Drake Lifts Iowa over Northwestern on Senior Day

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Oct. 28, 2012

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Sarah Drake’s overtime goal was the difference in the 12th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team’s 3-2 victory against No. 8 Northwestern (16-3, 4-2 Big Ten) on Sunday at Grant Field. It was Iowa’s first win against a top-10 opponent since Nov. 6, 2008, when it downed 10th-ranked Michigan State, 1-0.

It also marked the Hawkeyes (13-5, 4-2 Big Ten) third overtime game of the season. Iowa has won all three contests that included an extra session. The Hawkeyes improve to 5-1 at Grant Field this season.

“Our backs were to the wall because we could not afford to lose this game,” said head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “It wouldn’t have impacted our seeding in the Big Ten Tournament, but it would have impacted our potential to be in the NCAA Tournament. This was really a must win for us.”

Drake secured the win 5:12 into the extra period. She deflected the ball into the goal after junior Karli Johansen sent the ball into the circle.

“I didn’t see it,” said Griesbaum. “I saw the play develop and I saw what Karli did, but I couldn’t see the ball hit their sticks. You’ve got to play to the end. We had great offensive flow to our game today; we defended like crazy and contained their key players. All phases of our game were pretty good.”

The Hawkeyes needed a come-from-behind effort just to get the game into overtime. Iowa faced a two-goal deficit after Northwestern received unassisted goals from Tara Puffenberger and Nikki Parsley. Puffenberger struck at the 7:23 mark, while Parsely scored in the 37th minute.

Freshman Natalie Cafone scored Iowa’s first goal at the 45:23 mark. It was Cafone’s seventh goal of the season. Senior Geena Lesiak collected an assist on the play.

Drake tied the game two minutes later, scoring an unassisted goal. It was Drake’s first multi-goal game of the season, and the fifth of her career. She pushed her season goal total to five.

Senior Kathleen McGraw picked up the win in goal for the Hawkeyes — her 13th of the season. She made three stops.

The Hawkeye defense held the Wildcats to just five shots, their lowest output of the season. Iowa held Chelsea Armstrong, the nation’s leading goal-scorer, to no goals and one shot attempt. The Hawkeyes ended the contest holding a 17-5 advantage in shots and a 9-2 edge in penalty corners.

Iowa celebrated its annual Senior Day on Sunday. Drake, Lesiak, McGraw, Jessica Barnett, Kelsey Boyce, and Sarah Pedrick were all honored before the start of the game.

The Hawkeyes host the Big Ten Tournament at Grant Field next weekend. Iowa, the fourth-seed, opens tournament play against fifth-seeded Michigan State on Thursday at 11 a.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes host the conference tournament at Grant Field for a third time in 2012. Iowa City previously hosted the event in 1997 and 2005.

Northwestern (16-3, 4-2) 1 1 0 2
Iowa (13-5, 4-2) 0 2 1 3
NW Tara Puffenberger (unassisted) 7:23/1st
NW Nikki Parsley (unassisted) 37:16/2nd
IOWA Natalie Cafone (Geena Lesiak) 45:23/2nd
IOWA Sarah Drake (unassisted) 47:41/2nd
IOWA Sarah Drake (Karli Johansen) 75:10/OT
Shots Iowa 17, Northwestern 5
Penalty Corners Iowa 9, Northwestern 2
Saves Kathleen McGraw (Iowa), 3