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COLOMBUS, Ohio — The 15th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team defeated Ohio State, 3-2, in its regular season finale Thursday. The Hawkeyes scored three unanswered goals in the comeback victory. Thursday’s game marks the fourth one-goal win for the Hawkeyes who are 12-6 on the season and 4-4 in conference action.
“To come back from two goals down showed great resilience from this group,” said UI head coach Lisa Cellucci. “We bent but didn’t break and we were able to get the result. Now it’s on to the post season.”
Ohio State (6-11, 1-7) got out to an early two-goal lead in the first half. Irene Fritschy and Maddy Humphrey scored the Buckeyes’ goals.
Senior Chandler Ackers got the scoring started for the Hawkeyes in the 26th minute. Ackers dribbled the ball through the defense and beat Ohio State’s goalkeeper on a reverse shot from the top of the circle to make the score, 2-1.
The Hawkeyes tied the game in the second half. Freshman Katie Birch scored in the 47th minute off of a corner to tie the game at 2-2. Ackers and junior Melissa Progar were credited with assists.
Iowa took the lead in the 60th minute when Natalie Cafone scored her team-leading 20th goal of the season. The redshirt senior dribbled the ball down the end line and beat the Ohio State goalkeeper to give Iowa a 3-2 lead. Cafone now has 68 career goals and is tied for sixth (Ellen Egan) on Iowa’s all-time list. She is seven goals behind Liz Tchou (75) for fifth.
The Hawkeyes registered 10 shots and three corners in the match. Birch led the Hawkeyes with three shots. Senior goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora made five saves in the victory, while Birch also notched a defensive save.
Iowa returns to action next week as they began Big Ten Tournament play in College Park, Maryland. The tournament is set to start Thursday, Nov. 3. Opponents and match times are yet to be determined.