Field Hockey Notebook: Elite Eight


The No. 4 University of Iowa field hockey team (11-5, 5-3) received an at large bid for the NCAA Tournament as the fourth overall seed, playing its first match in the second round on Sunday, May 2 at 2 p.m. (CT) at Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Hawkeyes will take on No. 5 Northwestern (12-5, 5-3).


  • 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.
  • A live stream is available via which is free to access on the website. A link can be found on the Iowa field hockey schedule page on


  • No. 4 Iowa is 11-5 overall and ended conference play 5-3 — its only losses in the Big Ten were against No. 2 Michigan, No. 12 Maryland and No. 8 Northwestern.
  • The Hawkeyes defeated No. 12 Maryland, 3-0, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament in Iowa City, advancing to the semifinals where they fell to No. 2 Michigan, 2-0.
  • Of the Hawkeyes 11 wins, eight have been shutouts.
  • Iowa’s defense has only allowed ten goals, 32 shots on goal, and 67 overall shots on the season. Iowa’s offense has posted 24 goals, 100 shots on goal, and 182 total shots on the season.
  • Senior Maddy Murphy leads the Hawkeyes with 15 points off seven goals and an assist. Senior Ellie Holly follows with 12 points off three goals and six assists.
  • Senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire has posted 21 saves on the season and allowed only ten total goals this season from opponents.


  • No. 5 Northwestern defeated No. 20 Delaware, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to advance.
  • Northwestern is 12-5 overall, ending conference play 5-3 ; with wins over Michigan State, Penn State and Indiana, Iowa, and Rutgers, twice.
  • As a team, the Wildcats are averaging 2.25 goals, off 14 shots per game. Defensively, they tallied 62 saves so far this season led by freshman Annabel Skubisz. Offensively, Northwestern is led by redshirt sophomore Bente Baekers with 12 goals, 29 points and five assists.
  • In the Hawkeyes first two matchups with the Wildcats, Northwestern came out with both wins. In the first game, Iowa controlled the game with eight shots to Northwestern’s four. Sophomore Esme Gibson scored first to earn Iowa’s sole goal, while Baekers notched in two goals on the day to take the victory. In the second match, play was more balance with both teams tallying 10 shots, and Iowa tabbing six shots on goal to the Wildcats’ five. Northwestern was able to find the back of the net in the 43rd minute to seal the win.
  • Freshman Maddie Zimmer earned All-Big Ten Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten, along with teammate junior Kayla Blas. Baekers earned Second Team All-Big Ten, and sophomore Abby Renaud earned the sportsmanship honoree.
  • Head coach Tracey Fuchs, is in her 12th season with Northwestern. This marks Fuchs’ fourth NCAA appearance with the Wildcats. In 2019, they earned one of eight at large bids for the NCAA Tournament after posting a 14-8 season.


  • The Big Ten is represented by six teams in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) 2021 Poll, including No. 2 Michigan, No. 4 Iowa, No. 5 Northwestern, No. 8 Rutgers, No. 9 Maryland, and No. 14 Penn State.
  • 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.


  • Junior Anthe Nijziel was named Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Big Ten the conference announced April 19.
  • These honors are the first of Nijziel’s career and the first Hawkeye to earn both awards in program history.
  • In matchups against Rutgers (March 5) and Penn State (March 7), Nijziel played the full 120 minutes, keeping the Scarlet Knights shotless and only allowing one shot on goal from the Nittany Lions. The Hawkeyes are undefeated this season, recording four 1-0 shutouts over Indiana, Rutgers and Penn State, twice.
  • The Eindhoven, Netherlands, native scored the Hawkeyes’ lone goal in the win over Penn State off a penalty corner and assist from junior Leah Zellner.
  • Head coach Lisa Cellucci was named Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year, earning her second consecutive Coach of the Year honor. She shared the award with Rutgers’ Meredith Civico.
  • Junior Lokke Stribos and sophomore Esme Gibson were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. Gibson’s honor is the first of her career, while Stribos was named to the all-tournament team after 2018 Big Ten Tournament.


  • This year marks the 25th time in program history the Hawkeyes have been selected to the NCAA Tournament — the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference. With the first round bye, this also marks their 18th Elite Eight appearance in program history.
  • The Hawkeyes are 26-24 all-time in tournament play, including 9-6 in first round matchups 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.