Birch Leads No. 20 Iowa to 6-0 Victory in Home Opener

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IOWA CITY, IOWA — A hat trick from junior midfielder Katie Birch sparked a 6-0 victory in Iowa’s home opener against Dartmouth at Grant Field on Friday. Sophomore Maddy Murphy added two goals, while senior Makenna Grewe scored one to move the  20th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team to 2-1 on the season.
The Hawkeyes started slow, but still managed to get off five shots in the first fourteen minutes. Then, off a penalty corner assisted by Murphy, Birch put Iowa on the scoreboard at 14:33. Iowa found the back of the net 13 minutes later (27:54) when Murphy was credited with a goal off a deflection. Iowa led 2-0 at the break.
Grewe, a senior midfielder from San Diego, California, started the scoring in the second half with another goal off a penalty corner with assists from Murphy and sophomore Ellie Holley. The Hawkeyes went on to score three goals in an 11-minute span (43:39-54:47). Birch and Murphy both recorded their second goals of the game on unassisted plays, while Birch finished off her fourth career hat trick on a penalty corner. Murphy and Holley registered assists on the goal.
Birch called the atmosphere at Grant Field amazing, and felt rewarded to score a trio of goals.   
“I’m pumped,” Birch said. “We practiced so many penalty corner attempts, so many shots. I’m so thankful that it’s paying off and scoring these goals for the team. We’re getting good wins.”
“The start was a bit slow for us, but Dartmouth is a great team and they play a different style than we’ve seen so far this year. It took us a little while to get adjusted to. Once we calmed down and focused on our possession, we were much better.”
“It’s a great rebound for our team. At North Carolina, we felt great about our play and the defensive pressure that we brought. What we weren’t happy with was our ability to finish. With putting six goals up on the board today, that was definitely a step in the right direction. That’s what we’re going to be working towards going forward — being able to clean up our final third.”

  • Junior Leslie Speight registered her first career shutout.
  • Katie Birch recorded her fourth career hat trick and now shares the team lead in goals scored (4) with Maddy Murphy.
  • Murphy has scored a goal in every contest this season and leads the team in points with 11.
  • Senior Makenna Grewe scored her first goal of the season and her 10th of her career.
  • Sophomore Ellie Holley recorded three assists, which is two shy of Iowa’s single game record. Holley’s three assists bested her season total from last year and are tied for the most on the team this season with Murphy.
  • Iowa outmatched Dartmouth, recording 28 shots compared to only three from the Big Green. Iowa also had 12 penalty corners, while Dartmouth had none.
  • Freshman Ciara Smith made her Hawkeye debut.

Iowa returns to Grant Field on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (CT) against Ball State. Admission is free. The game will be streamed on BTN Plus.

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