No. 10 Hawkeyes Prepared for Drexel and Kent State

Sept. 17, 2013

Weekly Release

The 10th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team continues action this weekend on the road in Kent, Ohio. The Hawkeyes will face Drexel Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT) in a neutral site game before squaring off against Kent State on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).

University of Iowa field hockey forward/midfielder Stephanie Norlander has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced Tuesday. The honor is the first of Norlander’s career.

“Stephanie has been a steady contributor in our attack,” said UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum. “She has the ability to put pressure on the opposing team’s defense because of her combination of speed and skill.”

The North Vancouver native earned the accolade after a five shot, two goal performance in Iowa’s 7-1 victory over Central Michigan Sept. 13. To date, Norlander is second on the team in points (8) and is tied for the team lead with four goals.

Norlander is the first Hawkeye to earn Freshman of the Week honors since Natalie Cafone on Oct. 23, 2012.

Drexel will carry a 3-2 overall record into this weekend. In their last match, Drexel shut out Bucknell for a 2-0 victory. The Dragons are led by head coach Denise Zelenak. Zelenak has recorded 176 wins in her 17 seasons at the helm of Drexel field hockey. On the field, the Dragons are led by junior goal keeper Jantien Gunter. On the season, Gunter has two shutouts and has made 33 saves.

The Golden Flashes (4-2) are riding a two-game win streak in whic h they have outscored their opponents, 17-1. Kent State first took down Saint Louis ,13-0, and then followed that up with a 4-1 victory over Villanova. The Golden Flashes are led by head coach Kathleen Wiler. Wiler, now in her eighth season as head coach of Kent State, has led the Golden Flashes to four conference titles, including one last year. On the field, Kent State is led by junior Julia Hofmann. Hofmann leads the Golden Flashes with 14 points.

The then-eighth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team utilized a five-goal second half to defeat Central Michigan, 7-1, on Sept. 13 at Grant Field.

The Chippewas struck first, pushing across the game’s first goal 10 minutes into action, but it was all Iowa from then on.

The home team responded five minutes later. Iowa was awarded a penalty corner and converted. Senior Niki Schultheis pushed directly on the corner to junior Dani Hemeon, who slammed home the tying score. At the 26:35 mark, Natalie Cafone dribbled in close and scored around the Central Michigan goalkeeper to give the Hawkeyes their first lead.

Following the intermission, freshman Stephanie Norlander scored her first goal of the contest eight minutes into the second period from the top of the circle, giving Iowa a 3-1 lead. Norlander scored her second goal of the afternoon a couple minutes later from close range off a perfect pass from Schultheis.

Iowa extended its lead to 6-1 on back-to-back goals just minutes apart by junior Sara Watro, before Cafone added her second goal of the day on a breakaway to make the final score, 7-1.

The Hawkeyes controlled the tempo throughout, registering 30 shots while limiting the Chippewas to four. Three Hawkeyes recorded two goals (Cafone, Norlander, Watro) and Schultheis tallied two assists.

The Hawkeyes fell to No. 10 Stanford Sept. 15, at Grant Field, 2-0.

Iowa played tight defense in the first half, limiting the Cardinal to five shots. Stanford finally opened the scoring on the last play of the first half as Courtney Haldeman scored off a deflection.

Stanford opened up a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the second half as Kelsey Harbin scored on a penalty stroke. Stanford limited Iowa to only one penalty corner.

Kelcey Boyce played well in goal once again for the Hawkeyes, posting five saves.

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 freshmen 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 last weekend’s homestand, the Hawkeyes won’t play another home match until Oct. 7 when they host Missouri State. Iowa will hit the road this weekend and take on Drexel and Kent State 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).