May 2, 2013
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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 — It was a normal spring Saturday on April 20 at Grant Field, but for “Goalkeeper U” it was a far-from-ordinary afternoon.
The University of Iowa field hockey program welcomed alumni back to campus to compete in its annual spring tournament. Among the returnees included the goalkeepers that protected the Hawkeye cage from 1995 to 2013’s anticipated starter, Kelsey Boyce.
“When we were putting together the roster for the alumni team for the spring tournament, it dawned on me,” said UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “We’ll have all the goalkeepers dating back to 1995 together at the same time on Grant Field, which is pretty special.”
UI associate head coach Lisa Cellucci (1994-98), Kelly Druley (1999), Saleema Rogers (2000), Barb Weinberg (2001-04), Lissa Munley (2005-08) and Kathleen McGraw (2009-12) all made their way back to the turf at Grant Field. They were joined by Boyce, a fifth-year senior for the Hawkeyes.
“We are one of the premiere schools nationally when it comes to our goalkeeping tradition,” said Griesbaum, who has led Iowa to six NCAA Tournament appearances and three Big Ten Tournament titles. “I believe we tip the scale with the phenomenal success of our goalkeepers with all different stories.
“We are one of the premiere schools nationally when it comes to our goalkeeping tradition. I believe we tip the scale with the phenomenal success of our goalkeepers with all different stories.”
UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum
“Sometimes you have four-year starters, sometimes you have players like Kelly Druley who played behind Lisa (Cellucci), and then in her fifth year she’s a first-team All-American.”
The collection of talent in Iowa City accounted for two first team All-America nods (Druley, 1999; Wienberg, 2004), three second team All-Americans (Cellucci, 1996; Weinberg, 2003; McGraw, 2012) and two third team All-America recognitions (Cellucci, 1995, 1998). The group also tallied 11 All-Big Ten honors.
Two of the players — Cellucci and Weinberg — went on to compete for the U.S. National Team. Cellucci in 1999 and Weinberg from 2005-10. Cellucci then joined the Hawkeyes as the goalkeeping coach in 2000.
Over the 18-year stretch (Cellucci redshirted in 1994) from 1995-2012, the collection of Iowa goalkeepers helped the Hawkeyes win 224 games, 83 in shutout fashion, and the group made 1,786 saves. Iowa advanced to the NCAA Tournament nine times, which included Final Four appearances in 1999 and 2008.
Having a rich history at the goalkeeper position helps the Hawkeyes attract the top goalkeeping recruits nationally, which Griesbaum says is imperative to Iowa’s success.
“I know the best goalkeepers in the country come to Iowa or we’re on their short list because of our tradition,” said Griesbaum. “I want to keep that going, as I think it is absolutely vital to have.”
Griesbaum says having the group together collectively is special for the program.
“I am proud of all of them, and I am excited they were all able to come back,” she said. “Half of the alumni coming back now are goalkeepers… they stick together.”
Hawkeye goalkeepers have a special bond with the tradition of the position and the history associated with “Goalkeeper U.”