IOWA CITY, Iowa — The seventh-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team defeated UC Davis, 3-1, at Grant Field on Sunday, tallying their fifth consecutive win. The Hawkeyes extended their record 9-2 (3-0).
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes came out strong in the first period. Iowa opened scoring in the 10th minute with an unassisted goal from sophomore Leah Zellner. The fast break dribble was one of eight shots by Iowa in the first period, which set the tone for the rest of the match.
After halftime, sophomore Anthe Nijziel capitalized off a corner, putting in a quick goal after assists from Katie Birch and Ellie Holley in the 36th minute.
Late in the third period, sophomore Lokke Stribos sent a shot from outside the arch to junior Nikki Freeman, who tipped the ball in for the score. UC Davis would attempt a comeback at the start of the fourth period, scoring in the 47th minute on the team’s only shot of the game.
HEARING FROM HEAD COACH LISA CELLUCCI
On Iowa’s defense…
“The defense was outstanding. Anthe Nizjiel, Lokke Stribos, and Esme Gibson played fantastically in the back. UC Davis is a quality team and has some dangerous counter attacks, so we needed to organize our counter defense early on.”
On the team moving forward…
“We have a lot of momentum. We knew both of these opponents were going to challenge us in different ways. We got the monkey off our back against Rutgers, and then we played a quality game today. We feel great ahead of Maryland and Penn State next weekend. We need to tweak a few things, but we’re excited for the challenge ahead.”
On stand outs against UC Davis…
“Katie Birch was outstanding. Maddy Murhpy had to play most in the midfield which was out of position for her, and she was great. Today she helped us with our defense on the left side of the field and had some great opportunities that lead to our goals.”
HEARING FROM THE HAWKEYES
“Our passing was still on point today,” Leah Zellner said. “We focused on simple and short passes and playing as a team. We pulled it off. We knew they were going to be a hard team, so we worked on passing the ball around them just like when we played Rutgers earlier this weekend. We stuck to the game plan.”
“We wanted to be aggressive inside and outside the circle,” Katie Birch said. “We try to play simple and build off the ball quickly while trying to play aggressively on attack and on defense. We just need to put it in the goal now. Our energy makes such a good environment here and hockey is our passion. We’re just trying to do the best we can.”
The Hawkeyes dominated play, holding UC Davis to only one shot and one corner.
Sophomore Leah Zellner scored her fourth goal in as many games — moving herself to tie Katie Birch, Maddy Murphy, and Sophie Sunderland for the team leader in goals (5).
Senior Katie Birch recorded her eighth assist on the season and leads the team in total points (18).
The Hawkeyes hit the road to face top-five opponent Maryland in College Park on Friday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. (CT). On Sunday, the Hawkeyes travel to University Park, Penn., to face Penn State at 11 a.m. (CT). Follow live on hawkeyesports.com.