Oct. 5, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa —The University of Iowa field hockey program has been well represented on the international stage through the years. That trend continued Sept. 21-28 in Argentina when three Hawkeyes competed in the Pan American Cup.
Iowa freshman Stephanie Norlander and former Hawkeye All-American Jessica Barnett represented Canada, while former UI All-American Meghan Beamesderfer played for the United States National Team.
“Competing in the Pan American Cup was an honor,” said Beamesderfer. “I am glad I had the opportunity to represent our country and the University of Iowa.”
“The overall atmosphere was like no other I have experienced. The field, which was brand new, had more seating than I have ever seen for a field hockey match. We were escorted to and from our hotel by police and were asked to take pictures with local fans. During the final match against Argentina, it was hard to hear teammates talking to one another because the roar was so loud from the fans.”
Barnett echoed her former teammate’s comments.
“Because field hockey is such a huge sport in Argentina, the whole atmosphere was something completely different than I had ever experienced,” said Barnett. “There were crowds at every game, and people cheering for your nation; as long as you weren’t playing Argentina. The kids there admire and idolize you as a field hockey athlete, so it was fun to be able to interact with them. The experience is something I can’t relate to anything else.”
“Competing in the Pan American Cup was an honor. I am glad I had the opportunity to represent our country and the University of Iowa.”
— Meghan Beamesderfer
The trio brought home some hardware. Beamesderfer led the United States team to a silver medal. Norlander and Barnett, both natives of North Vancouver, Canada, helped lead Canada to the bronze medal.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Norlander, the youngest player on Team Canada. “On-and-off the field, it was a lot of fun being with the Canadian team. The competition was tough, but we played well, and we’re happy about earning the bronze.”
With a program rich in tradition like Iowa field hockey, former and current Hawkeyes often run into each other on the international stage.
“Playing with JB (Jessica Barnett) was so much fun,” said Norlander. “She is a solid defender, and I have so much confidence when the ball is in our defensive end, she will get it out. Competing against Meghan was also a lot of fun. She was playing in the back, so we had some 1-on-1 battles against each other.”
“It is always a good time playing with another Hawkeye,” said Barnett. “To see her (Norlander) be so successful her first time was great.
“It’s exciting to see familiar faces on the field, even if they are on the opposition. It was always fun to compete against Meg in practice, and to face her on the international stage was a great privilege. The U.S. is a good team, and she held her own.”
Like Norlander, Beamesderfer and Barnett played under UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum and associate head coach Lisa Cellucci — two Hawkeyes with extensive USA Field Hockey backgrounds – and helped lead the Hawkeyes to some special seasons. Norlander is back in Iowa City with her teammates, hoping to do the same.
“I am happy to be back in Iowa City with my teammates,” she said. “We have a big weekend coming up with our second Big Ten game against Michigan on Saturday. We also play Missouri State on Monday, which is just as important and a must win.”
The Hawkeyes’ match at Michigan begins today at noon (CT). Iowa hosts Missouri State on Monday at 3 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field, and it can be seen live on the Big Ten Digital Network.