No. 6 Iowa Falls in NCAA Tournament to No. 1 North Carolina

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The sixth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team dropped its NCAA Second Round game, 2-1, to top-ranked and undefeated North Carolina on Sunday at Karen Shelton Stadium.  
The Hawkeyes end the 2019 season with a 17-5 (7-1) record, a Big Ten regular season title, and a Big Ten Championship title.
“I could not be more proud of this team,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “They are warriors in every sense of the word. The 2019 Hawkeyes made history this year.”
The Elite Eight was a defensive battle throughout with North Carolina’s fourth-quarter goal being the difference maker.
The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie with no shots or penalty corners from either team.
In the second quarter, the Hawkeyes were awarded the game’s first penalty corner, and they capitalized. Junior Maddy Murphy inserted the ball to the top of the circle to sophomore Lokke Stribos, who passed it to her sister Sofie Stribos. Sofie then directed the ball into the cage from the right side, giving Iowa a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. It was Stribos’ third goal of the season.
In the 25th minute, North Carolina earned its first penalty corner of the game, and like Iowa, they capitalized. Erin Matson scored the equalizing goal for the Tar Heels. The goal was upheld after a lengthy review. 
With 30 seconds left in the first half, sophomore Ciara Smith had a good look, but her shot sailed wide. It was only the third shot of the half from either team and the game was tied, 1-1, heading into the break.
In the third quarter, the Hawkeyes were forced to play down a player twice from two green cards, but the Tar Heels didn’t capitalize on that advantage. After the sides evened, Iowa had two penalty corners late in the third period.
Iowa failed to get a shot off on the first penalty corner, but senior Katie Birch fired a shot on goal to the lower right corner of the cage, but it was saved by the North Carolina goalkeeper.
Moments after the fourth quarter started, North Carolina scored the game-winning goal on a breakaway, giving the Tar Heels a 2-1 lead.
Iowa recorded three shots, including a shot on goal by junior Ellie Holley in the fourth period, but couldn’t find the equalizing goal. With two and a half minutes left to play, Iowa pulled goalkeeper Leslie Speight. Up a player, the Hawkeyes couldn’t get into the circle to force a penalty corner or a shot on goal.


  • Iowa outshot North Carolina, 7-2, and recorded three penalty corners to their one. North Carolina’s two shots were the fewest they recorded in 21 games this season.
  • Iowa graduates five seniors – Katie Birch, Isabella Solaroli, Ryley Miller, Sophie Sunderland, and Leslie Speight. The Hawkeyes return their leading goal scorers, Maddy Murphy and Lokke Stribos, along with five other starters.


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