No. 8 Hawkeyes Travel to Michigan for Kent State Matchup

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The eighth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team visits Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on Kent State on Saturday, September 21 in a neutral site matchup.  

• Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contests via live stats on Click on the “Live Stats” link found on the field hockey schedule page.  
• Fans can also follow @IowaFieldHockey on Twitter for live in-game updates.
• Both games will be streamed live on BTN+ (subscription) or use BTN ToGo for free access on campus. 

Then No. 7 Iowa hosted two non-conference opponents last weekend. The Hawkeyes defeated California 4-2, on Friday at Grant Field. Senior Katie Birch opened scoring on a trick play in the 28th minute, followed by Nikki Freeman (37th) and Sophie Sunderland (45th). Birch rounded out scoring in the 47th minute to seal the victory.

The Hawkeyes returned to Grant Field on Sunday to take on No. 2 Duke. The Blue Devils scored first with a goal in the 41st minute from freshman Hannah Miller. Sophomore Anthe Nijziel countered in the 48th minute off a corner. This tie forced double overtime, where Miller would score a sudden victory goal in the 74th minute to win. After Friday’s victory and Sunday’s loss, the Hawkeyes are now 4-2 on the season. 

• Kent State is 4-3 on the season, facing top-25 competition against No. 25 Michigan State (L, 0-1) and No. 8 Louisville (L, 2-4). 
• The Golden Eagles return seven seniors. Senior Laila Richter leads the team in assists (7) while Junior Clara Rodriguez Seto leads the team in goals (5). 
• The coaching staff welcomed new head coach Kyle Desandes-Moyer in May of this year, who served as the head coach at LIU Brookyln since December 2016, where she was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2017.
• The Kent State program also hired two new assistant coaches for the 2019 season, Caitlin Walsh and Danielle Aviani. 

• The Hawkeyes lead the series 8-1 all-time against Kent State. The teams have never faced each other on a nuetral site — this weekend will be the first. Iowa’s only loss in the series was at Kent State in 2010.
• In their last matchup, the Hawkeyes defeated Kent State 2-0 in September of 2016. Then freshman Isabella Solaroli scored the game defining goal in the 50th minute, her second ever. 

• The Hawkeyes continued their posession domination from the previous weekend against California, controlling the ball for most of the game. Iowa totaled 24 shots to California’s four, nine corners to two, and forced two green cards during play. 
• Sunday’s match against No. 2 Duke was evenly contested across the board. Duke shot 11 times across all periods, compared to Iowa’s 12. The Hawkeyes earned three penalty corners opposed to Duke’s five, capitalizing on one with a goal from Anthe Nijziel. 

• Senior Sophie Sunderland leads the team in goals (5), followed by Katie Birch with four. Birch scored two goals in Iowa’s win over California. Sofie Stribos, Lokke Stribos, Maddy Murphy, and Anthe Nijziel all follow the seniors and boast two goals. 11 Hawkeyes have scored at least one goal so far this season. 
• Birch leads the team in assists with five thus far, followed by Maddy Murphy, Meghan Conroy, Sophie Sunderland and Ellie Holley who sport two a piece. Holley and Sunderland both recorded assists this weekend in respective games.  
• Senior goalkeeper Leslie Speight saw little action in Iowa’s victory over California thanks to her defense, recording only one save. In Sunday’s matchup against Duke, Speight saved seven shots, including two in the first overtime period.  

• The Big Ten Conference boasts eight ranked programs in the latest 2019 Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll. Five teams are among the top-15 (Maryland, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Northwestern). Michigan State steadily moves up the rankings to No. 23, leaving Indiana as the only unranked Big Ten program. 

Senior Sophie Sunderland was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, the conference announced  September 9. This is Sunderland’s first weekly honor of the season and second of her career. She was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week in 2016.
Sunderland, a native of Ipswich, England, recorded her second career hat trick in Iowa’s 11-0 victory over Central Michigan. She scored in the 27th, 51st, and the 55th minute, recording the Hawkeyes’ first hat trick of the season.
On Sunday September 8th, Sunderland was key in keeping the ball moving downfield quickly, allowing opportunities for her teammates to score in their 3-1 victory over Columbia.

• Katie Birch, Maddy Murphy, and Sophie Sunderland earned preseason All-Big Ten recognition, announced by the conference on August 27. 
• Birch, a senior midfielder from York, England, earned NFHCA second team All-American recognition after starting all 18 games and recording team highs in assists (10) — the fourth most in the Big Ten a season ago. She recorded 56 shots to tally 26 points. This is the third straight year Birch has earned preseason honors by the Big Ten Conference.
•   Murphy, a junior forward, started all 18 games last year and recorded 13 goals and 33 points. The Riana, Tasmania, native was named to the NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad and earned NFHCA first team All-West Region honors and first team All-Big Ten honors last season. Murphy led the team with four game-winning goals.
• Sunderland, a senior midfielder, earned second team All-Big Ten honors by posting career highs in goals (7), assists (5), and points (19) during her junior year last season. The Ipswich, England, native, recorded her first career hat trick in Iowa’s 7-1 win over Ball State. Last season’s selection to the All-West regional roster was the first of her career.

The Hawkeyes have been selected to the NCAA Tournament 23 times in program history — the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes are 26-24 all-time in tournament play, including 9-6 in first round match-ups and 11-6 in second round contests. Iowa has advanced to 11 NCAA Final Fours, winning the 1986 national championship. The Hawkeyes’ 26 tournament victories and 11 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference. 
• In 2018, Iowa faced Wake Forest, falling 2-1. Wake Forest would go on to earn a Final Four appearance and lose to eventual champion North Carolina. 

• The Hawkeyes return 18 letterwinners from last season. 
• 10 of Iowa’s 18 letterwinners saw action in all 21 contests during the 2018 season. 
• Iowa welcomes four freshman, including Amy Gaiero, Sofie Stribos, Esme Gibson, and Ellie Flynn.

The Hawkeyes host a B1G weekend against No. 12 Ohio State on Friday, September 27th and No. 23 Michigan State on Sunday, September 29th at Grant Field. Admission is free.