The second-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team returns to Grant Field this weekend for a pair of nonconference contests. The Hawkeyes will host Ohio on Friday at 3 p.m. (CT) and Saint Louis on Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission is free to both contests.
• Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contest via live stats on hawkeyesports.com. 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.
• Friday and Sunday’s game will both be streamed live on BTN+ — a paid subscription service.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Head coach Lisa Cellucci — the 2020 Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year — is in her eighth season at the helm of the Hawkeye field hockey program and her 22nd season overall. Cellucci has been a part of 255 Iowa victories and in 2020, she led the program to the Final Four for the 12th time — the first since 2008 — in its history.
• The Hawkeyes are ranked second in the latest Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. Iowa received nine first-place votes and have 309 total points, 11 behind first-place Michigan.
• Iowa has started 4-0 for a second straight season. The Hawkeyes went 2-0 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the first time in program history before posting a pair of shutouts last weekend in wins over New Hampshire and Boston.
• The Hawkeyes return all 11 starters and a total of 21 letterwinners, including every player from last season’s Final Four team.
• Iowa returns three All-Americans — Anthe Nijziel, Maddy Murphy and Ellie Holley — and a total of five players that earned NFHCA All-Region distinction.
• Nijziel is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
HOW ‘BOUT THE D?
The Hawkeyes posted back-to-back shutouts in victories over New Hampshire and Boston University. Iowa’s defense surrendered just five shots in the two games combined. Senior Grace McGuire made three saves in the two shutouts — the eighth and ninth of her career.
I SCORE, YOU SCORE, WE ALL SCORE
The Hawkeyes have scored 15 goals in the first four games of the 2021 season with nine different players finding the back of the cage. In contrast, Iowa had eight total players score during the 2020 season.
• Iowa’s 15 goals are second in the Big Ten, trailing only Northwestern’s 18 (which have come in one extra game).
• The Hawkeyes have scored three or more goals in each of their first four games.
• Five Hawkeyes have scored two or more goals this season with senior Lokke Stribos leading the way with three goals. The three strikes are tied for second in the Big Ten.
• In the season-opening win over Wake Forest, five different Hawkeyes scored in the victory. Four different players scored in a win over Boston and three in victories over North Carolina and New Hampshire.
The Hawkeyes have tallied 13 assists in the first two weeks of the season, which are third-most in the league. Senior Ellie Holley is leading the conference with four assists and senior Maddy Murphy is tied for third with three assists.
• Holley also has eight points, which ranks sixth in the conference.
• Eight different Hawkeyes have been credited with an assist in 2021.
Senior Grace McGuire made a career-high nine saves in Iowa’s 3-1 victory over No. 1 North Carolina. The St. Louis, Missouri, native has 15 saves in four games, which ranks second in the Big Ten, and her .789 saves percentage is also second in the conference.
• McGuire, who has two shutouts on the season, is 4-0 with a 1.019 goals against average and she averages 3.75 saves per games.
Senior Maddy Murphy was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Aug. 30 and the NFHCA Division I National Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 1 for her play in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Tasmania native scored two goals and had two assists in leading the Hawkeyes to victories over No. 11 Wake Forest and No. 1 North Carolina.
• It is Murphy’s first career national honor and her second Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor.
Iowa opened the 2021 season with a two victories in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, downing No. 11 Wake Forest (5-3) and No. 1 North Carolina (3-1).
• It was the first time school history that Iowa has gone 2-0 in the Challenge.
• The win over North Carolina was the first for the program since 2008. That was the last time the Hawkeyes defeated the No. 1 ranked team in the nation.
B1G PLAYERS TO WATCH
Seniors Maddy Murphy, Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos were named Big Ten Players to Watch for the 2021 season. The trio has combined to start 212 games over their Hawkeye careers.
SUPER SENIOR FINALE
The Hawkeyes welcome back Maddy Murphy, Emily Deuell, Ellie Holley and Nikki Freeman for an encore as the quartet will take advantage of the NCAA’s eligibility waiver due to COVID-19. These seniors have made three NCAA appearances, including an Elite Eight and Final Four run and they advanced to consecutive Big Ten Championship finals, including winning a title in 2019.
The Hawkeyes boast an experienced team with 14 upperclassmen, including four fifth-year seniors, seven seniors and three juniors. Over the past four years, Iowa’s fifth-year seniors have won 54 games.
• Seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 65 games of their Hawkeye careers. Fifth-year Maddy Murphy has started 82 career games, missing only one possible game (in 2020) in her Hawkeye career.
• Seniors Ellie Holley (66 starts) and Nikki Freeman (71 starts) have each started more than 60 games in their Hawkeye careers.
Maddy Murphy – 82 games (*missed one game in 2019)
Anthe Nijziel – 65
Lokke Stribos – 65
Ellie Holley – 52
Nikki Freeman – 28
Leah Zellner – 27
Sofie Stribos – 24
Harper Dunne – 22
Grace McGuire – 22
THE B1G’S BEST RETURNS
Senior Anthe Nijziel was the class of the Big Ten in 2021, earning Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. She was the first Hawkeye to earn both distinctions in the same season.
Senior Maddy Murphy earned her third All-America distinction in 2021, making her the eighth Hawkeye all-time to earn three or more All-America honors. The forward led the team with 18 points a season ago off eight goals and two assists.
• Murphy has scored double digit goals in three of her first four seasons, including a career-high 13 goals in 2018. The Tasmania native has 13 career game-winning goals.
A STORIED HISTORY
• The Hawkeyes have made 25 NCAA Tournament appearances in program history — the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
• Iowa has made 12 NCAA Final Four appearances, including winning the 1986 NCAA Championship.
• The program’s 27 NCAA Tournament victories and 12 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
• Ohio brings a 1-3 record into Friday’s game in Iowa City. Last weekend the Bobcats notched their first victory, downing Northeastern, 3-2, in Athens before falling 2-0 to Michigan State on Sept. 5.
• The Bobcats have scored three goals in four games while allowing 11 strikes. Jillian Shive is leading the team with three points via one goal and one assist.
SCOUTING SAINT LOUIS
• The Billikens are winless in four games this season, which includes back-to-back one-goal losses at Ball State (1-0) and UC Davis (1-2). Saint Louis opened the season with a 4-0 loss against Michigan State.
• Saint Louis has scored one goal in four games, while allowing 10 goals. The team is being out-shot, 63-28.
• Iowa is 5-1 all-time against Ohio and 11-1 all-time against Saint Louis.
• It is the first meeting against the Bobcats since 2011 — a 2-1 Hawkeye victory.
• During the last meeting against the Billikens, Iowa won 11-0 in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes will open Big Ten play at Indiana on Sept. 17 before facing No. 6 Louisville on Sept. 19.