The 19th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team begins Big Ten play this week taking on No. 2 Penn State Friday at 5 p.m. (CT) in University Park, Pennsylvania. The Hawkeyes then travel to Philadelphia to take on Penn at noon on Sunday.
FOLLOW ON THE WEB
Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contests via live stats on hawkeyesports.com. Click on the “Live Stats” link found on the field hockey schedule page to access the live stats feed. Fans can also follow @IowaFieldHockey on Twitter for live in-game updates.
SCOUTING NO. 2 PENN STATE
• Penn State, the 2016 Big Ten Tournament Champions, is off to a 5-0 start and is ranked No. 2 in NFHCA Rankings. The Nittany Lions have wins over Old Dominion, No. 10 Virginia, Temple, No. 15 Wake Forest, and No. 12 Princeton.
• Head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss enters her 31st season as head coach of the Nittany Lions. She has led Penn State to three Big Ten Tournament Championships and seven NCAA appearances.
• Junior Moira Putsch leads Penn State in goals (4), assists (6) and points (14). Putsch ranks third in the Big Ten in goals and points, and leads the Big Ten in assists, assists per game (1.20), and points per game (2.80)
• Junior goalkeeper Jenny Rizzo has started all five games for the Nittany Lions. Rizzo leads the Big Ten in save percentage (.822) and goals against average (1.04). Her two shutouts this year rank her tied for first in the Big Ten.
• Juniors Aurelia Meijer and Gini Bramley are second on the team in points with eight.
IOWA VS. PENN STATE — THE SERIES
• Iowa leads the overall series, 25-23-1.
• Penn State won last year’s match, 4-3, at Grant Field.
• The Wildcats enter the weekend with a 1-3 overall record. Penn recorded its first win last weekend against Villanova. The Wildcats were edged by Rutgers earlier this season, 1-0.
• Senior Alexa Hoover leads Penn is goals (3), assists (1) and points (7). Hoover was named first-team All-Ivy and first-team NFHCA All-Region last season. She also set a school record for goals (56) and points (131) in a career.
• Head coach Collen Fink enters her eighth season at the helm. Penn has won at least 11 games in three of the last four seasons.
IOWA VS. PENN — THE SERIES
• This weekend’s match marks the first ever matchup between the Hawkeyes and Wildcats.
MURPHY NAMED B1G FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
• Maddy Murphy was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday. It is the first honor of Murphy’s career.
• Murphy recorded six points for the Hawkeyes over the weekend with two goals and two assists in Iowa’s 7-1 victory over New Hampshire.
• Murphy is the first Hawkeye to earn Freshman of the Week honors since Sophie Sunderland was honored on Oct. 18, 2016.
BIRCH RECORDS HAT TRICK
• Katie Birch recorded the second hat trick of her career in Iowa’s 7-1 victory over New Hampshire on Sept. 10. The sophomore scored on two penalty corners and a penalty stroke to complete the feat.
• “Before each game we always ask who is going to score, and I raised my hand today and I said I will,” said Birch. “We always practice our corners so it was good to be successful on all of them.”
CAPATILZING ON CORNERS
The Hawkeyes have scored 11 goals off of penalty corners this season. Iowa took advantaged of all five corners in its 7-1 victory over New Hampshire on Sept. 10. Katie Birch is responsible for seven of the 11 Hawkeye goals on penalty corners. She has also found the back of the cage on two of Iowa’s three penalty strokes this season.
The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 19 in this week’s NFHCA National Rankings (Sept. 12). Iowa has already faced three ranked opponents this season. The Hawkeyes suffered losses to No. 15 Wake Forest (2-3), No. 1 North Carolina (0-2) and No. 13 Stanford (2-3). Iowa will face six more ranked opponents in 2017, five of which are members of the Big Ten. They include: No. 4 Duke, No. 2 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 9 Maryland, No. 14 Northwestern, and No. 24 Rutgers.
SHARING THE WEALTH
•Eleven different Hawkeyes have gotten on the scoresheet this season, with eight different Hawkeyes finding the back of the cage.
• Four of Iowa’s newcomers are on the 2017 scoresheet. Maddy Murphy, leads all newcomers in goals (5), assists (3), and points (13).
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING — Indvidual Stats
• Sophomore Katie Birch, the 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, currently leads the Hawkeyes in goals (9), points (19), and shots (30). The sophomore leads the Big Ten in goals (9), goals per game (1.29), and points (19). Birch is third in the nation in goals per game and seventh in points per game (2.71).
• Freshman Maddy Murphy recorded six points last weekend and is second on the team in goals (5), points (13), and shots (13). Murphy is tied for third in goals and ranks fifth in points in the Big Ten.
• Junior Makenna Grewe leads the Hawkeyes and the Big Ten with six assists. She ranks third in the Big Ten in assists per game (0.86).
• Junior Melissa Progar is second on the team in assists (4). Progar is tied for third in assists in the Big Ten.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING — Team Stats
• The Hawkeyes are ranked third in the Big Ten in goals (20) and second in points (59).
• Iowa’s 19 assists are the second-highest mark in the Big Ten.
5 HAWKEYES SELECTED FOR YOUNG WOMEN’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
• Seniors Mallory Lefkowtiz, Melissa Progar, Taylor Omweg, and Katie Jones, and junior Makenna Grewe were selected to compete at the 2017 Young Women’s National Championships from June 12-16.
• The Young Women’s National Championship is a high-level, international structured competition that serves as the selection avenue to the Junior National Camps and the Development Squad Camp.
IOWA 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 continue their east coast road trip next weekend with a pair of Big Ten matches. Iowa will take on No. 9 Maryland at 3 p.m. (CT) on Friday in College Park, Maryland. The Hawkeyes then take on Rutgers at noon on Sunday in Piscataway, New Jersey.
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
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