Nov. 7, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Four members of the 20th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team have earned All-Big Ten honors, the conference office announced Thursday.
Sophomore Natalie Cafone and junior Dani Hemeon were named to the first team. Senior Karli Johansen was selected to the second team, and Stephanie Norlander was tabbed as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Hawkeye to earn the award since Meghan Beamesderfer in 2006. She becomes the fourth Hawkeye to win the award, joining Beamesderfer, Caitlin McCurdy (2005), and Tiffany Leister (1999). Hemeon was also named Iowa’s sportsmanship award honoree.
The Hawkeyes have now had 53 All-Big Ten selections under UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum.
“It is wonderful to have four Hawkeyes earn All-Big Ten honors,” said Griesbaum. “We have a freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior among the best in the conference. Our program is appreciative of their dedication and hard work.”
Cafone has led the way for an Iowa offense that ranks first in the Big Ten in goals scored with 62. Cafone posted a team-high 45 points, including 19 goals. The Fairfield, N.J., native has started all 18 games this season and ranks second in the Big Ten in points and goals. Cafone was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Sept. 24 after netting a hat trick in Iowa’s win at Kent State.
“Natalie has the ability to break away with the ball in a hurry,” said Griesbaum. “She is an explosive player that adds a lot to our attack. Not only has she been setting up scoring opportunities, but she chases hard on defense and forces a lot of turnovers. Natalie has allowed our play to thrive on both sides of the ball.”
Hemeon has competed in all 18 games entering the conference tournament, posting 28 points and 12 goals. The Gilroy, Calif., native was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 15 after scoring a hat trick against Indiana.
“Dani has been so steady this year,” said Griesbaum. “She has a big role in the midfield for us. Her defensive skills and decisions have incrementally improved this season. She is our main corner shooter and our post player on defensive corners. She is always engaged and working hard at practice. She is constantly trying to bring a high level of energy and play up with her work rate and attitude.”
Johansen anchored an Iowa defense that allowed 1.61 goals per game during the regular season. The North Vancouver, Canada, native posted a career-high four goals, including two game-winning goals.
“Karli’s on ball defense and ability to intercept passes has allowed our defense to be impactful in all areas of the field,” said Griesbaum. “She is a strong athlete with good endurance. She runs the field hard, game-in and-game out for 70 minutes, and is an integral part in all of our set pieces.”
Norlander, who hails from North Vancouver, Canada, has started 14 games, tallying eight goals, including three game-winners. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice (Sept. 17, Oct. 15).
“Stephanie is dynamic in the circle,” said Griesbaum. “She has a super quick release on her shot and she is prolific on both her forehand and backhand. She has stepped into our program and left a very positive impact in her first year.”
Hemeon was Iowa field hockey’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. The distinction is presented to student-athletes who display sportsmanship and ethical behavior, are in good academic standing and demonstrate good citizenship outside of athletics.