The 23rd-ranked and sixth-seeded University of Iowa field hockey team opens Big Ten Tournament action Sunday, facing fifth-ranked and third-seeded Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania, at 11 a.m. (CT).
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 PENN STATE
• No. 3-seeded Penn State, 2016 Big Ten Tournament Champions, ended the regular season with a 14-3 overall record and a 6-2 mark in Big Ten action.
• All three of Penn State’s losses have come to top-10 opponents. The Nittany Lions fell 2-0 to No. 7 Delaware on Sept. 17, fell 3-0 to No. 3 Michigan on Sept. 24, and dropped a 2-1 double-overtime decision to No. 8 Maryland on Oct. 15.
• Penn State is 5-1 when playing in University Park this season.
• 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 (19), assists (11), and points (49). She currently leads the Big Ten in goals (19) and goals per game (1.06).
• Junior goalkeeper Jenny Rizzo leads the Big Ten in saver percentage (.804). She is also ranked second in shutouts (5) and shutouts per game (0.29), and third in saves (4.80).
IOWA VS. PENN STATE — THE SERIES
• Iowa leads the overall series, 25-24-1.
• Penn State defeated Iowa, 3-0, in University Park, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 15.
• The last time the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions met in the Big Ten Tournament was 2013. Iowa defeated Penn State, 4-3, in Columbus, Ohio, to advance to the tournament finals.
HISTORICALLY AT THE B1G CHAMPIONSHIPS
• The Hawkeyes have won five Big Ten Tournament titles (1981, 1994, 2006, 2007, 2008) in program history, including three straight from 2006-08.
• Iowa joins Penn State and Michigan as the only schools to win five or more tournament titles.
• Iowa is 29-19 (.604) all-time in the conference tournament.
• The 29 wins are the most by any Big Ten school.
• In 2016, the Hawkeyes fell to Northwestern, 3-1, in the quarterfinals.
OFFENSE DOMINATES AT MICHIGAN STATE
• The Hawkeyes downed Michigan State, 7-1, in East Lansing, Michigan, on Oct. 20.
• Iowa’s seven goals matched a season high (New Hampshire, 9/10).
• Iowa tallied three unanswered goals in the first half. Sophomore Sophie Sunderland, senior Taylor Omweg, and freshman Mya Christopher found the back of the cage to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead.
• After surrendering a goal in the 32nd minute, the Hawkeyes scored four unanswered goals in the second half to complete the 7-1 victory. Freshman Maddy Murphy, senior Mallory Lefkowitz, Christopher, and senior Melissa Progar each registered goals in the second half.
• Christopher registered the first multi-goal game of her career.
• Ten Hawkeyes got on the score sheet in the match, the most in a single game this season.
• Iowa’s 17 shots in the contest marked a new season high.
JONES, IOWA BLANKS OHIO STATE ON SENIOR DAY
• Senior goalkeeper Katie Jones and the Hawkeyes shut out No. 24 Ohio State, 1-0, on Senior Day at Grant Field on Oct. 22.
• Freshman Maddy Murphy tipped in Katie’s Birch’s penalty corner shot to give Iowa the lead in the 33rd minute.
• Iowa allowed just two second half shots and turned away two penalty corners to complete the shutout.
• Jones tallied three saves to register her third shutout of the season and the fourth of her career.
• Five of the seven freshmen on the Hawkeye roster have found the score sheet this season. Maddy Murphy leads the freshmen class in all categories with 11 goals, three assists, and 25 points.
• Lizzy Cimilluca has two goals for four points, Ellie Holley has two assists and one goal for four points, Mya Christopher has three goals for six points, and Nikki Freeman has recorded two goals and two assists for six points.
• Freshmen were part of all three goals against Penn on Sept. 17. Murphy scored the first goal of the game. Cimilluca scored to tie the game, and Freeman assisted on the game-winning goal.
• Mya Christopher recorded her first-career goal in Iowa’s 4-3 win over Indiana at Grant Field on Sept. 29. She added two more goals against Michigan State last weekend.
• Maddy Murphy scored two goals against No. 9 Northwestern on Oct. 13.
• Ellie Holley recorded her first-career goal in the Northwestern match.
• Nikki Freeman scored her second-career goal against No. 3 Michigan on Oct. 15.
BIRCH TALLIES NEW CAREER HIGHS
• Sophomore Katie Birch has surpassed her single-season highs in goals, assists, and points.
• Birch tallied 11 goals, four assists, and 26 points in 17 matches last season on her way to claiming the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
• The sophomore assisted on two goals last weekend bringing her 2017 total to 13 goals, eight assists, and 34 points in 17 matches.
HAWKEYES CORNER SUCCESS
• Fourteen of the Hawkeyes’ last 22 goals have come off of penalty corners.
• Iowa has scored all of its goals off of corners in five different matches this season.
• The Hawkeyes were a perfect 5-for-5 on corners in their 7-1 victory over New Hampshire. They were also four for five against No. 9 Northwestern on Oct. 13.
FINDING THE BACK OF THE CAGE
• The Hawkeyes have scored 20 goals in their last six matches including seven goals against Michigan State on Oct. 20.
• Iowa’s seven goals against Michigan State matched a season high (New Hampshire).
• Iowa scored four goals against No. 9 Northwestern on Oct. 13. It marked the second-most goals the Wildcats have given up in a match this season, and the most to a Big Ten opponent.
• The Hawkeyes are only the second Big Ten team to score more than one goal against No. 3 Michigan this season.
HAWKEYES VS RANKED OPPONENTS
• The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 23 in this week’s NFHCA National Rankings (Oct. 24).
• Seven of Iowa’s 10 losses have come to top-25 teams, including No. 15 Wake Forest (3-2), No. 1 North Carolina (3-0), No. 13 Stanford (3-2), No. 2 Penn State (3-0), No. 10 Maryland (2-1), No. 23 Rutgers (1-0), No. 2 Duke (4-2), No. 9 Northwestern (5-4), and No. 3 Michigan (3-2).
• Iowa defeated No. 24 Ohio State, 1-0, on Sunday at Grant Field. It marked the team’s first win over a ranked opponent this season.
SHARING THE WEALTH
• Thirteen different Hawkeyes have gotten on the score sheet this season, with 11 finding the back of the cage.
• Six of Iowa’s newcomers are on the 2017 score sheet. Maddy Murphy leads all newcomers in goals (11) and points (25). Lucie Daman leads the newcomers in assists (8).
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING — INDVIDUAL STATS
• Sophomore Katie Birch, the 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, currently leads the Hawkeyes in goals (13), points (34), and shots (64). The sophomore is second in the Big Ten in shots (65) and shots per game (3.82), and third in goals (13) and goals per game (0.76).
• Freshman Maddy Murphy is second on the team in goals (11), points (25), and shots (33). Murphy is fifth in the Big Ten in goals (11) and goals per game (0.65).
• Junior Makenna Grewe and senior Melissa Progar lead the Hawkeyes and are tied for fifth in the Big Ten with nine assists.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING — TEAM STATS
• Iowa’s 45 assists are the third-highest mark in the Big Ten.
• The Hawkeyes are ranked fifth in the Big Ten in points (133), goals (44), and goals per game (2.59).
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.
Michigan State hosts the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals and Championship on Nov. 3 and Nov. 5 at Ralph Young Field in East Lansing, Michigan.
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
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