No. 13 Hawkeyes Hit the Road for 2 Ranked Matchups

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The 13th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team travels to Evanston, Illinois, for two ranked matchups this weekend. On Friday, the Hawkeyes face No. 14 Northwestern for their second Big Ten game of the season. On Saturday, Iowa plays No. 25 California in a neutral site game. Both games start at noon (CT). 

Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contest via live stats on Click on the “Live Stats” link found on the field hockey schedule page to access the live stats feed. 

Both games will be streamed on FloLive. An account is required to view the game. Links for the stream can be found on the field hockey schedule page on

• Ranked 14th in the country, Northwestern is 5-4 on the year and 1-0 in the Big Ten after defeating Indiana 2-1 last Friday. The Wildcats have faced six top-25 opponents, beating two of them (No. 15 Stanford and No. 13 Boston College). Northwestern fell to No. 8 Louisville in its last game. 
• Tracey Fuchs, who is in her ninth season, is Northwestern’s head coach. Her career record with the Wildcats is 113-62. Fuchs has led the Wildcats to eight consecutive winning seasons. 
• Senior midfielder Puck Pentenga leads the Wildcats with six goals and 17 points on 38 shots, while Kristen Mansfield has a team-leading seven assists for Northwestern. Redshirt junior Annie Kalfas is Northwestern’s main goalkeeper, posting a 4-2 record with 27 saves.
• Iowa is 53-24-4 against Northwestern in program history. Last year, Iowa fell to Northwestern, 5-4, in overtime. 

• The California Golden Bears are ranked inside the top-25 for the first time this season and own a 3-3 record with wins over Providence, Miami (OH), and Yale. Cal has faced three ranked opponents in No. 4 Maryland, No. 2 North Carolina, and No. 11 Louisville. 
• Shellie Onstead, who played at Cal, is in her 21st season at the helm of the Golden Bears. An All-American player, Onstead has a career record of 226-146 with 11 conference titles. 
• Sophomore Megan Rodgers is Cal’s main attacker, leading the team in goals (6), points (14), shots (31), and shots on goal (14). Junior goalkeeper Danielle Mentink is 3-2 on the year with 17 saves in six games. 
• Iowa is 11-1 all-time against California. The Hawkeyes beat the Golden Bears last year in a 3-0 shutout victory. 

This past weekend, Iowa extended its shutout streak to four games for the first time since 2000 with 3-0 wins over Penn and Indiana. Four different Hawkeyes scored, including Mya Christopher’s first goal of the season and Maddy Murphy’s team-leading seventh goal of the season. Freshman Anthe Nijziel scored in both games to extend her scoring streak to three straight games. Iowa moved to 7-1 on the season and 1-0 in the Big Ten, best for second in the conference. 

The Hawkeyes have now won six straight games since losing to No. 2 North Carolina 2-1 in overtime on Aug. 26. Iowa’s winning streak began on Aug. 31 with a  6-0 win over Dartmouth, followed by a 7-1 win over Ball State. Next, came wins over Providence and New Hampshire on the road. Iowa’s latest wins came against Penn and Indiana in 3-0 shutouts over Alumni Weekend. It’s Iowa’s longest winning streak since 2012 when they won seven straight games. Iowa’s current six-game winning streak has featured five shutouts and has the Hawkeyes off to their best eight-game start since 2011. 

On top of allowing no goals this past weekend, Iowa only allowed six shots and six penalty corners in games against Penn and Indiana. Iowa has five shutouts this year, while only giving up four goals, 50 shots, and 24 penalty corners in eight games. Iowa’s offense, on the other hand, has scored 25 goals, registered 131 shots, and 58 penalty corners. Junior goalkeeper Leslie Speight’s record sits at 7-1 with five shutouts, a .875 save percentage, and a 0.49 goals against average, all of which are the tops in the Big Ten. 

Five Hawkeyes have scored at least three goals, while nine different Hawkeyes have scored a goal this season.

Two Hawkeyes — junior Katie Birch and freshman Anthe Nijziel — claimed Big Ten Player of the Week Honors on Monday. Birch earned Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first time of her career after helping a Hawkeye defense record two shutouts over the weekend. Birch, a York, England, native, was Iowa’s first Defensive Player of the Week since Alexandra Pecora in 2016. Defender Anthe Nijziel earned Co-Freshman of the Week honors with Michigan’s Kathryn Peterson. With goals against Penn and Indiana, Nijziel extended her scoring streak to three straight games. The Eindhoven, Netherlands, native has also been a key piece in Iowa’s stout defense. 

All seven freshman have seen the field this season. Freshmen Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all eight games and have played a key part in the Hawkeye defense. Nijziel has three goals, while Stribos has three assists. Freshman Leah Zellner has also scored a goal this season. 

• Iowa is outscoring opponents 15-4 this season after two shutouts against Penn and Indiana last weekend. 
• The Hawkeyes average 16.4 shots per games, the fourth most in the Big Ten, while only allowing an average of 6.2 shots per game. 
• Iowa’s 21 assists and 25 goals are the second most in the Big Ten. 
• Sophomore Maddy Murphy’s seven goals are tied for the third most in the Big Ten. Murphy leads Iowa with 18 points, which is tied for the second most in the conference. 
• Junior Katie Birch has six assists, which is tied for the third most in the Big Ten. All of Birch’s assists have come in the last five games. 
Seven Big Ten schools — No. 3 Maryland, No. 6 Penn State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 13 Iowa, No. 14 Northwestern, No. 17 Rutgers, and No. 23 Ohio State — are ranked in the latest Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll. The Hawkeyes are set to face 10 top-25 ranked opponents in the regular season.

• 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.

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.

Iowa remains on the road next weekend for a pair of Big Ten games. On Sept. 28, Iowa will face Michigan State in East Lansing. On Sept. 30, Iowa will play No. 23 Ohio State in Columbus. 

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