The eighth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team continues its homestand this weekend with games against a pair of ranked Big Ten opponents at Grant Field. On Friday, Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. (CT), the Hawkeyes face No. 6 Penn State and on Sunday, Oct. 14 at noon (CT), Iowa takes on No. 2 Maryland. Admission is free.
Friday is military appreciation day. Sunday is senior day for four Hawkeyes — Riley Kniptash, Isabella Brown, Makenna Grewe, and manager Liam Norton. Tumbler mugs will be given away on Sunday.
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 will be streamed live 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. Sunday’s game against Maryland will be televised live on BTN with Dan Kelly and Michelle Roberts on the call.
SCOUTING NO. 6 PENN STATE
• Penn State is in third place of the Big Ten with a 9-3 record. The Nitanny Lions are coming off a 3-1 win against No. 2 Maryland. Penn State is 2-1 against similar opponents of Iowa. Penn State is currently on a four-game win streak.
• Head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss is in her 32nd season at the helm of Penn State and owns a 517-204-17 overall record as a head coach. She is the longest-tenured coach in the Big Ten and has won three Big Ten Tournament titles.
• Penn State’s goalkeeper has the best save percentage (.815) in the conference and owns a 9-3 record with 53 saves. The Nitanny Lion attack features five student-athletes with at least five goals, while two Nitanny Lions have at least seven assists.
• Iowa is 25-25-1 against Penn State in program history with a 12-5 home record over the Nitanny Lions. Iowa’s last win against Penn State came in 2014 when they were ranked fourth in the country.
SCOUTING NO. 2 MARYLAND
• The Maryland Terrapins were on a 13-game win streak before falling to No. 7 Penn State, 3-1, on Sunday, Oct. 7. Maryland is 9-1 against top-25 opponents, including wins over No. 3 Duke, No. 5 Princeton, and No. 2 Connecticut.
• Head coach Missy Mehard is in her 31st season at Maryland, recording a 543-135-9 career record with seven national titles. A top program in the nation, Mehard led Maryland to the NCAA Championship last year.
• Maryland features a balanced attack on offense, featuring three Terrapins with at least eight goals scored. Midfielder Madison Maguire has the second most assists in the Big Ten with 10.
• Iowa is 3-12-1 all-time against Maryland with the Terrapins winning the last four matchups.
Iowa went 1-1 last weekend against two ranked opponents. On Friday, Oct. 5, the Hawkeyes fell to No. 6 Michigan, 2-1, despite outshooting the Wolverines 13-7. Mya Christopher scored her second goal of the season early in the first half, but Michigan’s goalkeeper had seven saves in the second half to hand Iowa its second Big Ten Loss. Iowa bounced back in a big way on Sunday in a 3-0 win over No. 21 Stanford. Three different Hawkeyes scored and Iowa’s defense was dominant allowing two shots and only one penalty corner en route to its seventh shutout of the season.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
The Hawkeyes are 5-1 at home this season and are outscoring opponents 23-3 at Grant Field. Since 1989, the Hawkeyes are 158-57 at home, including this season.
Led by junior goalkeeper Leslie Speight, the Hawkeye defense recorded its seventh shutout of the season in Iowa’s 3-0 win over No. 21 Stanford on Sunday. Iowa’s back line surrendered only two shots with none on goals and one penalty corner against the Cardinal. Iowa has only allowed 10 goals in 13 games for a 0.69 goals against average, which is the second lowest in the nation behind No. 1 North Carolina. Iowa holds opponents to 5.9 shots per game and has nearly doubled its opponents in penalty corners this season (85 to 45). Speight’s .796 save percentage ranks second in the Big Ten and seventh in the country.
BALLIN’ IN THE BIG TEN
Iowa is 3-2 in conference play, while outshooting opponents 60-26. On 12 shots on goal, Leslie Speight has made seven saves. Four Hawkeyes have scored at least two goals during Big Ten play. All 10 of Iowa’s conference goals have been assisted on.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Six Hawkeyes have scored at least three goals, while 11 different Hawkeyes have scored a goal this season. Of Iowa’s 39 goals, 32 have been assisted on, which is the third most in the Big Ten. Katie Birch leads the team with eight assists — tied for the eighth most in the Big Ten, while six 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 14 games and have played a key part in the Hawkeye defense. Nijziel, who earned Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on Sept. 17, recorded her first two career assists on Sunday against Stanford. Freshmen have accounted for six goals and five assists this season.
• Iowa snapped Stanford’s eight-game win streak on Sunday, Oct. 7 to finish with an 8-1 non-conference record.
• Iowa is outscoring opponents 39-10 this season and is 7-0 when scoring three or more goals. Iowa’s 2.01 average scoring margin ranks eighth in the country.
• The Hawkeyes average 14 shots per game, the fourth most in the Big Ten, while only allowing an average of 5.9 shots per game.
• Iowa’s 39 goals are the fourth most in the Big Ten and Iowa’s 32 assists are the third most in the Big Ten.
• Sophomore Maddy Murphy’s 10 goals are tied for the second most in the Big Ten, while her 25 points are the third most in the Big Ten. Murphy has already matched her season goals total from her freshman year.
• Junior Katie Birch has eight assists and seven goals for 22 points, the fifth most in the Big Ten. Birch’s 46 shots leads the team and are the sixth most in the conference.
• Sophie Sunderland has the third most goals (6) and points (16) on the team.
Seven Big Ten schools — No. 2 Maryland, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Iowa, No. 14 Rutgers, No. 15 Northwestern, and No. 22 Ohio State — are ranked in the latest Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll. Iowa has moved up 12 spots since being ranked 20th in the preseason rankings on Aug. 20. Iowa is ranked inside the top 10 nationally for the first time since Sept. 30, 2014. The Hawkeyes are set to face 10 top-25 and four top-10 ranked opponents in the regular season. Iowa is 4-3 against top-25 opponents with wins against No. 14 Wake Forest, No. 25 California, No. 23 Ohio State, and No. 21 Stanford with three of those wins coming on the road. Including this weekend, Iowa wraps up the season with five straight opponents ranked 21st or better, including three top-10 teams.
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.
The Hawkeyes finish the regular season on the road against No. 15 Rutgers on Friday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. (CT). Iowa has a week off after its last regular-season game, before the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Oct. 28.