EVANSTON, Ill. — The sixth-seeded University of Iowa Field Hockey team fell to top-seeded Maryland, 2-1, in the Big Ten Championship on rainy, windy Sunday at Lakeside Field. In a rematch from the regular season, the Hawkeyes nearly clawed their way back from a 2-0 deficit.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Maryland scored first in the fifth minute on a goal from Madison Maguire. Iowa saw its first opportunity when sophomore midfielder Maddy Murphy nearly sneaked a shot passed Maryland’s goalkeeper Sarah Holliday in the eighth minute, but Maryland made the stop. Murphy had another good look in the 21st minute, but Holliday again made the save.
The Hawkeyes didn’t allow a Terrapin shot since the 5:39 mark and outshot Maryland three to one in the first half. Iowa trailed 1-0 at the break.
Iowa came out in the second half with more urgency and nearly evened the game at one in the 39th minute when Mya Christopher‘s rebound attempt went wide. A few possessions later, Maryland extended its lead to 2-0 in the 41st minute. However, Iowa responded in a big way.
On the second of back-to-back penalty corner attempts, Katie Birch scored her eighth goal of the season in the 45th minute to cut Iowa’s deficit to 2-1. Makenna Grewe sent in the entry pass and was credited with the assist. Iowa had seized momentum and almost found an equalizing goal from freshman Leah Zellner after she forced a turnover in Maryland’s half but her shot sailed wide.
After the media timeout in the second half, Birch made a key defensive save on a Maryland penalty corner attempt. The score stood at 2-1 when Iowa called a timeout with 5:58 left on the clock. Minutes after the timeout, Ellie Holley put a backhanded shot on goal, but Maryland’s Holliday made the save. Iowa pulled goalkeeper Leslie Speight with less than four minutes remaining, but couldn’t push across the game-tying goal in the final minutes.
QUOTING COACH CELLUCCI
“Our group is really disappointed as we had opportunities in the second half to put goals on the board and we didn’t finish. I am proud of the way we battled and thought our defensive gameplan was executed well.”
“Now we wait to find out our NCAA fate. We have a great resume and truly hope this team is given the opportunity to keep playing. They deserve it.”
- The Hawkeyes became the first ever six-seed to advance to the Big Ten Championship.
- It was Iowa’s first appearance in the Big Ten title game since 2013.
- Ellie Holley and Anthe Nijziel earned Big Ten All-Tournament team honors.
- Iowa registered six shots on goal from four different players with Maryland’s goalkeeper making five saves.
The Hawkeyes learn their NCAA Tournament fate tonight at 9 p.m. (CT) via the NCAA Tournament Selection Show that will air live on NCAA.com.