UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After claiming the regular season Big Ten Championship, the University of Iowa field hockey team followed it up with a Big Ten Tournament title after downing Penn State, 1-0, in overtime in Sunday’s championship game at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.
The game went to overtime after a scoreless tie in regulation and junior Maddy Murphy was the hero, scoring the game-winning goal 23 seconds into the overtime period. The goal gave Iowa the sudden victory win. The win marks the first time the Hawkeyes swept the Big Ten regular season and conference tournament title in school history.
“Unbelievable grit and resilience from this team,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “The first two quarters were not our best hockey, but in the third and fourth we put Penn State under a lot of pressure and got momentum. That was a key to the game”
“Could not be more proud of this team,” Cellucci added. “Their motivation and consistency has been unbelievable all year. Another goal checked off and on to the NCAA Tournament.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
With no goals in four periods of regulation, both sides flexed their muscles on defense. Sophomore Lokke Stribos made Iowa’s first big defensive play of the game, coming out to stop Penn State’s first penalty corner attempt.
Then it was Leslie Speight’s turn. She saved all five shots faced in the first half. Her cage-defending play upheld the scoreless tie heading in to halftime.
Iowa started to gain momentum and possession in the third and fourth quarters, but couldn’t muster a goal across. The Hawkeyes recorded two shots in the fourth, but neither were on goal.
After 60 scoreless minutes, the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions went to overtime. The Hawkeyes received the ball first in overtime and that’s all they needed. Freshman Esme Gibson took the ball along the right side and passed it to sophomore Leah Zellner, who dribbled into the circle along the baseline and delivered a perfect pass to Murphy.
With an open cage, Murphy did the rest, scoring her team-leading 12th goal to give Iowa the 1-0 advantage to take the Big Ten Championship game.
- It’s the first time that Iowa has won a Big Ten regular season title and a Big Ten Championship in the same season. Only four Big Ten programs have accomplished the feat: Penn State (1997, 2012), Michigan (2000), Michigan State (2009), and Maryland (2015).
- It’s Iowa’s sixth Big Ten Tournament title in program history.
- Senior Katie Birch claimed Big Ten Tournament MVP. Senior Sophie Sunderland and sophomore Lokke Stribos were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
Iowa will advance onto the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA will announce tournament details tonight at 9 p.m. (CT) on the NCAA Selection Show. It will be streamed live on NCAA.com. The NCAA Tournament begins Friday, Nov. 15 with the first round.