Nijziel Earns NFHCA National Defensive Honor

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa senior Anthe Nijziel has been name the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Defensive Player of the Week, it was announced Wednesday by the association. It is the first such honor of Nijziel’s career.

Nijziel, who was previously named the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, earned the distinction after tallying four points and anchoring an Iowa defense that posted back-to-back shutouts in two victories over No. 6 Penn State last weekend at Grant Field.

The Eindhoven, Netherlands played all 120 minutes and the Hawkeyes allowed just four Nittany Lion shots on goal in the two games. She scored the game-winning goal — her first of the season — in the 1-0 victory on Sept. 24 before tallying two assists in the 4-0 victory Sept. 26 to hand Penn State its first two losses of the season.

The two shutouts ran the Hawkeyes’ streak to eight consecutive clean sheets, the longest stretch in program history. Iowa hasn’t allowed a goal in 515:20 minutes of game time dating back to Aug. 27 against No. 1 North Carolina and the team has allowed just 12 shots on goal during the stretch.

The Hawkeyes are a perfect 10-0 this season — the program’s best start since 1999 — with five of the team’s 10 wins coming over top-11 ranked opponents (No. 1 North Carolina, No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Penn State (2), No. 11 Wake Forest).

Nijziel is the second Hawkeye to earn NFHCA National Player of the Week honors this season. Senior Maddy Murphy was the NFHCA Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 1.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes open a four-game road trip Friday, traveling to Piscataway, New Jersey, to face No. 6 Rutgers at 2 p.m. (CT). The game will be streamed live on BTN+.