The University of Iowa field hockey team will host Fairfield on Friday in its home opener at Grant Field at 2 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes will also entertain Saint Louis on Sunday, at 1 p.m. (CT). Admission is free to the public.
Sunday’s match against Saint Louis will be streamed on BTN Plus online and/or their mobile devices. Live stats are available for each match this weekend on the field hockey schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
The Staggs are coming of their first season as a member of the MAAC conference. Last season, Fairfield finished with a 9-9 record. They entered the conference tournament as a No. 4 seed and went on to win the MAAC championship. With the championship win, the Staggs advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history. They lost to Boston University in the play-in round.
IOWA VS. FAIRFIELD — THE SERIES
• Friday’s matchup will be the second meeting between the two teams.
• The previous time Iowa and Fairfield met was in 2007. The Hawkeyes won that match, 3-1.
SCOUTING SAINT LOUIS
Saint Louis is coming off a season that featured one victory (1-18). The Billikens are returning 2015 points leaders Carly Kissinger and Molly Feid. Kissinger led the team with four goals, while Feid tailed three goals and two assists last season.
IOWA VS. SAINT LOUIS — THE SERIES
• The Hawkeyes lead the series, 16-5-1.
• The Hawkeyes are 10-1 all time against Saint Louis at Grant Field.
• The previous Iowa and Saint Louis meeting was last season. Iowa won that match, 7-0.
LAST TIME OUT
The University of Iowa field hockey team opened its regular season with a 2-1 victory over seventh-ranked Wake Forest on Saturday at Kentner Stadium in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The win marks the second straight season Iowa has defeated Wake Forest by a one-goal margin, and marks its sixth consecutive victory over the Demon Deacons.
The Hawkeyes got on the board first scoring off of a corner in the eighth minute. Redshirt senior Natalie Cafone scored her first goal of the season to give the Hawkeyes an early, 1-0, lead
Wake Forest cut Iowa’s lead in half in the 57th minute, and pulled its goalie in the 66th minute in efforts to tie the match, but strong defense by the visitors helped defend against a corner in the last seconds off the match and secure the victory.
Iowa fell to No. 1 North Carolina, 2-1, on Sunday. Iowa’s only goal came in the second half from Cafone. Senior Sophie Plasteras was credited with an assist on the goal.
BIRCH NAMED B1G FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Freshman Katie Birch was named Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for her efforts at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Making her collegiate debut last weekend, Birch helped the Hawkeyes to a 1-1 record against two of the top teams in the country.
In Iowa’s victory over No. 7 Wake Forest, Birch recorded her first career assist and was part of a Hawkeye defense that fended off three Demon Deacon penalty corners, including a critical stop in the waning moments of the game. The defender played the entire length of the game in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to No. 1 North Carolina.
The Hawkeyes welcome back 14 players including seniors, Chandler Ackers, Natalie Cafone, Sophie Plasteras, and Alexandra Pecora. In addition to the returnees, Iowea welcomes five newcomers to 2016 roster, including Katie Birch (MF/D), Ryley Miller (MF), Isabella Solaroli (MF), Leslie Speight (GK), and Sophie Sunderland (MF).
3 HAWKEYES RECEIVE BIG TEN PRESEASON HONORS
Chandler Ackers, Natalie Cafone, and Melissa Progar received Big Ten preseason honors.
Ackers earned Big Ten preseason recognition for the second straight season. Last year, Ackers was named to NFHCA’s All-Regional second team and also received second- team All-Big Ten accolades. She started all 19 games last season, scoring a career-high eight goals, while recording six assists for a total of 22 points.
Cafone, who redshirted last season due to injury, is now a two-time Big Ten preseason honoree. She was named the NFHCA West Region Player of the Year in 2014, while also being named first-team NFHCA All-American, and garnering NFHCA West All-Region accolades. The 2014 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year ranked fourth nationally in goals per game (1.00), and led the Big Ten in points per game (2.33) in 2014. Cafone ranks 10th all-time in program history in career goals (48).
Progar started every game a year ago and was second on the team with 10 assists. The junior recorded two or more assists in three games, including a pair of three-assist performances in victories over Saint Louis, and Ball State.
CAFONE RETURNS TO ACTION
Redshirt senior Natalie Cafone returns to action this fall after redshirting last season due to a shoulder injury. In 2014 Cafone led the Big Ten and ranked fourth nationally in goals per game (1.00). She also led the Big Ten and ranked seventh nationally in points per game (2.33). Cafone paced the Hawkeyes in goals (18) and points (42) in 2014, and she currently ranks 10th all-time in program history in career goals (48).
Cafone was named the NFHCA West Region Player of the Year, a first-team NFHCA All-American, and garnered NFHCA West All-Region accolades in 2014. She was also named the Big Ten Player of The Year, and earned first team All-Big Ten accolades.
WITH CAFONE IN THE LINEUP
• Iowa is 29-19 in games Natalie Cafone has started.
• The Hawkeyes are 27-6 when Cafone scores at least one goal.
ACKERS RECEIVES POSTSEASON ACCOLADES
• Chandler Ackers received the first postseason honors of her career in 2015.
• Ackers was named second-team All-Region and second-team All-Big Ten following her junior season.
• Ackers had a career-high eight goals and 22 points.
• Ackers’ 22 points was third most on the team in 2015.
GREWE’S FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN
• Makenna Grewe scored 25 points last year, the most by a freshman since 2005 (Caitn McCurdy, 28).
• Grewe’s 25 points are the fourth most by a freshman since 1989.
• Grewe’s 25 points was the second most on the team last season.
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.
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
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