No. 13 Hawkeyes Face Michigan State, No. 23 Ohio State

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The 13th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team has two Big Ten road games this weekend. On Friday, the Hawkeyes travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to face Michigan State at 3 p.m. (CT). On Sunday, Iowa heads to Columbus, Ohio, to face No. 23 Ohio State at 12 p.m. (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. 

Friday’s game against Michigan State will be televised live on Big Ten Network with Dan Kelly and Kara Lentz on the call. Sunday’s game against No. 23 Ohio State will be streamed on BTN Plus and FloLive. Both live streaming options require an account. 

• The Spartans are 0-3 in the Big Ten with a 4-7 overall record. Michigan State’s wins have come against Kent State, Quinnipiac, Monmouth, and Central Michigan, but the Spartans have lost their last two games. 
• The Spartans are led by Helen Knull, who is in her eighth season as head coach. Knull’s career record sits at 62-79 after finishing 8-12 last season. 
• As a team, the Spartans have been outscored 33-13 and outshot 170-124.
• Freshman forward Isa van der Weij leads the Spartan attack with four goals, two assists, and 10 points on 29 shots. Freshman goalkeeper Jade Arundell leads the Big Ten with 59 saves, which is 21 more than Penn State’s Jenny Rizzo who has the second most. 
• Iowa is 51-14-1 all time against Michigan State with a 17-7 road record. Iowa beat the Spartans 7-1 last year and has won the last three matchups. 

• Ohio State is 5-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play. The Buckeyes have posted wins against Louisville, Boston, and most recently Rutgers, all of which were ranked inside the top-25. 
• Buckeye head coach Jarred Martin was named head coach in 2016 after spending 10 seasons on the Duke coaching staff. Last season, Ohio State went 10-9. 
• Ohio State has outscored opponents 24-14, while holding opponents to a .500 shot-on-goal percentage (40-of-80). 
• Freshman goalkeeper Aaliyah Hernandez is 4-2 on the year with 22 saves and only 10 goals allowed. Ohio State features a balanced attack with 12 different Buckeyes scoring a goal this season. Midfielders Casey Cole and Esther Clotet lead the team with five goals apiece. 
• The Hawkeyes own a 47-14 career record against Ohio State with an 18-7 mark away from home. Iowa won last year’s matchup 1-0 behind a lone goal from Maddy Murphy off a penalty corner. 

With two more road games this weekend, the Hawkeyes will wrap up a four-game road trip on Sunday in Columbus, before returning home for four straight games against ranked opponents. Iowa is 1-2 away from home, but owns a 4-0 home record. Since 1989, the Hawkeyes are 157-56 at home, including this season. 

Iowa’s six-game win streak was snapped by No. 14 Northwestern on Sept. 21 in a 2-0 defeat. The following day, the Hawkeyes bounced back in a 4-1 victory over No. 25 California. Four different Hawkeyes scored a goal in the win, including freshman Lokke Stribos who scored her first collegiate goal. 

Despite not recording a shutout for the first time in the last four weekends, Iowa is still limiting opponents to 6.3 shots per game and 0.70 goals per game. With 144 shots this season, the Hawkeyes have more than doubled their opponents’ shot total of 63. Junior goalkeeper Leslie Speight, who has five shutouts this season with an 8-2 record, has been more than steady in goal for the Hawkeyes. She leads the Big Ten in shutouts (5), save percentage (.833), and average goals against (0.69), and ranks third in the conference with 35 saves. 

Speight’s performance in goal has her ranked amongst the top goalkeepers in the nation. In 10 games, her 0.69 goals against average is ranked third best in the country, while her .833 save percentage is tied for second best in the country. 

Five Hawkeyes have scored at least three goals, while 10 different Hawkeyes have scored a goal this season. Of Iowa’s 29 goals, 22 have been assisted on, which is tied for the fourth most in the Big Ten. Katie Birch leads the team with six assists, while four other Hawkeyes have at least three assists. 

All seven freshman have seen the field this season. Freshmen Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 10 games and have played a key part in the Hawkeye defense. Nijziel has three goals, while Stribos has three assists and one goal after scoring against No. 25 Cal on Sept. 22. Freshman Leah Zellner has started six of 10 games and recorded 10-of-14 shots on goal with one goal scored. 

• Iowa is outscoring opponents 29-7 this season, while scoring three or more goals in five games. 
• 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 29 goals and 22 assists are the fourth most in the Big Ten. 
• Sophomore Maddy Murphy’s eight goals and 20 points are tied for the third most in the Big Ten. Murphy has registered 20-of-29 shots on goal this season. 
• Junior Katie Birch has six assists and six goals for 18 points, tied for the fourth most in the Big Ten. Birch’s 35 shots are also tied for the third most in the conference. 
• Senior Makenna Grewe has the third most goals on the team with four. 

Seven Big Ten schools — No. 3 Maryland, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Penn State, No. 10 Northwestern, No. 13 Iowa, 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 and four top-10 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.

Following Iowa’s four game road-trip, the Hawkeyes return home to face two more ranked opponents. On Oct. 5, Iowa will battle No. 6 Michigan, and on Oct. 7, Iowa takes on No. 25 Stanford. 

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