Hawkeyes Set to Open Big Ten Play at Rutgers


September 17, 2014


NotesGet Acrobat Reader

The ninth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team (4-2) travels east to open Big Ten play on the road at Rutgers (4-2) on Sunday in Piscataway, New Jersey. Game time is set for 11 a.m. (CT).

Scouting Rutgers
Head coach Meredith Long enters her third season at the helm of the Rutgers field hockey program. The Scarlet Knights are off to a 4-2 start with wins over Bucknell, Sacred Heart, Lafayette, and William and Mary. Sofia Walia leads the program offensively with four goals, five assists, and 13 points. Rutgers’ last outing resulted in an overtime loss on the road against ninth-ranked Virginia, 4-3.

We meet again
Iowa has posted a 4-0-1 all-time record against Rutgers. The two teams last met on Sept. 16, 1995, when the Hawkeyes scored a 4-1 victory over the Scarlet Knights in Iowa City, Iowa. This marks the first meeting between Iowa and Rutgers as conference foes.

The University of Iowa ranks ninth in the 2014 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Poll. The Hawkeyes garnered 514 points in the rankings. Iowa has been ranked each week (36 weeks) in the poll dating back to Sept. 6, 2011. Iowa is one of seven Big Ten Conference schools in the rankings along with Maryland (second), Penn State (sixth), Northwestern (15th), Michigan State (16th), Indiana (17th), and Michigan (18th).

Natalie Cafone — the reigning national points leader from 2013 — currently ranks fourth nationally, and leads the Big Ten in goals per game (1.50).

The Hawkeyes have a six-game homestand starting Friday Sept. 26, with games against Indiana, Missouri State, Ball State, Northwestern, Michigan, and Miami (Oh).

Iowa defeated UC Davis in a neutral-site matchup on Sept. 11, in Stanford, California. Junior Natalie Cafone got the Hawkeyes off to a fast start netting a goal just under the four-minute mark lifting Iowa to a 1-0 advantage. Senior Dani Hemeon registered the assist. Iowa’s offense erupted in the second half netting a pair of goals in the first two minutes from freshman Mallory Lefkowitz (35:33), the first of her collegiate career, and Cafone (36:24), giving the Hawkeyes a 3-1 lead. The offense never decelerated as the visiting team again had the home team’s number in shot attempts, 22-5.

Iowa fell short at Stanford on Sept. 12, 2-1, in an overtime loss at Varsity Turf Field in Stanford, California. Defense kept the Hawkeyes alive early as they trailed Stanford in both shots (4-1), and penalty corners (2-1), in the first period. Iowa’s lone chance at a score came in the 14th minute as Natalie Cafone drove for a score but was denied by Stanford’s Dulcie Davies. Both teams went into intermission scoreless. Iowa’s lone goal came in the 56-minute mark off the stick of Sophie Plasteras to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead. The goal, assisted by Cafone, marked Plasteras’ first score of the season. A late goal from the home team evened the score at 1-1 with seven minutes to go. With five minutes to go in overtime, Stanford’s Jessica Chisholm knocked in the game-winner closing the door on the Hawkeyes, 2-1.

Iowa earned a 5-1 win over the Pacific Tigers Sept. 14, in Stockton, California. The Hawkeyes came out flying in the opening period scoring a trio of goals to claim a 3-0 lead over the home team. Dani Hemeon led the offensive attack scoring at the 2:39 mark giving Iowa the opening lead. Natalie Cafone took her turn scoring in the 29th minute lifting the visitors to a 2-0 advantage. Hemeon struck again in the 30th minute extending the Hawkeyes lead, 3-0, heading into intermission. The Tigers threatened with a goal off the stick of Pacific’s Nicole Laskosky in the 64th minute to narrow the gap, 3-1. The Hawkeyes were quick to respond with back-to-back scores in a two-minute span putting the visiting team up by four. Cafone netted her second goal of the game in the 66th minute to stretch the lead, 4-1. Stephanie Norlander capped the offensive attack for Iowa in the 68th minute with her third goal on the season sealing a 5-1 decision that favored the Hawkeyes.

Junior Natalie Cafone was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 9. Cafone paced Iowa’s offensive attack with three goals on five shots in a 4-3 win over No. 6 Virginia in Iowa’s home opener on Sept. 4. This is Cafone’s second Big Ten Player of the Week honor (Sept. 24, 2013). Cafone was the last Hawkeye to record a hat trick (Sept. 22, 2013).

The Hawkeyes own an overall home record of 140-46, a conference record of 60-25 at home, and an 11-2 record in NCAA Tournament games played in Iowa City.

Three University of Iowa field hockey players — Natalie Cafone, Dani Hemeon and Stephanie Norlander — were named to the 2014 Big Ten Players to Watch List. Cafone, a junior from Fairfield, New Jersey, enters the 2014 campaign coming off an outstanding sophomore season where she started every contest and led the nation in points per game (2.48); the first Hawkeye to do so in 22 years (Kristy Gleason, 1992). Cafone was named to the NFHCA Division I All-America second team, NFHCA West Region All-America first team, All-Big Ten first team, All-Big Ten tournament team, and was named the University of Iowa’s 2014 Female Athlete of the Year. Hemeon, a senior native of Gilroy, California, saw action in all of Iowa’s 21 contests last season, making 20 starts. Hemeon led the team with eight defensive saves and recorded a hat trick against Indiana on Oct. 11. Hemeon was named NFHCA Division I All-America third team, NFHCA West Region All-America first team, All-Big Ten first team, and All-Big Ten tournament team. Norlander, a sophomore native of North Vancouver, Canada, appeared in 18 games last season and made 17 starts. As a freshman, Norlander ranked third on the team in goals (nine), and points (19). Norlander capped her freshman campaign with NFHCA West Region All-America second team and Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

Natalie Cafone and Dani Hemeon were named 2013 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Americans. Cafone was named to the second team, while Hemeon garnered third team honors. Cafone and Hemeon are the 84th and 85th national All-Americans in program history. Only four programs nationally have had more.

Junior Natalie Cafone was named the University of Iowa’s 2014 Female Athlete of the Year. The Fairfield, N.J., native was the NCAA statistical champion for points per game in 2013, leading the nation in points per game (2.48) the first Hawkeye to lead nation in points per game since Kristy Gleason in 1992 (3.95). Cafone was named to the NFHCA Division I All-America second team, NFHCA West Region All-America first team, All-Big Ten first team and the All-Big Ten tournament team. Cafone has scored 31 goals over her last 27 games.

The Black and Gold feature 10 freshman on the 2014 roster. Taylor Omweg and Veronique Declercq will both see action in the backfield. Torie Berkel, JoElla Guagliardo and Mallory Lefkowitz will contribute to the Hawkeye forward line. Pommeline Kortanje, Emily George, Mackenzie Sapp and Melissa Progar will each add to the midfielder’s depth. Freshman goal keeper Katie Jones rounds out the Hawkeye newcomers.

21 student-athletes on the UI field hockey roster: – 10 freshmen – Five sophomores – Three juniors – Three seniors

Belgium: 2 California: 2 Canada: 2 Illinois: 2 Michigan: 1 Pennsylvania: 4 New jersey: 3 New York: 1 Virginia: 4

Four members of the Iowa roster were also teammates in high school. Sophie Plasteras and Stephanie Norlander played alongside one another at Handsworth Secondary in North Vancouver, Canada, while Taylor Omweg and Melissa Progar competed for Tabb High School in Yorktown, Va.

The Big Ten Network will be airing at least one Hawkeye contest this season. Iowa will appear on BTN Sept. 26, hosting Indiana at 2:30 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field in Iowa City, Iowa.

The Hawkeyes have been selected to the NCAA Tournament 22 times 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.

Junior Natalie Cafone and former UI All-American Lauren Pfeiffer were selected to the 2014-15 U.S. Women’s National Team. Pfeiffer, a member of the U.S. National Team since 2009 who has earned 66 caps, was a two time All-American at Iowa. During her career, Pfeiffer earned all-region honors three times, first-team All-Big Ten honors twice, and was named the Big Ten Tournament MVP twice.

The University of Iowa field hockey team was awarded the 2013 Gladiator SGI/NFHCA Division I National Academic Team Award. The National Academic Team Award recognizes those institutions that have achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher during the first semester of the 2013-14 academic year. Brynn Gitt and Jessy Silfer were named 2013 Gladiator SGI/NFHCA Division I Scholars of Distinction. The honor is awarded to student-athletes who achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or higher through the first semester of the 2013-14 academic year.

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 on Twitter: @iowafieldhockey

Print Friendly Version