Aug 16, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa field hockey program opened practice this week, kicking off its 2013 season. The most common words at Friday’s practice at Grant Field: excitement and energy.
“It is great to be back out here,” said senior Aubrey Coleman. “It has been fun having the freshmen out here. A lot of people on our team have had different experiences over the summer, and it is really good to see everyone bringing the energy to the field.
“It is a different team, as it is every year. This team has a lot of positive energy, which is great to see.”
“We are all really excited to be out here,” said senior Niki Schultheis. “The energy has been really good, and everybody has been really focused.”
For all involved in the Hawkeye program, it is exciting to be back as one unit.
“It is awesome,” said UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “Each year, in one sense the summer goes by really fast. In another sense, it goes by slow. It feels like a long time since we have been together as a team. The group came back really ready, and their excitement is very contagious. I am right there with them.
“It is great to be back out here. It has been fun having the freshmen out here. A lot of people on our team have had different experiences over the summer, and it is really good to see everyone bringing the energy to the field. It is a different team, as it is every year. This team has a lot of positive energy.”
— senior Aubrey Coleman
“Everyone here is trying to raise the bar and trying to compete. I am really happy with the start we have had so far.”
Heading into next week’s exhibition matches, the focus is team chemistry.
“We are focused on getting to know our teammates,” said Schultheis. “We are cutting differently, and different people have different skills, different moves. Getting to know each other is what we are focusing on right now, and then next week we will start preparing for our first scrimmage.”
The Hawkeyes will travel to Ball State on Thursday for an exhibition (2 p.m. CT) before hosting Missouri State on Sunday, Aug. 25, at noon in their final exhibition.
Iowa opens the regular season in Easton, Pa., facing Bucknell (Aug. 30) and Lafayette College (Sept. 1). The Hawkeyes open their home slate, Sept. 7-8, hosting the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Iowa faces Wake Forest on Sept. 7 at 11:30 a.m. (CT) and North Carolina on Sept. 8 at 11:30 a.m. (CT).