IOWA CITY, Iowa – Five Hawkeyes – Maddy Murphy, Katie Birch, Sophie Sunderland, Ellie Holley, and Anthe Nijziel – earned National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-West Region recognition, the NFHCA announced Monday. Murphy and Birch claimed first team honors, while Sunderland, Holley, and Nijziel were named to the second team.
Murphy, a sophomore forward, earned the second all-region honor of her career after being named to the All-West second team as a freshman. The first team All-Big Ten selection led Iowa with 13 goals and 33 points, both of which ranked top-five in the conference. From Raina, Tasmania, Murphy posted her first career hat trick in Iowa’s 3-2 over No. 6 Penn State to earn Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week.
It’s the third straight year Birch has garnered All-West regional accolades. In 2016, the York, England, native was a second team selection, while being named to the first team a season ago. This season, the second team All-Big Ten selection led Iowa with a career-high 10 assists, while also scoring eight goals for 26 points. Birch registered her fourth career hat trick in Iowa’s 6-0 win against Dartmouth and was a key piece of Iowa’s outstanding defense.
Sunderland, a junior midfielder, earned second team All-Big Ten honors by posting career highs in goals (7), assists (5), and points (19). The Ipswich, England, native, recorded her first career hat trick in Iowa’s 7-1 win over Ball State. It’s her first All-West regional selection of her career.
Holley, a sophomore midfielder, claimed her first career postseason honors. The Bristol, United Kingdom, native, scored four goals and recorded three assists on the season. Holley was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team.
Nijziel, a freshman defender, started all 21 games, recording 14 points on five goals and four assists to earn the first postseason accolades of her career. The Eindhoven, Netherlands, native helped anchor a Hawkeye defense that allowed only 23 goals in 21 games. Nijziel was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on Sept. 17 and was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.