Field Hockey Notebook: Week 1

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa field hockey team opens the 2021 season taking on Indiana and Penn State in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Hawkeyes face the Hoosiers on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT), followed by a match against the Nittany Lions on Sunday at 11:45 a.m. (CT).


  • Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contest via live stats on Click on the “Live Stats” link found on the field hockey schedule page to access the feed.  Fans can also follow @IowaFieldHockey on Twitter for live in-game updates.
  • View live video on BTN+, which requires a paid subscription. Monthly subscriptions are available for $9.95 for a school pass and gives you access to all Hawkeye events that are streamed on BTN+ or aired live on Big Ten Network.


  • The Hawkeyes return 13 letterwinners from last season.
  • Six of Iowa’s 13 letterwinners saw action in all 22 contests during the 2019 season.
  • Iowa welcomes seven freshman, including, Alex Wesneski, Sophia Mackrella, Sammy Freeman, Kelly Rose, Mary Jane McNary, Harper Dunne, and Amelia Williams.


  • Iowa scored 65 goals last season, while scoring four or more goals in seven games.
  • Iowa’s 65 goals and 2.95 goals per game beat the averages in the 2018 season of 51 goals and 2.43 goals per game.
  • The Hawkeyes had 41 assists and averaged 1.95 per game, which was the second most in the Big Ten.


  • Second Team NFHCA All-American Maddy Murphy led the team in goals (12), assists (13), and points (37). Murphy’s 13 goals tied for third most in the Big Ten and 37 points tied for second most in the Big Ten. She also scored the 2019 Big Ten Tournament Championship game winning goal in overtime to claim the title for the Hawkeyes.
  • Senior Maddy Murphy led the team in goals (11) on 34 shots and had a team high 37 points,. The NFHCA First Team All-West Regional selection had a team-leading three game-winning goals.


  • Maddy Murphy, Ante Nijziel and Lokke Stribos earned preseason All-Big Ten recognition, announced by the conference on Feb. 24.
  • Murphy, a senior forward from Riana, Tasmania, earned NFHCA second team All-American recognition after starting all 22 games and recording team highs in  goals (12) — tied for third most in the Big Ten, assists (10) — the fourth most in the Big Ten, and (37) points — tied for second most in the Big Ten. She recorded 55 shots to tally 37 points. This is the fourth straight year Birch has earned preseason honors by the Big Ten Conference.
  • Nijziel, a senior defender, started all 22 games last year and recorded six goals and 13 points on 38 shots. The Eindhoven, Netherlands, native earned NFHCA first team All-West Region honors and second team All-Big Ten honors last season.
  • Stirbos, a senior midfielder, started in all 22 games last season and earned NFHCA second team All-West Region honors. She is ranked second on the team and fifth in the conference in goals (10). She is also ranked fifth in the Big Ten in points per game (1.14). The Brussels, Belguim, native, recorded five assists and 25 points in Iowa’s 2019 season.


  • This spring the Hawkeyes will host the Big Ten Tournament in Iowa City, Iowa, April 20-24, 2021.
  • The Hawkeyes will play an eight week, 14 game conference-only season leading into the Big Ten Tournament. Last year, Iowa went 7-1 in the conference and defeated Penn State 1-0 winning the Big Ten Championship and tied  for the Big Ten Regular Season Championship title.


  • Indiana was 5-12 overall last season and 1-7 in the conference, averaging 1.53 goals per game. The Hoosiers were led by junior forward Hailey Couch with 10 goals.
  • The Hoosiers are led by seniors Sachi Ananias and Sofia Keen.
  • Indiana returns 10 athletes from the 2019 season.
  • Freshman Jemima Cookson, sophomore Sydney Keld, and junior Mary Kate Kesler — earned Big Ten Preseason Watch List honors.
  • Junior Hailey Couch earned 2019 Big Ten Honors.
  • Head coach Kayla Bashore, a two-time All-American for the Hoosiers, enters her second season leading the program.


  • Iowa leads the all-time series, 20-7, and is 6-2, on a neutral pitch.
  • Iowa has won the last four matchups against the Hoosiers.
  • Iowa dominated Indiana in 2019, 6-1, with goals scored by Katie Birch, Maddy Murphy, and Anthe Nijziel in the first half. Murphy added two more in the second half and Lokke Stribos closed out scoring with the sixth goal.


  • The Nittany Lions are led by seniors Emma Spisak, Bree Bednarski, Madison Hutson, Abby Myers, and Hannah Zamaitis.
  • Penn State  went 8-12 overall and 4-4 in the conference, averaging 1.85 goals per game. They made it to the Big Ten Championship and fell to Iowa 1-0.
  • The Lions return 19 student-athletes from last season.
  • Head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss is in her 34th year at Penn State and owns 537 wins with the program. She has the fifth most wins in NCAA history.


  • Iowa leads the all-time series, 29-25-1, and splits the neutral site record with the Nittany Lions, 8-8.
  • The Nittany Lions last faced the Hawkeyes in the 2019 Big Ten Championship finals, where the Hawkeyes won, 1-0, in overtime with the sole goal by Maddy Murphy.
  • Previously, the two teams played once during the regular season, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions, 4-1.


  • Seven Big Ten teams finished the 2019 season ranked in the top-25 of the Penn Monto/NFHCA Rankings, including No. 3 Maryland, No. 6 Iowa, No. 11 Michigan, No. 11 Northwestern, No. 18 Rutgers No. 22 Penn State, and No. 24 Ohio State.
  • The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) has announced that the first coaches poll of the 2020-21 season will be released in March.


  • The Hawkeyes have been selected to the NCAA Tournament 24 times in program history — the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
  • The Hawkeyes are 26-24 all-time in tournament play, including 9-6 in first round match-ups and 11-6 in second round contests.
  • Iowa has advanced to 11 NCAA Final Fours, winning the 1986 national championship.
  • The Hawkeyes’ 26 NCAA tournament victories and 11 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
  • In 2019, Iowa faced UNC in the second round of the NCAA tournament, falling 1-2. North Carolina would go on to beat Princeton and win the championship.


  • Lisa Cellucci, Michael Boal, and Roz Ellis were named NFHCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year for the second consecutive season, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association announced Dec. 9, 2019.
  • Led by sixth-year head coach Lisa Cellucci, the Hawkeyes went 17-5 (7-1) and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Elite Eight.
  • Cellucci was also name Big Ten Coach of the Year.    
  • Boal completed his sixth season along with former Hawkeye and two-time first team All-Big Ten selection Ellis who completed her second season as an assistant coach.
  • The 2019 Hawkeyes are the first Iowa field hockey team to win the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in the same season. The Hawkeyes were the fifth team in the conference to accomplish the feat.
  • The Hawkeye coaching staff mentored three All-Big Ten, five All-West, and the NFHCA West Region Player of the Year.


The Hawkeyes will play one last weekend in Virginia Beach, Virginia, taking on Ruters on Friday, March 5 at 9:30 a.m. and Penn State on Sunday March 7 at 11:45 a.m.

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