa ranks third in shots (69) and penalty corners (30), and is second in shots per game (17.25).

The Hawkeyes have three athletes ranked in the top-eight of the Big Ten in defensive saves. Senior Jessica Barnett has totaled three defensive saves this season, ranking third in the Big Ten and 20th nationally. Senior Geena Lesiak and junior Karli Johansen have both made one defensive save this season, placing them tied for eighth in the category. Barnett has made two defensive saves during conference play, leading the Big Ten.

Senior Kathleen McGraw became the fifth goalkeeper in program history to collect 300-plus career saves, eclipsing the mark Oct. 12 against Drexel. McGraw’s career save total currently sits at 321. The Atherton, Calif., native passed Lissa Munley (292 career saves) for fifth all-time in career saves on Oct. 7 against Louisville. Associate head coach Lisa Cellucci holds the Iowa saves record with 592 stops. Below is the top five in all-time saves at Iowa.

Iowa Career All-Time Saves:
1. Lisa Cellucci – 592
2. Donna Lee – 492
3. Andrea Wieland – 472
4. Barb Weinberg – 371
5. Kathleen McGraw – 321

The Hawkeyes opened Big Ten play 3-0 for the first time ever under head coach Tracey Griesbuam, posting wins over Michigan State (1-0), Ohio State (2-1), and Indiana (2-1 OT). Iowa last began league play 3-0 in 1999.

Head coach Tracey Griesbaum collected her 150th win at Iowa when the Hawkeyes defeated Ohio State, 2-1, on Sept. 30. Griesbaum became the third coach in program history to win 150 games, joining Beth Beglin (199) and Judith Davidson (185). Griesbaum is 154-96 at Iowa, and 167-117 overall.

Senior Geena Lesiak posted her third multi-assist game of the season Sept. 30 against Ohio State. Lesiak also had two or more assists against UC Davis (Sept. 10) and Missouri State (Sept. 2). Lesiak posted three assists against Missouri State, the most in a game by a Big Ten athlete this season, and the fifth-most in NCAA Division I. Lesiak has 10 assists this season, ranking fifth in the Big Ten. The Voorhees, N.J., native ranks sixth in the conference in assists per game (0.62).

Senior goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw has been honored as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week three times this season, as she earned the award back-to-back weeks Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 and on Oct. 2. McGraw is the first athlete in program history to win three Defensive Player of the Week honors in one season. McGraw has received the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolade four times in her career.

Senior Jessica Barnett earned her first career Defensive Player of the Week accolade on Sept. 25 after leading Iowa’s defensive effort in road victories over No. 15 Michigan State (1-0) and Central Michigan (4-1). The Hawkeye back line allowed only 12 shots in the two games. The honor is the fourth of Barnett’s Hawkeye career, as she was a three-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week in 2011.

Assistant coach Meghan Beamesderfer played for the U.S. National Team in the Electric Ireland Women’s Champions Challenge 1 tournament in Dublin, Ireland, on Sept. 29-Oct. 7. The United States went 4-2 at the Challenge, advancing to the championship game before losing to Australia, 6-1. Beamesderfer was one of 16 athletes chosen for the Champions Challenge, and was joined by former Hawkeye All-American Lauren Pfeiffer on the squad. Pfieffer scored four goals for Team U.S.A. during the tournament

Junior Karli Johansen missed five games from Sept. 9-Sept. 23 to play for the Canadian Junior National Team in the 2012 Pan American Junior Championship, hosted in Guadalajara, Mexico. Johansen and Canada finished with a 3-1-1 record, winning a silver medal. It was Canada’s highest finish in the Junior Pan Ams since 1997. The squad secured an automatic berth in the 2013 Junior World Cup.

The Hawkeyes have set the team high totals in goals and shots for the Big Ten this season. Iowa set a team-high in goals (10) Sept. 2 against Missouri State. The 10 goals are the fourth highest total in the NCAA this season. Iowa fired 44 shots against Pacific on Sept. 9, the most by any team in the conference this season. The Hawkeyes set the team-high for shots in a Big Ten game when they posted 32 shots against Indiana on Oct. 5. In addition, Iowa the only team in the Big Ten to hold an opponent without a shot for an entire game this season, as Missouri State did not attempt a shot against the Hawkeyes on Sept. 2.

Junior Aubrey Coleman tallied a hat trick in the Hawkeyes’ 6-0 victory over Pacific on Sept. 9. All three goals were unassisted, as Coleman scored during the 16th, 50th, and 53rd minutes. It was the first hat trick of Coleman’s career. It was the Hawkeyes first hat trick since Jessica Barnett scored three goals in a 5-2 win against Ball State on Oct. 28, 2011.

Sophomore Dani Hemeon registered the first multi-goal game of her Hawkeye career earlier this season. The Gilroy, Calif., native scored twice Sept. 10 against UC Davis. Both goals were scored via penalty corners, with the first coming at the 5:39 mark and the second at the 53:00 mark.

Seniors Jessica Barnett and Kathleen McGraw are serving as team captains for the Hawkeyes in 2012. Barnett and McGraw were both team captains in 2011.

? The Hawkeyes have 21 student-athletes on their roster; five freshmen, five sophomores, five juniors and six seniors.
? 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.

Former Hawkeye Liz Tchou officially became a member of the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 14. She was joined by four other former Iowa athletes in the 2012 class, the 24th class to be inducted. Tchou was honored at halftime of Iowa’s game against Albany on Sept. 16. She was also recognized at halftime of Iowa’s football game against Northern Iowa on Sept. 15.

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.

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 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)

Become fans of the official Iowa Field Hockey fan page by going to to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow the on Twitter at