No. 8 Hawkeyes Host Central Michigan and Stanford

Sept. 10, 2013

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The eighth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team continues action this weekend, hosting Central Michigan and No. 10 Stanford at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes will face Central Michigan Friday at 3 p.m. (CT) and Stanford on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT). Central Michigan will face Stanford Saturday in a neutral site contest at 2 p.m. (CT). Iowa’s match against Stanford can be seen live on the Big Ten Digital Network.

The University of Iowa field hockey team moved up five spots in the NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll. The Hawkeyes began the season ranked 13th in the nation, but after an impressive 3-1 start to the season that featured two road wins and a victory over a ranked Wake Forest squad, the Hawkeyes have moved up into the No. 8 spot. Iowa is the highest ranked Big Ten team. Iowa is one of three Big Ten schools in the team rankings along with Northwestern (12th) and Penn State (tied 13th). A total of five Hawkeye opponents are in the top-20.

Central Michigan heads into Iowa City with a 2-2 overall record. After beginning the season 2-0, the Chippewas have dropped their last two matches, most recently falling to Lafayette, 3-2, in Philadelphia, Pa. The Chippewas are led by head coach Cristy Freese. Freese enters her 28th season at the helm of Chippewa field hockey. Freese is a three-time recipient of the MAC Coach of the Year award. Freese has led the Chippewas to the league championship game five times and the semifinals on seven other occasions.

No. 10 Stanford carries a 3-1 overall record into Iowa City. After falling in their first match of the season to Connecticut, the Cardinal has strung together three straight wins. Most recently, Stanford shut out VCU in a 2-0 victory at home. Stanford is led by head coach Tara Danielson. Danielson enters her fourth year as head coach of the Cardinal. Under Danielson, Stanford has made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Stanford has captured the NorPac Championship five out of the last six years.

The University of Iowa field hockey team blanked No. 18 Wake Forest, 2-0, Sept. 7 at Grant Field in the opening match of the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Hawkeyes and Demon Deacons (1-1) went back-and-forth to open the match, but both defenses held strong, leading to a scoreless opening period. Iowa tallied six shots in the opening half, while Wake Forest posted one. In the second half, Iowa struck first 47 minutes into regulation. The Hawkeyes were awarded a penalty stroke, and senior Karli Johansen converted giving the home team a 1-0 advantage. Iowa extended its lead to 2-0 with seven minutes left in the match, as sophomore Natalie Cafone scored on a breakaway.

The Hawkeye defense held strong in the remaining minutes to secure the victory and push Iowa’s record to 3-0. Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Boyce played the entire match, recording her second shutout of the season.

“Definitely a great win for us,” said head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “I think this win made a statement for us within our team. The manner in which we played and conducted ourselves was really awesome.”

The University of Iowa field hockey team dropped a 3-1 decision to top-ranked North Carolina on Sept. 8 at Grant Field in its final match of the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Tar Heels (4-0) struck first, scoring just over a minute in to grab an early 1-0 lead. The visitors extended their advantage to 2-0, 15 minutes into the opening period, scoring off a deflection. The score remained 2-0 at the half.

The home team applied pressure throughout the second period. Iowa was awarded a penalty corner five minutes into the half, and converted as Niki Schultheis pushed a pass to Dani Hemeon who slammed home a goal to cut the North Carolina lead in half. The Hawkeyes continued their offensive attack throughout the second half, but were unable to push across the tying score.

“I thought our team did a very good job of executing what we talked about at halftime and it made a really big difference,” said UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “North Carolina had to work for that win and that’s a positive. We played the No. 1 team in the nation and we made them fight today.”

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, home matches against Stanford (9/15), Missouri State (10/7), Indiana (10/11), and Pacific (10/13) can be seen on the Big Ten Digital Network.

After this weekend’s homestand, the Hawkeyes won’t play another home match until Oct. 7 when they host Missouri State. Iowa will hit the road and take on Drexel and Kent State on Sept. 21 and 22, respectively. Both matches will be played in Kent, Ohio.

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 52 career games and made 47 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. Johansen, who served as captain of the Canadian Junior World Cup Team in July, 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 60 career games for the Hawkeyes with 59 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 to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow the Black and Gold on Twitter and Instagram (@iowafieldhockey).