No. 18 Hawkeyes Prepared for Regular Season Finale

Oct. 29, 2013

Weekly Release

The 18th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team will play its final game of the regular season Saturday, hosting Michigan State at Grant Field. Game time is set for 1 p.m. (CT).

The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten Conference in goals scored with 59 (as Oct. 29). Iowa is averaging an impressive 3.47 goals per game. The Hawkeyes last led the league in goals in 2004. Iowa won the Big Ten that year.

As of Oct. 29, sophomore Natalie Cafone leads the conference with 45 points. Cafone is currently lighting up the competition, having scored 19 goals, most in the Big Ten, to go along with seven assists. Cafone’s 2.65 points per game average is also in tops in the Big Ten and ranks third nationally. Cafone ranks in the top-10 in every major offensive category in the conference: shots (2nd), points (1st), goals (1st), assists (6th), game winning goals (2nd).

Michigan State enters its final regular season game against the Hawkeyes with an 8-9 overall record to go along with a 3-2 conference mark. The Spartans are led by Helen Knull who is in her third year at the helm of the program. On the field, Michigan State is led by Allie Ahern who leads the team with 22 points to go along with 10 goals.

The Hawkeyes defeated UC Davis last Sunday on senior day at Grant Field, 5-1. The Hawkeyes came out flying as Stephanie Norlander scored at the 8:30 mark to give Iowa the lead. Norlander redirected a shot from Dani Hemeon to beat the UC Davis goalkeeper. Karli Johansen gave the home team a two-goal lead at the 27:04 mark scoring off a corner. Niki Schultheis and Marike Stribos assisted on the goal. Johansen struck again just before the end of the first half scoring on a penalty stroke to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead heading into intermission. Iowa dominated the first 35 minutes of play out-shooting UC Davis, 16-1. Sophomore Natalie Cafone added to Iowa’s lead in the second half scoring an unassisted goal at the 44:42 mark. UC Davis fought back and scored at the 50:16 mark but it was Cafone once again, this time scoring her 19th goal of the season, to put Iowa up, 5-1.

Iowa dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 6 Penn State on Oct. 25 at Grant Field. Iowa led, 1-0, with 21 minutes remaining, before Penn State scored the final two goals. The Nittany Lions improve their winning streak to 11 games, while ending the Hawkeyes’ winning streak at five. Both defenses excelled in the first half as neither team found the back of the goal after 35 minutes of play. Iowa out-shot Penn State in the opening period, 7-6. The Hawkeyes came out firing in the second half as freshman Stephanie Norlander scored off a feed from Natalie Cafone for her seventh goal of the season. Norlander beat the Nittany Lion goalkeeper on the backhand to put the home team up by one. Penn State – who earned a share of the regular season conference title with the win — fought back and tied the game roughly nine minutes later as Jenna Chrismer scored to tie the game at one. Brittany Grzywacz scored the eventual game-winner for the visitors at the 52:55 mark.

Jessy Silfer was named Big Ten Freshman of the week on Oct. 22, helping anchor an Iowa defense that allowed only two goals in the Hawkeyes’ two victories at Ohio State and Miami (Ohio). Silfer and the Hawkeyes first took down Ohio State (Oct. 18), 3-1, surrendering only eight shots. Next, Iowa defeated Miami (Ohio) (Oct. 20), 3-1, and only allowed seven shots. Iowa has won five Player of the Week awards this season.

Iowa junior Dani Hemeon and freshman Stephanie Norlander earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week, respectively, on Oct. 15. The weekly honor was the first of Hemeon’s career, while it was the second honor for Norlander. She earned Freshman of the Week honors on Sept. 24. Hemeon exploded offensively for the Hawkeyes, scoring four goals in two games, including a hat trick in the 5-1 win against Big Ten foe Indiana (Oct. 11). Hemeon’s hat trick was the first by a Hawkeye since sophomore Natalie Cafone accomplished the feat at Kent State on Sept. 22. Hemeon is second on the team in points with 26, including 11 goals. Norlander was a big part of Iowa’s two victories over the weekend, scoring a goal on three shots. Norlander scored the opening goal against Pacific (Oct. 13), which helped set the tone early. Iowa went on to beat Pacific, 7-2. Norlander is fourth on the team in points with 12, including six goals.Iowa has won five Player of the Week awards this season. Cafone was named Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 24.

Iowa freshman Stephanie Norlander and former Hawkeye All-Americans Jessica Barnett and Meghan Beamesderfer competed in the 2013 Pan American Cup, Sept. 21-28, in Mendoza, Argentina. Norlander and Barnett represent edCanada, while Beamesderfer played for the United States National Team. Beamesderfer earned a silver medal as the United States placed second, while Norlander and Barnett received bronze medals for a third place finish with Team Canada. Norlander was the youngest player on Team Canada.

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 appeared on BTN on Sept. 27 at Northwestern and Oct. 25 in a contest against Penn State at Grant Field. In addition, home matches against Stanford (9/15), Missouri State (10/7), Indiana (10/11), and Pacific (10/13) were shown 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 have both see action in the backfield. Ali Campos, Stephanie Norlander, and Sophie Plasteras have contributed to the Hawkeye forward line. Freshman goal keeper Alexandra Pecora earned her first career win on Oct. 7 against Missouri State.

The Hawkeyes will travel to Columbus, Ohio, for the Big Ten Tournament, next week. First round action is set for Nov. 7. The semifinals will be played Nov. 8 while the championship is set for Nov. 10.

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 64 career games and made 59 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 73 career games for the Hawkeyes with 70 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).