2020 Season: Final Notes

The No. 4 University of Iowa field hockey team’s season came to a finish in the 2020 NCAA Tournament Final Four in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Iowa fell to No. 1 North Carolina, 3-0. This is the first season since 2008 that the Hawkeyes advanced to the Final Four. The Hawkeyes ended their season, 12-6 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten Conference.


  • No. 4 Iowa finished the season 12-6 overall and ended conference play 5-3 — its only losses were against opponents that ended the season ranked in the NFHCA Top-12, including No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Michigan, and No. 5 Northwestern.
  • Iowa broke past No. 5 Northwestern, 3-1, in the NCAA Elite Eight, advancing to its 12th Final Four in program history.
  • Iowa defeated No. 12 Maryland, 3-0, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament in Iowa City, advancing to the semifinals where the Hawkeyes fell to No. 2 Michigan, 2-0.
  • Of the Hawkeyes 12 wins, eight were shutouts credited to junior goalkeeper Grace McGuire. McGuire posted 35 saves on the season and allowed only 14 total goals.
  • Iowa’s defense held its opponents to 89 total shots and 50 shots on goal.
  • The Hawkeyes posted 26 goals, 117 shots on goal, and 209 total shots on the season.
  • Senior Maddy Murphy led the Hawkeyes with 18 points on the season off eight goals and two assists. Senior Ellie Holly followed with 13 points off three goals and seven assists.


  • Seniors Maddy Murphy, Emily Deuell, Ellie Holley, and Nikki Freeman will return for the fall 2021 season, taking advantage of the NCAA’s eligibility waiver due to COVID delaying the original fall 2020 season.
  • Together, these seniors have made three NCAA appearances, including an Elite Eight and Final Four run in 2021.
  • They advanced to consecutive Big Ten Championship Finals, winning the 2019 Championship Title.
  • Holley and Murphy earned All-America Honors during the 2021 spring season. Murphy registered her third All-America honor, making her the eighth Hawkeye in program history to accomplish this feat.


  • Junior Anthe Nijziel was named Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-Big Ten, the conference announced on April 18 — the honors are the first of Nijziel’s career and the first Hawkeye to earn Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards in program history.
  • 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.


  • Iowa marked its 25th NCAA Tournament selection in program history — the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
  • Iowa has advanced to 12 NCAA Final Fours, winning the 1986 national championship.
  • The Hawkeyes’ 27 NCAA tournament victories and 12 NCAA Final Four appearances are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
  • Iowa broke past No. 5 Northwestern, 3-1, in the NCAA Elite Eight, advancing to the Final Four where it fell to No. 1 North Carolina.


  • Senior Ellie Holley and junior Anthe Nijziel both were named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
  • The honors are the pair’s first of their careers and they are the first NCAA All-Tournament honorees since 2008 when former Hawkeye Lauren Pfieffer and assistant coach Roz Ellis were named to the prestigious team.
  • Including Holley and Nijziel, 29 Hawkeyes have earned All-Tournament Team honors.
  • In Iowa’s NCAA Tournament run, Holley registered two shots and one assist in Iowa’s Elite Eight matchup against Northwestern, helping defeat the Wildcats, 3-1.
  • Nijziel led Iowa’s defense throughout the entire tournament, helping to set the pace of each game. The junior registered two goals and three assists on the season for the Hawkeyes.


  • Seniors Ellie Holley and Maddy Murphy and junior Anthe Nijziel were named NFHCA All-Americans.
  • The honors are Holley and Nijziel’s first of their careers and Murphy’s third.
  • The three makeup the 95th, 96th and 97th Hawkeyes named All-Americans.
  • Murphy’s third honor makes her the eighth Hawkeye to be a three-time All-American.


  • Murphy, Holley, Nijziel, and senior Lokke Stribos were named to NFHCA’s All-Region First Team and sophomore Esme Gibson was named to NFHCA’s All-Region second team.
  • The accolade is the fourth of Murphy’s distinguished career and third first-team selection. The senior becomes the fifth Hawkeye, and second in as many years (Katie Birch, 2016-19), to garner four consecutive All-West Regional honors.
  • This year, was Nijziel’s third honor after being named to first team in 2019 and second team in 2018.
  • Gibson’s honor was her career first after being named to the 2021 All-Big Ten Tournament Team.


  • 11 Hawkeyes earned Fall Academic All-Big Ten honors, including, seniors Nikki Freeman, Ellie Holley, Maddy Murphy, juniors Meghan Conroy, Makenna Maguire, Anthe Nijziel, Ciara Smith, Lokke Stribos, and sophomores Ellie Flynn, Esme Gibson, and Sofie Stribos.
  • 15 Hawkeyes earned NFHCA National Academic Squad recognition, including senior Ellie Holley and junior Lokke Stribos earned their third career selections. Seniors Nikki Freeman and Maddy Murphy, junior Meghan Conroy, and sophomores Ellie Flynn, Esme Gibson, and Sofie Stribos earned their second selections. Junior Ciara Smith, and freshmen Harper Dunne, Sophia Mackrella, Mary Jane McNary, Kelly Rose, Alex Wesneski, and Amelia Williams earned their first honors.