September 4, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 20 University of Iowa field hockey team (2-1) earned a 4-3 win over the Virginia Cavaliers (1-2) today at Grant Field in its home opener. Iowa was led by junior Natalie Cafone who completed the hat trick scoring three goals as Iowa downed its second top-20 ranked opponent this season (No. 11 Wake Forest).
Dani Hemeon was the first to strike for the Hawkeyes at the 6:27 mark, scoring from close range. The Cavaliers evened the score at 1-1 before Cafone took over. A pair of goals from the Fairfield, New Jersey native lifted the Hawkeyes to a 3-1 lead as they entered the half.
“It was great that we were able to come out and get an early lead and maintain it and hold on for the win today,” Cafone said. “We’re a really good team. Even though we’re young, we have a lot of talent and when we work hard it reflects on the field and we can expect good things in our future.”
Following a goal by the visitors, Cafone tallied her third score of the game at the 50:32 mark extending the home team’s lead to 4-2. The Cavaliers narrowed the deficit, 4-3, with a goal in the 61st minute. With the visitors in possession of the final corner as time expired Iowa’s defense held together to seal the victory.
“It’s always huge getting a win over any top-ten team while being able to protect Grant Field,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “Taking down a top-ranked opponent will complement our NCAA Tournament resume and it builds confidence for our young team as well.”
The Hawkeyes return to action next Thursday in Stanford, California, squaring off with UC Davis at 3 p.m. (CT).