IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa field hockey team won its first conference game of the season. No. 8 Iowa defeated No. 14 Ohio State, 2-1, in a hard-fought match at Grant Field on Friday. The Hawkeyes are now 6-2 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten Conference play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes came into their first conference matchup against the Buckeyes prepared for a fight. Both teams stayed scoreless into the second period, where sophomore Leah Zellner dribbled into the circle to score an unassisted goal.
The Buckeyes retaliated in the 28th minute to tie the score 1-1 after a goal from sophomore Tess Maloney. The goal came as a rebound off a block, which Maloney tipped in for the score.
Zellner took matters into her own hands, scoring the game’s defining goal. The Hawkeye defense forced a turnover, causing a breakaway sprint which Iowa took downfield. Junior Ellie Holley was credited with the assist.
“It feels great,” Zellner said after the win. “We knew it would be a tough game, and we had to battle to the final minutes of the game. We knew if we stuck to the game plan, the goals would come. We had to keep working with each other, and we did, playing relentless defense.”
HEARING FROM HEAD COACH LISA CELLUCCI
On the first conference win…
“Ohio State is a fantastic team, and we needed this [win] for regional consideration. It was an awesome back and forth battle, and we stuck to the game plan and executed in the end.”
On Leah Zellner’s performance…
“Leah was fantastic today. She made a great simple move by pulling right on the goalkeeper, and it was a classic execution in her second goal. We feel like we had opportunities in the third period but weren’t getting the upgrades, so it was great to finally finish and put us ahead.”
On Michigan State’s matchup on Sunday…
“Michigan State is also a great team ranked in the top 25. We’re going to have a different game plan, but we’re just going to go back at it tonight to get ready and be prepared.”
Leah Zellner scored two goals in a game — her first career game with more than one score.
The No. 8 Hawkeyes host conference opponent No. 24 Michigan State at Grant Field on Sunday, September 29 at 12 p.m. (CT). Admission is free.