No. 14 Hawkeyes Set for No. 2 Maryland


October 30, 2014


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This Week
The 14th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team (11-5, 4-3 Big Ten) hits the road this weekend, playing at No. 2 Maryland (14-2, 6-1 Big Ten) on Saturday at noon (CT) in College Park, Maryland, in its regular season finale.


Scouting Maryland
The Terrapins are led by Missy Mehberg who is in her 27th season at the helm of the Maryland program. Mehberg has the Terrapins off to a 15-2 start with a 6-1 mark in Big Ten play. Junior Anna Dessoye paces the Maryland offense with 36 points on 10 goals and 16 assists. Defensively, senior Brooke Cabrera (15-2) has started all 17 games as goalkeeper. Cabrera has collected 42 saves and surrendered 17 goals.

We Meet Again
The Hawkeyes have history with the Terrapins. The two teams last met in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Iowa fell short in the contest, 4-2, in College Park, Maryland.

In the Rankings
The University of Iowa ranks tied for 14th with Michigan in the 2014 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Poll. The Hawkeyes garnered 331 points in the rankings. Iowa has been ranked each week (42 weeks) in the poll dating back to Sept. 6, 2011. Iowa is one of six Big Ten Conference schools in the rankings along with Maryland (No. 2), Penn State (No. 5), Northwestern (No. 8), Michigan (T-No. 14), and Michigan State (No. 19).

Iowa Sits No. 17 in R 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. 28th, the Hawkeyes landed a No. 17 national ranking.

Hawkeyes In The National Rankings
Natalie Cafone — the reigning 2013 national points leader — ranks fifth nationally, and leads the Big Ten in points per game (2.63). The Fairfield, New Jersey native also ranks fourth-nationally in goals per game (1.13). Sophomore Stephanie Norlander ranks eighth nationally in goals per game (.94). The Hawkeyes also rank seventh nationally as a team in goals per game (3.31).

Looking Ahead
Iowa travels to the Big Ten Tournament Nov. 6-9, at Ocker Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Quick Cap: #4 Penn State
Iowa earned a 4-0 win over No. 4 Penn State on Oct. 25 at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes (11-5, 4-3) benefited from a 3-0 lead going into the half and finished strong to hold off the Nittany Lions (13-4, 4-3). The Hawkeye offense erupted in the first period benefiting from goals by Chandler Ackers (15:11), Natalie Cafone (22:22), and Stephanie Norlander (25.39). A balanced defense paired with a shutdown performance from Alexandra Pecora kept the Nittany Lions off the board throughout the game. Pecora (10-5) recorded four saves in the shutout effort. Senior Dani Hemeon recorded her final regular season goal on Grant Field in the 47th minute to make the final score, 4-0.

Chasing History
UI junior Natalie Cafone netted the 48th goal of her career on Oct. 25 against No. 4 Penn State. The score propelled Cafone into the UI program’s all-time top-10 scoring list. Cafone joins her former high school coach Diane DeMiro Simmons who scored 48 goals from 1993-96.

Pecora Named Defensive Player of the Week
Fir the first time in her career, sophomore goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday. The Marlton, New Jersey, native tallied four saves in a 70-minute effort in the Hawkeyes 4-0 shutout over No. 4 Penn State on Oct. 25.

Hemeon Named to NFHCA All-Star Game
Senior Dani Hemeon was selected to compete in the 2014 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Senior Game, the NFHCA announced Wednesday. Karli Johansen played in the even last year, while, Jessica Barnett and Kathleen McGraw were selected in 2012. Hemeon has appeared in all 78 games of her career with 59 starts.

Hat Tricks
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 Tricia Dean each scored a trio of goals in Iowa’s 12-0 win over the Billikens.

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
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 40 goals over her last 37 games.

Iowa Newcomers
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.

Roster Breakdown
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.

Iowa at Grant Field
The Hawkeyes own an overall home record of 145-48, a conference record of 62-27 at home, and an 11-2 record in NCAA Tournament games played in Iowa City.

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.

Follow the Hawkeyes
Become fans of the official Iowa Field Hockey fan page by going to to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow on Twitter: @iowafieldhockey

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