The 16th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team returns home for two games this weekend. On Friday, the Hawkeyes play Penn at 2:30 p.m. (CT). On Sunday, the Hawkeyes open Big Ten Play against Indiana at noon (CT). Admission is free.
• On Friday, there is free pizza and a Fight For Iowa phone wallet giveaway.
• Sunday is Alumni Day, where 70 women and four teams (’83, ’88, ’93, and ’08) will return to Grant Field to be honored for their Hawkeye achievements that paved the way for Iowa’s field hockey program. Fans are encouraged to wear gold, and the first 100 fans will receive a free t-shirt.
FOLLOW ON THE WEB
Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contest 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.
Friday’s game against Penn will be streamed on BTN Plus. To see if your cable package
gives you access to BTN Plus content, sign up for BTN Plus, or learn more about it visit btn2go.
com. Dan Kelly and Kara Lentz are on the call for Sunday’s game that will be televised on BTN.
• Penn, from the Ivy League, has faced three ranked opponents this season and is 2-2. Penn beat No. 14 Wake Forest 1-0 in double overtime in their season opener, but fell to No. 2 North Carolina and No. 15 Saint Joseph’s.
• Penn is coached by Colleen Fink, who is in her ninth season. Fink has led a program that has won at least 11 games in three of the last five seasons. Last season, the Quakers were 9-8.
• Senior forward Rachel Mirkin leads the team with two goals on five shots, while goalkeeper Ava Rosati has 20 saves in four games.
• Iowa beat Penn, 3-2, on the road last season.
• The Indiana Hoosiers are 2-4 this season with wins over Ball State (2-0) and Saint Francis (4-2).
• Head coach Amanda Janney Misslehorn is in her fourth season at the helm of the Hoosiers. In four years, Janney has compiled a 25-39 record.
• Indiana averages 1.67 goals per game on 14.8 shots per game. The Hoosiers have been outscored 10 to 13 this season.
• Indiana is led by Kelsey Giese, who has recorded 28 shots, two goals, and five points. Six other Indiana student-athletes have scored at least one goal.
• Iowa is 20-7 versus Indiana in program history with an 8-2 home record against the Hoosiers. Iowa won last year’s matchup, 4-3, at Grant Field behind a hat trick by Katie Birch.
Iowa’s defense was on full display in their two road wins over Providence and New Hampshire. In two games, the Hawkeyes only allowed three shots and three penalty corners. On Saturday, Iowa beat Providence 1-0 behind senior Makenna Grewe’s third goal of the season. On Sunday, Iowa won 2-0 over New Hampshire for its fourth straight win.
Iowa’s defense has only allowed four goals, 18 penalty corners, and 44 shots this season, while Iowa has scored 19 goals, registered 92 shots, and 41 corners. Junior goalkeeper Leslie Speight recorded back-to-back shutouts and has three total on the year. She has 25 saves, the second most in the Big Ten, while allowing only 0.65 goals per game. Speight’s .862 save percentage is the second best in the conference.
In the past three games, junior midfielder Katie Birch has recorded five assists. Birch leads the team with five assists and is two behind Northwestern’s Kristen Mansfield for the Big Ten lead.
The Hawkeyes have now won four straight games since losing to No.2 North Carolina 2-1 in overtime. Iowa got back on the winning trail against Dartmouth and Ball State, outscoring them 13-1 on Aug. 31 and Sept. 2. Two shutout wins last weekend over Providence and New Hampshire has Iowa in third place of the Big Ten.
All seven freshman have seen the field this season. Anthe Nijziel became the second freshman (Leah Zellner) to score a goal this season. Nijziel has anchored a stout Hawkeye defense, while Zellner, Meghan Conroy, and Makenna Maguire have all helped the Hawkeye attack.
• Iowa is outscoring opponents 19-4 this season after two shutouts against Providence and New Hampshire last weekend.
• Sophomore Maddy Murphy’s five goals are tied for the third most in the Big Ten. Murphy leads Iowa with 14 points and a .750 shot on goal percentage (15-of-20).
Seven Big Ten schools — No. 3 Maryland, No. 6 Penn State, No. 10 Michigan, No. 11 Northwestern, No. 16 Iowa, No. 17 Rutgers, and No. 22 Ohio State — are ranked in the latest Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll. The Hawkeyes are set to face nine top-25 ranked opponents in the regular season.
B1G PRESEASON HONOREES
• Katie Birch, Maddy Murphy, and Sophie Sunderland earned preseason All-Big Ten recognition, announced by the conference on Aug. 20.
• Birch, a junior midfielder, started all 18 games in 2017. She scored a team-leading 14 goals — the third most in the Big Ten — and recorded eight assists for a total of 36 points. The York, England, native registered two hat-tricks in route to NFHCA third team All-America honors, NFHCA first team All-West Region honors, and first team All-Big Ten honors last season.
• Murphy, a sophomore forward, started all 18 games last season. She led the team with three game-winning goals and was second on the team with 11 goals and 25 points. In games against New Hampshire and Northwestern, she scored two goals. Last season, she was an NFHCA second team All-West Regional selection, second team All-Big Ten selection, and was named to the NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad.
• Sunderland, a junior midfielder, started all 18 games and scored four goals on 10 shots, best for third on the team. The Ipswich, England, native has started all 37 games of her career.
ROZ ELLIS RETURNS
Former two-time first team All-Big Ten selection and three-time Big Ten Tournament Champion, Roz Ellis, is back with the Hawkeyes as an assistant coach. Ellis started all 83 games of her career, scored 14 goals, and recorded 11 assists from 2005-08. Ellis was an assistant coach at five different schools before returning to her alma mater. As a senior and team captain in 2008, Ellis anchored a Hawkeye defense that reached the Final Four, which was Iowa’s first appearance since 1999.
4 HAWKEYES SELECTED FOR YOUNG WOMEN’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
• Sophomores Mya Christopher, Nikki Freeman, Emily Deuell, and Grace McGuire were selected to compete at the 2018 Young Women’s National Championships from June 25-29.
• The Young Women’s National Championship is a high-level, international structured competition that serves as the selection avenue to the Junior National Camps, U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team and the U.S. Women’s National Development Squad Camp.
BIRCH COMPETES INTERNATIONALLY
Junior Katie Birch, a York, England, native, competed for the England U21 National Team in a series against Ireland in Belfast, Ireland in mid August. Birch was selected to the national team after participating in a development training camp. England won the series.
Next week, Iowa travels to Evanston, Illinois, to face No. 9 Northwestern on Friday, Sept. 21 and California on Saturday, Sept. 22. Both games are at noon (CT).