2 Hat Tricks Guide Hawkeyes to 11-0 Victory

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – Junior JoElla Guagliardo and freshman Katie Birch each registered hat tricks to guide the University of Iowa field hockey team to an, 11-0, victory over Saint Louis on Sunday afternoon at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes are now 3-1 on the season.
Six Hawkeyes combined to score 11 goals. Iowa recorded 39 shots in the game, including 23 in the first half and 16 in the second.
“Our goal is to be a championship team, and championship teams are never satisfied so we wanted to dominate from the beginning,” said UI head coach Lisa Cellucci. “We wanted to get tons of pressure and force counter errors, and finish our counter attacks. By getting 11 goals I think we did that pretty well.”
Guagliardo started her scoring in 16th minute. Senior Sophie Plasteras made a nice pass to Guagliardo who put the ball past the goalkeeper to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead. The junior scored her second goal in the in the 57th minute. Redshirt senior Natalie Cafone beat a defender down the sideline and passed to a wide open Guagliardo to extend the Iowa lead to 9-0. Guagliardo gave the Hawkeyes a 10-goal advantage less than three minutes later, scoring in the 60th minute off of another great setup from Cafone. The hat trick marked Guagliardo’s first three goals of the season.
Birch’s first goal came in the 27th minute. The York, England, native scored Iowa’s fourth goal of the game off of a corner taken by senior Chandler Ackers.  The freshman added her second goal –Iowa’s sixth goal of the game — in the 41st minute when she drove past a defender and placed the ball perfectly into the corner. Birch completed her hat trick in the 65th minute. Ackers took a shot off a corner that was saved by the Saint Louis goalkeeper, but Birch sent a rocket into the cage off the rebound. Birch now has four goals on the season, all of which were scored in the past two games.
Plasteras had two goals in addition to her assist. The senior scored her first goal of the season in the 12th minute of the match. Guagliardo was credited with the assist after she passed to the center to setup Plasteras. The scoring continued for Plasteras in the 36th minute. Cafone took a shot that hit the post and Plasteras was able to put away the second chance opportunity.
Junior Melissa Progar, freshman Isabella Solaroli, and Ackers also scored in the victory. Solaroli’s goal was the first of her career.
The Hawkeyes displayed great defense in addition to their stellar attacking game. Iowa yielded just two shots, both of which game in the last two minutes of the game. Senior Alexandra Pecora was credited with her third win in goal.
Iowa will be back in action next weekend as the Hawkeyes take on Kent State (Sept. 10), and Monmouth (Sept. 11) in Kent Ohio.