Hawkeyes Fall Just Short at NCAA Tournament

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Nov. 10, 2012

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CARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Seventh-ranked Virginia needed a 60th minute goal to defeat the 14th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team, 3-2, on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes and Cavaliers played at Turf Field on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

“We were right there,” said UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “That was the theme of our season — we got better, but we were playing some really, really good teams that it could go either way against. That was what happened today. Virginia has a phenomenal team and I give them credit. But, I thought we went in with a good plan and executed as well as we could.”

Iowa was also accustomed to close games this season, as Saturday marked the Hawkeyes’ 12th game that was decided by a one goal margin.

The Hawkeyes and Cavaliers played an even first half, entering the intermission tied, 2-2. Neither team gained an advantage statistically, as Virginia held an 8-6 advantage in shots, while Iowa owned a 4-3 edge in penalty corners.

Virginia struck first, scoring five minutes into the contest. Paige Selenski scored an unassisted goal after collecting a loose ball in front of the net.

Iowa answered by scoring two unanswered goals. Sophomore Dani Hemeon put the Hawkeyes’ on the board by firing a shot off a penalty corner past the Virginia goalkeeper. Senior Geena Lesiak and junior Niki Schultheis were credited with assists on the play. It was Hemeon’s team-best 11th score, giving her the team-lead in points with 24.

Senior Jessica Barnett gave the Hawkeyes the lead, 2-1, less than two minutes later via an unassisted strike. Barnett gained possession of the ball after a penalty corner attempt. Barnett finishes the season with 10 goals, the second-highest total on the team.

The Cavaliers knotted the score, 2-2, with just 11 second remaining in the opening period. Elly Buckley found the back of the goal unassisted after dribbling from left of the circle.

“I thought we played a great first half, but at the NCAA Tournament you can’t give a goal away in the final minute of the half,” said Griesbaum. “We could have gone into halftime up a goal and it would have set a totally different tone. We had a lapse in one play at the end and they capitalized.”

Virginia carried momentum into the second half, outshooting the Hawkeyes, 6-2. The Iowa defense was able to hold the Cavaliers off the scoreboard for 25 minutes until Hadley Bell scored via an Elizabeth Hanks assist, giving Virginia a 3-2 advantage.

Senior Kathleen McGraw made a game-high six saves. McGraw ends her Hawkeye career fifth all-time in career saves with 336 stops. The Atherton, Calif., native played every minute in goal for Iowa this season, finishing with a 14-7 record.

The Hawkeyes end the season with a 14-7 (4-2 Big Ten) record. Iowa advanced to its second straight NCAA Tournament in 2012, earning back-to-back bids for the first time since 2007-08. It was the Hawkeyes 22nd NCAA appearance — the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

#14 Iowa (14-7) 2 0 2
#7 Virginia (16-5) 2 1 3
UVA Paige Selenski (UVA) (unassisted) 4:55/1st
IOWA Dani Hemeon (IOWA) (Geena Lesiak, Niki Schultheis) 10:05/1st
IOWA Jessica Barnett (IOWA) (unassisted) 11:28/1st
UVA Elly Buckley (UVA) (unassisted) 34:49/1st
UVA Hadley Bell (UVA) (Elizabeth Hanks) 59:44/2nd
Shots Virginia 14, Iowa 8
Penalty Corners Virginia 7, Iowa 5
Saves Kathleen McGraw (IOWA), 6