IOWA CITY, Iowa – Five different Hawkeyes scored, leading the third-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team to a 5-3 season-opening victory over No. 11 Wake Forest on Friday afternoon in the B1G/ACC Challenge at Grant Field.
“We have so many talented players (up top),” said senior Ellie Holley. “That is one thing from last season, we need to start putting goals in the back of the net. Five different people scoring, that’s brilliant.
“It was simple hockey. A lot of the goals came from pass-pass-pass and into the back of the net. We were playing together and as a team. The ball goes faster than you do, it’s the simple pass.”
The Hawkeyes were efficient, scoring three goals on just five shots in the first quarter to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Senior Maddy Murphy netted the first goal in the sixth minute following assists from Ellie Holley and Lokke Stribos and minutes later, junior Esme Gibson dribbled in and scored to make it a 2-0 lead for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa pushed its lead to 3-0 in the 12th minute when Lokee Strikos found the back of the cage from the top of the key off an Iowa corner. Wake Forest answered in the second quarter with a goal from Brooke McCuster off its own penalty corner, but Iowa took a 3-1 lead into the break.
Freshman Annika Herbine netted her first career goal in the 41st minute off an assist from senior Meghan Conroy, pushing the Hawkeye advantage to 4-1.
“It felt great, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” said Herbine. “The goal started in the back with Harper (Dunne) and she sent it out wide to Meg. I would have never got the ball if it didn’t start from the back.”
Wake Forest took advantage of two penalty corners in a three-minute stretch in the second half to make it a game, closing the deficit to 4-3. Senior Ciara Smith sealed Iowa’s season-opening win, finishing a shot into the far corner following an assist from Murphy in the 56th minute.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH LISA CELLUCCI
“We found a way to score in key moments to take away momentum and in the end, that was the difference. What is most exciting is we’re so much better than what we showed today, but we played a quality opponent, too.
“To put three goals in the first two quarters was fantastic and to have the variety and depth of the people that did score. Cierra’s goal was timely because we needed to take away momentum.”
- Herbine made her freshman debut, made her first career start and notched her first career goal.
- The last time Iowa scored three or more goals against Wake Forest was in 2014, when they beat the Demon Deacons, 4-1, in Chapel Hill, N.C.
- The Hawkeyes finished the game with five assists with two coming from Holley.
- Lokke Stribos, Esme Gibson and Harper Dunne played the full 60 minutes.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday, hosting top-ranked North Carolina at 11 a.m. (CT) at Grant Field. The Tar Heels lost to No. 2 Michigan, 3-2, in the opening game of the Challenge.