BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The 18th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team won its first conference game Friday afternoon defeating Indiana, 2-1, in overtime at the IU Field Hockey Complex. Freshman Katie Birch produced the late game heroics to lift the Hawkeyes over the Hoosiers. Iowa improves to 7-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
“We put together a complete game,” said UI head coach Lisa Cellucci, “We controlled possession, played solid defense, and finished when it counted.”
After a scoreless first half, Iowa broke the tie in the 54th minute. Senior Sophie Plasteras scored her fifth goal of the season when she took the ball to the left side of the cage and beat Indiana’s goalkeeper from seven yards out.
Indiana (6-5, 1-2) scored late in the second half to even the contest. Kelsey Giese scored off of a rebound in the 60th minute to tie the game, 1-1, and ultimately send the game into overtime.
It didn’t take long for the Hawkeyes to find the back of the cage in overtime. Despite playing overtime one player short due to a yellow card issued to senior Natalie Cafone in the 66th minute followed by a green card to freshman Sophie Sunderland in the 71st minute, Birch scored her team-leading third game winning goal seconds later at 71:50. The freshman was able locate the ball in a scrap in front of the goal and put it past the goalkeeper. Cafone was credited with the assist, extending her scoring streak to 11 games.
The Hawkeyes are back in action Sunday as they take on No. 7 Louisville at noon (CT) in Louisville, Kentucky.