IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa field hockey junior Anthe Nijziel has been named Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, the conference announced Monday. Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci was named Co-Big Ten Coach of the Year along with Rutgers’ Meredith Civico.
Nijziel’s Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors are the seventh of each in program history, but it is the first time an Iowa student-athlete has been awarded both in the same season. Cellucci’s Big Ten Coach of the Year nod is her second consecutive and is the eighth program honor for a Hawkeye coach.
“I am ecstatic and so very proud of Anthe,” Cellucci said. “To be named the Big Ten Player of the Year as well as the Defensive Player of the Year is a remarkable accomplishment and one that she is so deserving of. From the minute Anthe stepped on campus as a freshmen, she has made an impact on and off the field. Besides her unbelievable skill and competitiveness, Anthe possesses a humble excellence and what makes her so special is that she is the first person to turn the spotlight on her teammates and reminds each of them how important they are to our success. Anthe is joining elite Iowa Field Hockey company today becoming the seventh Big Ten Player of the Year and the seventh Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in program history.”
Nijziel also earned first team All-Big Ten honors along with senior Ellie Holley. Senior Maddy Murphy was also named to the All-Big Ten second team. Senior Nikki Freeman was honored as Iowa’s recipient for the Big Ten Sportsmanship award.
Nijziel, the Netherlands native, registered two goals on eight shots on goal, three assists, and seven points for the Hawkeyes this season. She is an integral part of Iowa’s defense that has recorded seven shutouts this season and only allowed opponents eight goals and 54 shots.
Holley, a mid-fielder from Bristol, United Kingdom, recorded two goals on 17 shots, six assists – ranked third in the conference — and ten points so far this season.
Murphy, the Riana, Tasmania, native accumulated seven goals on 21 shots on goal, and 14 points this season. The senior forward leads Iowa’s offense with a 22.6 shooting percentage.
Freeman, a three-time letter winner, recorded one goal on seven shots, and two points this season playing in all twelve games.
Iowa will host the Big Ten Tournament this week, taking on Maryland in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, April 22 in Iowa City on Grant Field. Tickets can be purchased for $5 on hawkeyesports.com by clicking the link on the Iowa field hockey schedule.