October 8, 2014
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The 10th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team (8-3, 2-1 Big Ten) concludes its six-game homestand at Grant Field this weekend, hosting No. 14 Michigan (8-4, 3-1 Big Ten) on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT), and Miami (Ohio) (4-8, 2-0 MAC) on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).
Friday’s contest against Michigan will be `Blackout’ as fans are encouraged to wear black. The first 100 fans will receive a free flashlight keychain. Glow-in-the-dark necklaces will be available for kids. Fans in attendence for Sunday’s contest against Miami (Ohio) will receive a free team poster and schedule card.
Scouting #14 Michigan
Michigan is led by former Hawkeye standout, Marcia Pankratz, who is in her 15th season as head coach of the Wolverines (8-4, 3-1 Big Ten). Leslie Smith paces the Maize and Blue offense with 19 points on eight goals and three assists. Defensively Sam Swenson has appeared in all 12 games while drawing nine starts at goalkeeper. Swenson (8-3) leads the team with 34 saves. Michigan has one win over a ranked opponent (No. 6 Penn State, Sept. 19).
Scouting Miami (Ohio)
Having led Miami to two consecutive Mid-American Conference Championships, head coach Iñako Puzo returns for his fourth year in charge of the RedHawks (4-8, 2-0 MAC). Last season, Miami won the MAC Tournament earning the program’s first bid to the NCAA tournament. The Redhawks traveled to Michigan State for the play-in round, where they fell, 3-0. Valentia Neira paces the Redhawks offense with 18 points on eight goals and two assists.
We Meet Again
Iowa has familiarity with both opponents this week having played each on the road a season ago. Iowa fell to Michigan, 3-2, on Oct. 5 in the regular season, and bounced back in the Big Ten Tournament, earning a 1-0 victory over Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa downed Miami (Ohio) last season, 3-1.
The Hawkeyes hold the edge in the all-time series against both teams this week. Iowa posts a 40-20 all-time mark against Michigan, and a 9-1 all-time record against Miami (Ohio).
In The Rankings
The University of Iowa ranks 10th in the 2014 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Poll. The Hawkeyes garnered 461 points in the rankings. Iowa has been ranked each week (39 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 (fourth), Northwestern (eighth), Michigan (14th), Indiana (18th), and Michigan State (20th).
Iowa Sits No. 12 in RPI Rankings
The Rating Percentage Index, commonly known as the RPI, is a quantity used to rank teams based upon a team’s wins and losses and its strength of schedule. Released Oct. 7th, the Hawkeyes landed the No. 12 national ranking.
Hawkeyes in the National Rankings
Natalie Cafone — the reigning 2013 national points leader — ranks second nationally, and leads the Big Ten in goals per game (1.36). UI sophomore Stephanie Norlander ranks tied for sixth (1.00). The Hawkeyes also rank tied for fourth nationally in team goals per game (3.73).
The Hawkeyes hit the road for a pair of Big Ten matchups next weekend. Iowa will square off with No. 20 Michigan State (7-4, 2-2 Big Ten) on Oct. 17, and Ohio State (4-7, 0-3 Big Ten) on Oct. 19.
Three Hawkeyes — Natalie Cafone, Dani Hemeon and Stephanie Norlander — have scored hat tricks in the 2014 season. Junior Natalie Cafone’s came against No. 6 Virginia on Sept. 4, in a 4-3 win at home. Sophomore Stephanie Norlander registered her first one in the opening 12 minutes in the win over Missouri State on Sept. 28 in Iowa City. Norlander and Hemeon both achieved the scoring accomplishment on Oct. 3rd against Ball State. The last time two Hawkeyes scored a hat trick in the same game came against Saint Louis on Sept. 19, 2009 when Jess Werley and Dean Tricia each scored a trio of goals in Iowa’s 12-0 win over the Billikens.
Iowa at Grant Field
The Hawkeyes own an overall home record of 143-47, a conference record of 61-26 at home, and an 11-2 record in NCAA Tournament games played in Iowa City.
Cafone Named B1G Player of the Week
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 marked Cafone’s second Big Ten Player of the Week honor (Sept. 24, 2013).
Norlander Named B1G Player of the Week
University of Iowa sophomore Stephanie Norlander was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 30. Norlander paced Iowa’s offensive attack with a combined five goals on 12 shots over two games, which included a hat trick in the opening 12 minutes against Missouri State.
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.
Cafone Steps Up
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 37 goals over her last 32 games.
The Black and Gold feature 10 freshmen on the 2014 roster. Taylor Omweg and Veronique Declercq both see action in the backfield. Torie Berkel, JoElla Guagliardo and Mallory Lefkowitz are contributing to the Hawkeye forward line. Pommeline Kortanje, Emily George, Mackenzie Sapp and Melissa Progar each add to the midfielder’s depth. Freshman goalkeeper Katie Jones rounds out the Hawkeye newcomers.
21 student-athletes on the UI field hockey roster: – 10 freshmen – Five sophomores – Three juniors – Three seniors 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.
Hawkeyes In The NCAA Tournament
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.
Hawkeyes Selected to U.S. National Team
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.
National Academic Honors
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.
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