IOWA CITY, Iowa – The second-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team posted its program record seventh consecutive shutout in a 1-0 victory over No. 6 Penn State on Friday night at Grant Field. It is the Hawkeyes’ fourth win over a top-11 ranked opponent as the team moved to 9-0 — the best start since 1999.
Iowa’s defense was stout, holding the Nittany Lions to just six shots and one shot on goal – a breakaway first quarter shot by PSU’s Jemma Punch. The Hawkeyes allowed just two Nittany Lion shots in the second half.
“I can’t say enough about our back five players — our deep three, our goalkeeper, and Esme (Gibson) and Lieve (Schalk) played unbelievable defense today,” said head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “It’s poise, it’s experience and it’s grit.”
Iowa registered four penalty corners, which led to a majority of its scoring opportunities.
Off Iowa’s second penalty corner in the 22nd minute, senior Anthe Niiziel fired a shot off an assist from senior Leah Zellner that caromed off a Nittany Lion defender and into the cage to get Iowa on the board.
“Penn State has a fantastic team defensive plan, too,” said Cellucci. “We knew we were going to have to try to score some goals off penalty corners. It was a new play that we put in and it worked perfectly. Lokke and Anthe executed, so it was so fun to see that come to fruition.”
Up 1-0 at half, the Hawkeyes held off Penn State to secure the victory, improving to 2-0 in Big Ten play.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH LISA CELLUCCI
“It was an awesome setting here. It was a fantastic performance from our team minus the final four minutes. We stuck to the game plan and we played really well. Penn State is a fantastic team with a ton of speed and skill, and I thought our team defense was outstanding.”
- Today’s game marked the first game this season the Hawkeyes didn’t at least two goals.
- Iowa out-shot Penn State, 12-6, with three shots on goal.
- Senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire tallied one save en route to her seventh shutout of the season and 14th shutout of her career.
- Iowa has not allowed a goal in 455:20 minutes of game time since the second game of the season against No. 1 North Carolina.
- Stribos’ goal was her sixth of the season, tying Ciarra Smith and Ellie Holley for the team lead.
The Hawkeyes will host Penn State in a nonconference game Sunday at noon (CT) at Grant Field.