Field Hockey to Host Senior Day on Friday

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The 15th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team (10-6, 2-4) is back in action this weekend, hosting their final home game of the regular season. The Hawkeyes host Michigan State on Friday at 3 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field. Admission is free to the public. Friday’s game will be streamed live on

Friday, Oct. 21 vs. Michigan State – 3 p.m.
• Friday’s game is Senior Day. The Iowa field hockey program will be honor this year’s senior class before the game.
• The first 100 fans will receive a free fleece blanket. 

Michigan State enters the weekend with a 7-8 overall record and a 3-3 conference mark. The Spartans sit one spot ahead of the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten in sixth. Michigan State has Big Ten wins over Ohio State (4-2), Rutgers (4-3), and Indiana (1-0) this season. Redshirt junior Kendal Anderson leads the Spartans and is tied for fourth in the Big Ten in goals (12), goals per game (0.80), assists (8), and points (32). Redshirt senior goalkeeper Sierra Patton has the fourth-best goals against average (2.03) and fifth-best save percentage (.720).   

• The Hawkeyes lead the series, 49-14-1.
• Iowa is 19-7 when facing Michigan State at Grant Field. 
•The teams last met on Oct. 16, 2014. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 3-1 at Grant Field. 

The 16th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team fell to No. 12 Michigan, 2-1, in overtime Sunday. The Hawkeyes are now 10-6 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten.
    “This was a heartbreaking loss,” said UI head coach Lisa Cellucci. “We played a great game and unfortunately couldn’t capitalize in overtime. I was very proud of the effort and intensity we played with.”
    The Hawkeyes struck first, scoring the in the 26th minute. Redshirt senior Natalie Cafone scored her team-leading 16th goal of the season off of a shot from the center of the circle to give Iowa a 1-0 lead.
    Cafone now has 64 career goals and is tied with former Hawkeye Kerry Lassard for seventh all-time. 
    Michigan (9-6, 4-3) tied the game early in the second half. Carly Bennett evened the score in the 36th minute when she tipped a shot into the cage.
     Despite nine shots from the Hawkeyes and five from Michigan in the second half, the score remained tied at the end of regulation.
     Michigan scored the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute. Meg Dowthwaite scored on a reserve shot that beat Alexandra Pecora.
    The Hawkeyes out-shot the Wolverines 18-16. Cafone lead Iowa with nine shots. Freshman Katie Birch had four shots and a defensive save. Pecora made six saves in the loss.

The 16th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team upset No. 9 Northwestern, 2-1, in overtime Friday. Freshman Sophie Sunderland scored the gaming-winning goal in the victory. 
    The Wildcats got on the board first, scoring in the 19th minute to give Northwestern a 1-0 lead. Iowa was unable to score in the first half despite registering four shots. 
    It didn’t take the Hawkeyes long to get on track in the second half. Freshman Katie Birch scored off a corner in the 38th minute to tie the game. Junior Melissa Progar was credited with an assist on the play.
    Both teams registered five shots in the second half, but solid defense and goalkeeping kept the game tied at the end of regulation.
    Despite starting the overtime period short one player due to a green card in the 68th minute, the Hawkeyes found a way to score. Sunderland scored the game-winning goal in the 71st minute when she deflected Birch’s shot off of a corner to secure the 2-1 victory for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa has now beaten two opponents (Saint Louis and Central Michigan), 11-0 this season.
        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 and Central Michigan. Pecora recorded her third shutout of the season in Iowa’s victory over UC Davis. The senior is tied for first in the Big Ten with three shutouts.
         Natalie Cafone ranks in the top-10 in a number of statiscal categories in the Big Ten. The Hawkeye senior leads the Big Ten with 40 points and is tied for first in shots per match (4.81), tied for first in goals per match (1.00), tied for first in goals (16), and second in points per match (2.50).
        Freshman Katie Birch is also in the top-10 in a handful of statistical categories in the Big Ten. The freshman ranks first in shots (77), is tied for first in shots per game (4.81)tied for first in game winning goals (3), and tied for eighth in points (26). 
        Junior Melissa Progar tallied an assist in Iowa’s, 2-1, overtime victory over No. 9 Northwestern on Friday giving her 11 for the season. The junior recorded four against Central Michigan (Oct. 7) and two against UC Davis (Oct.9). Progar is tied for second in assists (11) and assists per game (0.69) in the Big Ten.
        Iowa is the only Big Ten team to have three 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).

Natailie Cafone scored a goal against Michigan on Sunday giving her 64 career goals. The redshirt senior is now tied for seventh all-time with former Hawkeye Kerry Lassard. Cafone is four goals behind former Hawkeye Ellen Egan (68) for sixth.  

University of Iowa field hockey freshman Sophie Sunderland has been named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday. It marks the first weekly honor of Sunderland’s career and the fifth weekly award for the Hawkeyes this season.
         Sunderland scored the game-winning goal in Iowa’s 2-1 overtime victory against No. 9 Northwestern on Oct. 14. She played in all 71 minutes of the overtime contest, helping the Hawkeyes to their second win over a top-10 opponent this season.
The Ipswich, England, native now has three goals and four assists on the season. Her 10 total points is the second most by an Iowa freshmen this season (Katie Birch, 26).
        Iowa has won a weekly conference award five times this season. Senior goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 13, Birch garnered back-to-back Freshman of the Week accolades on Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, and redshirt senior Natalie Cafone earned Offensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 11.

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 52 games and accumulated 207 saves. Pecora has six shutouts in her career.

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). 

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 conclude the regular season on Thursday when they face Ohio State at 2:30 p.m. (CT) in Columbus, Ohio.

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.