24 Hawkeyes to Watch | Hawk Talk Monthly — September | Weekly Notes — Week 7 (PDF)
The 16th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team (7-5, 1-3) is back in action this weekend. The Hawkeyes host a pair of nonconference matches as they take on Central Michigan on Friday at 3 p.m. (CT) and UC Davis Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field. Admission is free. Friday’s match against Central Michigan will be streamed live on BTN2GO.
THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS
Friday vs. Central Michigan
• Starbucks frappe iced coffee for the first 100 fans in recognition of National Frappe Day
SUNDAY vs. UC DAVIS
• PINK OUT – all fans are encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness for breast cancer research
• Pink texting gloves for the first 100 fans
• UI Health Care Day – Game promoted via email to UI Health Care employees
• Enter-to-win drawing for a pair of Beats headphones
SCOUTING CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Central Michigan comes into this weekend with a 1-10 record. The Chippewas have lost their last seven straight games. Three of Central Michigan’s ten defeats have come against Big Ten teams (Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana). In those three games the Chippewas scored a total of three goals. Junior Emily Barber has a team-high two goals, and she also has one assist for a team-high five points. Junior Alex Gonda has one goal and a team-high two assists for a total of four points.
IOWA vs. CENTRAL MICHIGAN — THE SERIES
• Iowa is undefeated (10-0) when they face Central Michigan.
• The Hawkeyes are 3-0 when facing the Chippewas at Grant Field.
• The last time the two teams met was last season. The Hawkeyes won the match, 4-1, in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
SCOUTING UC DAVIS
UC Davis has a 3-8 overall record and a 0-2 conference mark entering this weekend’s action. The Aggies have registered wins over Ohio University, Missouri State, and LIU Brooklyn. Redshirt freshman Kathleen Humphries leads the Aggies with five goals. Humphries also has one assist for a team-high 11 points. Senior Lauren Copeland has two goals and a team-high three assists for a total of seven points this season.
IOWA vs. UC DAVIS– THE SERIES
• The Hawkeyes are undefeated (3-0) against the Aggies.
• The two teams have only played at Grant Field once (2013). The Hawkeyes won that match, 5-1. The other two matches have been played at neutral sites.
•The last time the Hawkeyes and Aggies met was in 2014. The Hawkeyes won that match, 3-1, in Stanford, California.
LAST TIME OUT
The then-18th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team lost to No. 7 Louisville, 2-0, in a nonconference contest played Sunday afternoon at Trager Stadium.
Louisville (10-2) scored two early goals in the first half, scoring in the seventh and ninth minutes to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes were able to keep the Cardinals of the scoreboard in the second half, but were unable to find the back of the cage. Iowa registered five shots in the game, including four in the second half. The Hawkeyes also had three penalty corners in the contest.
Freshman Katie Birch led the Hawkeyes with two shots. Natalie Cafone, Melissa Progar, and Sophie Sunderland each registered one shot. Senior goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora made eight saves in the loss.
HAWKEYES LOOK TO EXTEND UNBEATEN STREAK
The University of Iowa field hockey team will look to keep its unbeaten record against Central Michigan and UC Davis intact this weekend. The first time the Hawkeyes played Central Michigan was 1982. The Hawkeyes first played UC Davis in 2012 in Stanford California.
Iowa’s 11 goals and 39 shots against Saint Louis are the second and third most, respectively, by a Big Ten team in a match this season.
Individually, Alexandra Pecora posted back-to-back shutouts against Monmouth and Kent State, and combined with Katie Jones to blank Saint Louis. The senior is second in the Big Ten with two shutouts.
Natalie Cafone ranks in the top-10 in a number of statiscal categories in the Big Ten. The Hawkeye senior ranks fifth in shots per match (4.33), fourth in points per match (2.42), second in goals per match (0.92), and second in goals (11).
Fresham Katie Birch is also in the top-10 in a hand full of statistical categories in the Big Ten. The freshman ranks first in shots (58) second in shots per game (4.83), and tied for first in game winning goals (3).
Iowa, Northwestern, and Rutgers are the only Big Ten team to have two players record hat tricks this season. The Hawkeyes are the only team to have two players (Katie Birch and JoElla Guagliardo) record hat tricks in the same game (Saint Louis).
BIRCH SCORES IN OVERTIME
Katie Birch produced the late game heroics to lift the Hawkeyes over the Hoosiers last Friday to give Iowa its first conference win of the season. 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.
The goal was Birch’s team-leading third game-winning goal of the year.
HAWKEYES RANK 18TH IN RPI
The University of Iowa is ranked 18th in the latest RPI released this week. The Hawkeyes are one for five Big Ten teams ranked in the Top 20: Penn State (5), Maryland (7), Northwestern (7), and Michigan (19).
PECORA NAMED NFHCA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (SEPT. 14)
University of Iowa field hockey senior Alexandra Pecora was named Longstreth/NFHCA Division I Player of the Week, the NFHCA office announced on Sept. 14. It marked the first national weekly honor of Pecora’s career.
Pecora, who earned her second career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award on Sept. 13 helped the Hawkeyes post wins over Monmouth (4-0) on Sept. 10 and Kent State (2-0) on Sept.11. The goalkeeper registered back-to-back shutouts, recording one save against Monmouth and six against Kent State.
In her four years at Iowa, the Marlton, New Jersey, native has played in a total of 46 games and accumulated 182 saves. Pecora has five shutouts in her career.
CAFONE MOVES UP IN RANKS
Natailie Cafone scored two goals against Maryland (Sept. 23), and a goal against Rutgers (Sept. 25) giving her 59 career goals. Cafone remains ninth all-time in career goals at Iowa. The redshirt senior is three goals behind former Hawkeye Kelly Flanagan (62) for eighth.
Cafone had her 11-match point streak snapped in Iowa’s 2-0 loss at then-No. 7 Louisville. The native of Fairfield, New Jersey had recorded a goal and/or an assist in Iowa’s first 11 matches of the year.
The Hawkeyes welcomed back 14 players, including seniors Chandler Ackers, Natalie Cafone, Sophie Plasteras, and Alexandra Pecora. In addition to the returnees, Iowa welcomed five newcomers to 2016 roster, including Katie Birch (MF/D), Ryley Miller (MF), Isabella Solaroli (MF), Leslie Speight (GK), and Sophie Sunderland (MF).
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.
The Hawkeyes are back in action next weekend as they go on the road for a pair of conference matches at No. 6 Northwestern (Oct. 14) in Evanston, Illinois, and No. 9 Michigan (Oct. 16) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
For an inside look at the Iowa field hockey program and to access exclusive coverage, “like” The University of Iowa Field Hockey Team on Facebook and follow @IowaFieldHockey on Twitter and Instagram.