Hawkeyes Prepared to Open Season in Pennsylvania

Aug 28, 2013

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The 13th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team opens the regular season on the road this weekend in Easton, Pa. Iowa will square off against Bucknell on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT), before facing Lafayette College on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).

The Bison are led by head coach Jeremy Cook. Cook, a former member of the United States men’s national field hockey team, is in his sixth year at the helm of the program. Three Bucknell players, seniors Rachel Misko, Erica Perrine, and junior Kelsey Mucell, were recently named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. Bucknell posted a 9-10 record in 2012.

In addition to Bucknell, Iowa will face the defending Patriot League Champions, Lafayette College. The Leopards will have a new face on the sideline this year as Jennifer Stone enters her first season as head coach at Lafayette. Stone was previously the assistant coach for Lafayette the previous six seasons. The defending champions return junior Brittany Blass, who was recently named the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Additionally, junior Jenna Seybert was named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.

The Hawkeyes defeated Missouri State Aug. 25 at Grant Field in their final exhibition, 5-2. The home team started off strong leading 3-1 at the half. Iowa struck first nine minutes in as Dani Hemeon scored off a penalty corner to put the Hawkeyes on the board first. Iowa increased its lead to 2-0 as Ali Campos scored just over 20 minutes into the first half. Following a score by Missouri State, Natalie Cafone added the final goal of the opening period off a rebound with just under five minutes remaining in the half.

The second half was highlighted by Kelsey Mitchell as she scored the final two goals for the home team. Mitchell first scored off a deflection 54 minutes in for Iowa’s fourth goal. A sudden death overtime was held after the end of regulation. The overtime ended when Mitchell scored her second goal of the day just over six minutes into the period.

Iowa garnered an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season last year, earning back-to-back bids for the first time since 2007-08. The Hawkeyes fell in the first round of the tournament at No. 7 Virginia, 3-2.

The Hawkeyes were selected to the NCAA Tournament last year for the sixth time in nine years, and for the 22nd time in program history — the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes are 26-23 all-time in tournament play, including 9-5 in first round match-ups and 11-6 in second round contests. Iowa has advanced to 11 NCAA Final Fours, winning the 1986 national championship. The Hawkeyes 26 tournament victories and 11 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

The Black and Gold feature six freshman on the 2013 roster. Jessy Silfer and Chanlder Ackers will both see action in the backfield. Ali Campos, Stephanie Norlander, and Sophie Plasteras will contribute to the Hawkeye forward line. Freshman goal keeper Alexandra Pecora rounds out the Hawkeye newcomers.

The Big Ten Network will be airing at least two Hawkeye contests this season. Iowa will first appear on BTN Sept. 27 at Northwestern at 2 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes play host to Penn State, Oct. 25, at 2 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field. In addition, coverage of the Big Ten Tournament can be seen on BTN.

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).

The University of Iowa field hockey team is ranked 13th in the country in the 2013 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Preseason Poll. The Hawkeyes garnered 344 points in the rankings. Iowa has been ranked each week (22 weeks) in the poll dating back to Sept. 6, 2011. Iowa is one of four Big Ten Conference schools in the team rankings along with Penn State (sixth), Michigan (ninth), and Northwestern (11th). A total of seven Hawkeye opponents are in the top-20.

Three University of Iowa field hockey players — Karli Johansen, Niki Schultheis, and Marike Stribos — appear on the 2013 Big Ten Field Hockey Players to Watch List.

Johansen, a senior from North Vancouver, Canada, has played in 49 career games and made 44 starts for the Hawkeyes. She was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team as a sophomore and junior. Johansen was selected to the Canadian Women’s National Team in April. This July she was the captain of the Canadian Junior World Cup Team. Johansen is one of eight Big Ten field hockey standouts also named to the list last season.

Schultheis, a senior from Hamburg, Germany, enters her fourth year as a starter for the Hawkeyes. Schultheis started all 21 games and posted a career-high 10 assists in 2012. The 10 assists marked the second-highest total on the team and ranked 10th in the Big Ten. Schultheis is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a three-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member.

Stribos, a senior from Brussels, Belgium, has played in 58 career games for the Hawkeyes with 57 career starts. Last season as a junior, Stribos was named a Longstreth/NFHCA First Team West Region All-American, in addition to being a second team All-Big Ten selection. She is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a three-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member.

Former University of Iowa women’s athletic director Dr. Christine H.B. Grant has been selected to the NFHCA Hall of Fame. Grant joins Virginia head coach Michele Madison, a former Iowa assistant (1982-89), and Ursinus College head coach Laura Moliken in the Class of 2013.

A pioneer in intercollegiate athletics in the United States, Grant became the first women’s athletics director at the University of Iowa in 1973. In her 27 years at the helm of a separate Women’s Athletic Department, Grant helped coaches develop highly competitive teams at the national level and at the conference level where they won 27 Big Ten Conference titles. A native of Scotland, Grant has earned national acclaim for her dedication to gender equity in athletics. She has testified on Title IX and Gender Equity before several U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittees and has served as an expert witness in many Title IX lawsuits. She served as President of both the AIAW and the NACWAA.

She was given an Honorary Doctorate of Humane letters by Luther College and also by the University of Northern Iowa and named one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America by the Institute of International Sport.

Iowa’s home facility — Grant Field — is named in honor of Grant, the founder of Iowa field hockey.

Become fans of the official Iowa Field Hockey fan page by going to facebook.com/iowafieldhockey to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow the Black and Gold on Twitter (@iowafieldhockey). Additionally, you can follow the Hawks on Instagram as (@iowafieldhockey).