Nov. 1, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Five members of the 11th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team have been named to an All-Big Ten team, the conference office announced Thursday.
Senior captains Jessica Barnett and Kathleen McGraw were first team selections, while seniors Sarah Drake and Geena Lesiak and junior Marike Stribos garnered second team recognition. Iowa last had five All-Big Ten selections in 2008. The Hawkeyes have now had 49 All-Big Ten selection under head coach Tracey Griesbaum.
“I am very happy to have five Iowa student-athletes represented on the teams,” said Griesbaum, who is in her 13th season. “We are a very balanced team and this proves that.”
Barnett was one of three unanimous choices to the 12 member first team, joining Michigan’s Rachael Mack and Penn State’s Kelsey Amy. Barnett has started each of the Hawkeyes’ 19 games, tallying eight goals and three assists for 19 points. The North Vancouver, Canada, native has tallied a team-high three defensive saves, ranking fourth in the Big Ten and 27th nationally.
It is Barnett’s third All-Big Ten selection, as she was a second team pick in 2010 and a first team selection in 2011. She is being recognized for the second time in as many days after being selected to compete in the NFHCA Senior Game on Wednesday.
“Jessica is one of the best athletes in the conference,” said Griesbaum. “A unanimous selection proves she is respected throughout the conference. Jessica has contributed on both sides of the ball this entire season and is an integral part in our attacking and defensive penalty corners. She is a phenomenal competitor and helps raise the level of play within our team on a consistent basis.”
McGraw garnered her second All-Big Ten honor, adding to her second team selection in 2011. The Atherton, Calif., native has played every minute in goal for the Hawkeyes this season, posting a Big Ten best five shutouts. She ranks second in the conference in goals against average (1.43) and third in save percentage (.743). McGraw has made 81 stops this season, moving her into fifth all-time in Iowa program history with 329 career stops.
McGraw was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week three times this season, becoming the first Hawkeye to win the weekly honor three times in a single season. McGraw is the first Iowa goalkeeper to garner first team All-Big Ten recognition since Barb Weinberg was a back-to-back-back selection from 2002-04. She was also selected to the NFHCA Senior Game on Wednesday.
“Merty (McGraw) has been a solid contributor in goal for four years,” said Griesbaum. “To be recognized by the conference as the top goalkeeper…that is impressive. She is a great athlete, student, and leader within the program.”
Drake has started all 19 games this season, registering four goals — including the game-winner against Ohio State on Sept. 30. The Ann Arbor, Mich., native has now earned All-Big Ten honors three times in her career, earning second team accolades as a sophomore (2010) and a first team distinction as a junior (2011).
“Drake is a high energy player,” said Griesbaum. “Her competitive drive has been instrumental in many games this season, and her versatility has been great, playing both in the midfield and front field.”
Lesiak, a Vorhees, N.J., native, has recorded a team-best nine assists in 2012, starting all 19 games. She recorded three assists on Sept. 2 against Missouri State, the highest single-game total by a Big Ten athlete this season. Lesiak has also tallied one defensive save. It is her first All-Big Ten selection.
“Geena has been very steady for the team this season,” said Griesbaum. “She has been very effective on both offense and defense.”
Stribos has posted five goals and four assists in 19 starts during her junior campaign, ranking fifth on the team with 14 points. The Brussels, Belgium, native registered the game-winning strike against Pacific on Sept. 9. The 2012 honor marks Stribos’ first inclusion on an All-Big Ten squad. She was also Iowa’s Sportsmanship honoree, which goes to student-athletes who display sportsmanship and ethical behavior, are in good academic standing and demonstrate good citizenship outside of athletics.
“Marike works hard and smart every day,” said Griesbaum. “She comes to practice every day to get better and this helps the team as a whole. She has had big assignments, both offensively and defensively this season, and has handled everything very well.”
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday, hosting top-seeded Penn State in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The game is slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field.