The second-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team travels to Bloomington to face Indiana on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. (CT) at the IU Field Hockey Complex. The Hawkeyes round out the weekend with a Sunday afternoon game at No. 5 Louisville beginning at 1 p.m. at Trager Stadium.
• Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contests via live stats on hawkeyesports.com.
• Friday’s game will be streamed live on BTN+ — a paid subscription service — while Sunday’s game will be on the ACC Network with Mike Corey (play-by-play) and Leah Secondo (color) on the call.
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 257 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 11 first-place votes and has 1,183 total points, 17 behind first-place Michigan.
• Iowa is 6-0 for the first time in 20 years (since the 2001 season). The Hawkeyes went 2-0 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the first time in program history before posting four consecutive shutouts in wins over New Hampshire, Boston, Ohio and Saint Louis.
• Iowa has won its last three Big Ten openers.
• The last time the Hawkeyes started 7-0 was in 1999 when the team won its first 10 games.
• Iowa ranks second nationally in assists per game (4.00), goals per game (5.50), scoring average (5.57) and scoring margin (4.89), while ranking third in shutouts per game (0.67). The Hawkeyes are one of nine undefeated teams in the nation.
• 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?
Iowa’s defense has posted four consecutive shutouts for a second consecutive season. During the stretch, the Hawkeyes have surrendered a total of seven shots. The team didn’t allow a shot on goal in wins over Ohio and Saint Louis and the Billikens didn’t attempt a shot.
The Hawkeyes scored 18 goals in wins over Ohio and Saint Louis on Sept. 10 and Sept. 12. They are the most in a two game stretch since 1997 when it scored 11 in a victory over Pacific and seven in a win over Kent State. Thirteen different Hawkeyes scored in the two games.
I SCORE, YOU SCORE, WE ALL SCORE
The Hawkeyes have scored 33 goals in the first six games of the 2021 season with 13 different players finding the back of the cage. Sixteen different Hawkeyes have tallied at least one point. In contrast, Iowa had eight total players score during the 2020 season.
• Iowa’s 33 goals are leading the Big Ten — four ahead of Northwestern’s 29 strikes.
• The Hawkeyes have scored three or more goals in each of their first six games.
• Ten Hawkeyes have scored at least two goals this season with senior Ellie Holley leading the way with five goals, which are a career-high total. Holley is tied for fourth in the Big Ten, while seniors Lokke Stribos and Ciara Smith are tied for seventh.
• Iowa has had three or more different players score in all six of its games to open the 2021 season.
Iowa has 26 assists on its 33 goals in the first three weeks of the 2021 season, which are second-most in the Big Ten. Senior Ellie Holley is tied for the league lead with six assists, while senior Maddy Murphy is sixth (5) and senior Nikki Freeman (3) is eighth. Holley is fourth nationally in assists per game (1.00).
• By virtue of her five goals and six assists, Holley is second in the league with 16 points. She is seventh nationally in points per game (2.67).
• Thirteen 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 six games, which ranks third in the Big Ten.
• McGuire, who has Big Ten-best four shutouts on the season, is 6-0 with a 0.67 goals against average to rank third in the conference. Her goals against average ranks seventh nationally.
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 56 games.
• Seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 67 games of their Hawkeye careers. Fifth-year Maddy Murphy has started 84 career games, missing only one possible game (in 2020) in her Hawkeye career.
• Seniors Ellie Holley (68 starts) and Nikki Freeman (73 starts) have each started more than 60 games in their Hawkeye careers.
Maddy Murphy – 84 games (*missed one game in 2019 and in 2020)
Anthe Nijziel – 67
Lokke Stribos – 67
Ellie Holley – 54
Nikki Freeman – 30
Leah Zellner – 29
Sofie Stribos – 26
Harper Dunne – 24
Grace McGuire – 24
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.
• The Hoosiers bring a 4-2 record into the Big Ten opener, which includes a win over No. 21 Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 3. Last weekend, the Hoosiers fell 1-0 at No. 6 Louisville.
• Indiana has scored 11 goals in six games with freshman forward Kira Curland leading the way with four goals and eight points on nine shots.
• The Cardinals, who moved up to fifth in the latest NFHCA rankings, are undefeated at 6-0 to start the 2021 season. Louisville has wins at No. 13 Princeton (3-2, OT) and over No. 11 Liberty (3-1). The Cardinals host Virginia on Friday.
• Louisville has a 19-4 advantage in scoring this season and has posted three shutouts. Ten different players have scored for the Cardinals with four players leading the team with three goals apiece. Katie Schneider has a team-best nine points (three goals, three assists).
• Head coach Justine Sowry is in her 11th season leading the Cardinals’ program. Last season, Louisville advanced to the Final Four before losing in a sudden-victory shootout to Michigan.
• Iowa leads the series over Indiana, 23-7. The Hawkeyes have won five straight meetings in the series since the Hoosiers won 3-1 in Bloomington in 2015.
• Louisville leads all-time series over Iowa, 8-4. The Cardinals have won the last five meetings in the series, including a 3-2 overtime victory in 2019 in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes return to action on Sept. 24, hosting No. 8 Penn State at 6 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field.