5 Hawkeyes Earn NFHCA All-West Region Honors

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Five Hawkeyes — seniors Katie Birch and Sophie Sunderland, junior Maddy Murphy, and sophomores Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos — earned National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-West Region recognition, the NFHCA announced Monday.

It is the second straight year five Hawkeyes have earned All-West Regional honors. Birch, Murphy, and Nijziel claimed first-team honors, while Sunderland and Stribos were selected to the second team.

The accolade is the fourth of Birch’s career and her third career first-team All-West Region honor. She becomes the fourth Hawkeye and first since Lauren Stiver (2001-04) to garner four consecutive All-West Regional honors.

The York, England, native scored seven goals and recorded 10 assists for 24 points — the eighth-most in the Big Ten — in her senior campaign, helping lead Iowa to Big Ten regular season and conference tournament championships, and an Elite Eight appearance. Birch was also named Big Ten Tournament MVP.

It is Murphy’s third career All-West Region honor and second first-team All-West selection. The Raina, Tasmania, native led Iowa in goals (12), assists (13), and points (37), which all ranked top-three in the Big Ten. Murphy scored the game-winning overtime goal against Penn State to give the Hawkeyes the Big Ten Tournament title. She registered her second career hat trick in Iowa’s 6-1 win at Indiana.

Nijziel, a native of Eindhoven, Netherlands, earned her second career All-West honor after being named to the second team last season. A key cog in Iowa’s defense, Nijziel started all 21 games, scoring six goals and adding one assist for 13 points.

Sunderland, a midfielder from Ipswich, England, earns her second career All-West honor after being named to the second team last season. Sunderland totaled 14 points on five goals and four assists as a senior.

Stribos, who scored the second-most goals (10) on the team, and fifth-most in the Big Ten, earned her first career All-West regional honor. A native of Brussels, Belgium, Stribos was a key defender, playing a big role in Iowa’s penalty corner offense.