IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa field hockey team is ranked No. 17 in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Preseason Poll, the NFHCA announced Tuesday.
Eight of Iowa’s 2017 opponents are ranked in the top-15, including No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Duke, No. 6 Maryland, No. 7 Penn State, No. 11 Michigan, No. 13 Stanford, No. 14 Northwestern, and No. 15 Wake Forest.
Iowa returns 12 letterwinners from last season, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year Katie Birch. The NFHCA second team All-West Region selection registered 28 points last season — the second most on the team. Seven of Iowa’s 12 letterwinners saw action in all 19 contests last season. Iowa also welcomes eight newcomers to the 2017 roster.
The Hawkeyes host the 16th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Grant Field this weekend. Iowa opens the season against No. 15 Wake Forest on Saturday, before taking on top-ranked North Carolina on Sunday. Both contests are scheduled for 2 p.m. (CT). Admission is free.