The 15th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team (11-6, 3-4) wraps up its regular season this week. The Hawkeyes face Ohio State on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. (CT) in Columbus, Ohio. Thursday’s game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
Ohio State enters this week with 6-10 overall record and a 1-6 conference mark. The Buckeyes got their first conference win last weekend when they defeated Indiana, 1-0 in Bloomington, Indiana. Ohio State has also recorded wins over Ohio (3-0), Miami of Ohio (2-1; OT), Kent State (3-2) and Ball State (3-0). Junior Maddy Humphery leads the Buckeyes and is tied for seventh in the Big Ten with 17 goals and 29 points. Junior goalkeeper Liz Tamburo leads the Big Ten in saves (98) and saves per game (6.10).
IOWA VS. OHIO STATE — THE SERIES
• The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series, 45-14.
• Iowa is 17-7 when facing Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.
•The Hawkeyes have won the last three matches in Columbus. The two teams last met in Iowa City last season. The Buckeyes won the match, 3-1.
LAST TIME OUT
The 15th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team defeated Michigan State, 5-3, on “Senior Day”. Red shirt senior Natalie Cafone scored a hat trick in her final game at Grant Field.
“We played very well the first 55 minutes of the game,” said UI head Coach Lisa Cellucci. “We needed to clean up that last half, but we’ll learn from it.”
Iowa (11-6, 3-4) got out to a quick start scoring the first three goals in the first 20 minutes. Cafone scored her first goal of the game in the 11th minute when she beat a few Michigan State defenders and beat the Spartans’ goaltender from the right side of the cage to give Iowa a 1-0 lead.
Cafone struck again in the 18th minute. The senior took the ball down the left side of the field, beating a handful of Spartan defenders, and shot the ball to the back post to give the Hawkeyes a 2-0 advantage.
Cafone completed the hat trick in the 20th minute when she scored on a one-timer from the center of the circle. Senior Sophie Plasteras made a nice pass across the circle and Cafone put the ball into a wide open cage. Cafone now has 67 career goals, which gives her sole possession of seventh all-time in program history for goals in a career. The native of Fairfield, New Jersey, is only one goal away from tying former Hawkeye Ellen Egan (68) for sixth.
Freshman Sophie Sunderland extended Iowa’s led to four goals in the 26th minute. Sunderland forced a turnover then beat the visiting goalkeeper to give the Hawkeyes a 4-0 halftime lead. The Hawkeyes tallied five shots on goal the first 35 minutes, scoring on four of those attempts.
Plasteras continued the scoring for the Hawkeyes in the 53rd minute. After her first shot was saved, Plasteras was able to locate her own rebound and put the second chance in the cage to put the Hawkeyes in front 5-0.
Michigan State (7-9, 3-4) scored three late goals to make the final score, 5-3.
CAFONE SCORES HAT TRICK IN FINAL HOME GAME
Cafone’s hat trick against Michigan State marked the third three-goal game of her career and first of the season. Cafone became the fourth Hawkeye to post a hat trick this season (Katie Birch, Chandler Acker, and JoElla Guagliardo). Iowa is the only Big Ten team to have four players record hat tricks this season. The Hawkeyes are also the only team to have two players (Katie Birch and JoElla Guagliardo) record hat tricks in the same game (Saint Louis).
CAFONE, PROGAR RANK IN NCAA STATISTICS
• Natalie Cafone ranks fourth nationally in goals per game (1.12) and seventh in points per game (2.71).
• Melissa Progar is tied for 12th nationally in assists per game (.65).
Iowa defeated 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 in points (46) shots (85), shots per match (5), goals per match (1.12), goals (19), and is second in points per match (2.71).
Freshman Katie Birch is also in the top-10 in a handful of statistical categories in the Big Ten. The freshman ranks second in shots (80), tied for second in game winning goals (3), third in shots per game (4.71), and is ninth in points (26).
Junior Melissa Progar tallied an assist in Iowa’s, 2-1, overtime victory over No. 9 Northwestern 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 third in assists per game (0.65) in the Big Ten.
Iowa is the only Big Ten team to have four 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).
CAFONE MOVES UP IN RANKS
Natailie Cafone scored a hat trick against Michigan State on Friday giving her 67 career goals. With the three goals, Cafone passed Kerry Lassard for seventh all-time in goals in a carrer. Cafone is one goal behind former Hawkeye Ellen Egan (68) for sixth.
CAFONE NAMED BIG TEN CO- OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (OCT. 25)
University of Iowa field hockey redshirt senior Natalie Cafone has been named Co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday. It marks the fifth weekly honor of Cafone’s career and second of the season.
A native of Fairfield, New Jersey, Cafone scored a hat trick in Iowa’s, 5-3, Senior Day win on Oct. 21. It marked the third hat trick of her career and the first of the season. Cafone leads the Big Ten in points (46), shots (85), shots per match (5), goals per match (1.12), goals (19), and is second in points per match (2.71).
Iowa has won a weekly conference award six times this season. Senior goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 13, Katie Birch garnered back-to-back Freshman of the Week accolades on Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, Cafone earned her first Offensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 11, and freshman Sophie Sunderland was named Co-Freshman of the Week on Oct. 18.
PECORA NAMED NFHCA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (SEPT. 14)
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).
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 will begin Big Ten Tournament play Thursday, Nov. 3, in College Park, Maryland.
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
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