Hawkeyes Prepared for Northwestern

Sept. 24, 2013

Weekly Release

The 14th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team opens Big Ten action this weekend on the road in Evanston, Ill., as the Hawkeyes will face No. 12 Northwestern. Game time is set for 2 p.m. (CT) and can be seen live on the Big Ten Network.

Northwestern (8-2) had their five-game winning streak snapped with a loss to No. 4 Virginia on Sept. 22. Previously, the Wildcats had rattled off five-straight wins, including a victory over No. 9 Duke. Northwestern is led by head coach Tracey Fuchs. Fuchs is in her fifth season at the helm of Wildcat field hockey and holds a 51-30 record. On the field, the Wildcats are led by Nikki Parsley who leads the team with 16 points including seven goals.

Iowa defeated Kent State on Sept. 22 at Murphy-Mellis Field, 6-0. The Hawkeyes (5-3) wasted no time as Natalie Cafone scored 1:49 into the game. After out-running her defender, Cafone beat the Kent State goaltender on the back hand to put the visitors on top. Iowa added to its lead as Marike Stribos scored off a rebound at the 11 minute mark. Kelsey Mitchell added to the visitor’s advantage at the start of the second half, scoring back-to-back goals in under two minutes to put the Hawkeyes up by four. Cafone followed suit by scoring back-to-back goals of her own just over two minutes apart. Cafone’s two goals gave her a hat trick and put the Hawkeyes up, 6-0. Goalkeeper Kelsey Boyce had five saves on the day to post her third shutout of the season.

Natalie Cafone currently leads the Hawkeyes in points with 16, including seven goals. Cafone is averaging two points per game and is tied for third in the conference in points with Northwestern senior Nikki Parsely.

Parsley leads Northwestern with an identical stat line to Cafone: 16 points, seven goals. The Milford, Del., native tallied Northwestern’s first goal of the season at Providence on Aug. 30 and has maintained her scoring touch throughout the season thus far.

Sophomore Natalie Cafone netted her first hat trick of the season against the Kent State Golden Flashes on Sept. 22. The hat trick was the first by a Hawkeye since Aubrey Coleman scored a hat trick on Sept. 9, 2012 in a 6-0 victory over Pacific last season. Additionally, Cafone added an assist.

University of Iowa field hockey forward/midfielder Stephanie Norlander was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Sept. 17. The honor marked 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 on Sept. 13. To date, Norlander is second on the team in points with eight.

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

Iowa fell to Drexel, 2-1, on Sept. 21 at a rain-soaked Murphy-Mellis Field, in Kent, Ohio. Drexel opened up the scoring with 27:22 remaining in the first period as Elise DiDonato scored on the backhand. Iowa battled back and forced a penalty stroke but Karli Johansen’s attempt went wide left. After Meghan Plank put Drexel up by two early in the second half, the Hawkeyes battled back as Dani Hemeon scored off a corner to cut the lead in half. Hemeon fired the shot low and to the right to beat the Drexel goaltender. The Hawkeyes controlled play most of the game, outshooting Drexel by 19 to 5. Additionally, the Hawkeyes earned nine corners to Drexel’s two.

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 Big Ten Network will be airing at least two Hawkeye contests this season. Iowa will first appear on BTN Saturday at Northwestern at 2 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes host 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.

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.

After opening Big Ten play on the road against Northwestern, the Hawkeyes will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to face Michigan on Oct. 5.

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 54 career games and made 49 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 facebook.com/iowafieldhockey to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow the Black and Gold on Twitter and Instagram (@iowafieldhockey.