The top-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team heads to the East Coast to face a pair of top-seven ranked Big Ten Conference foes. The Hawkeyes will face No. 6 Rutgers on Friday at 2 p.m. (CT) at Bauer Track/Field Hockey Complex before squaring off against No. 7 Maryland at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Terps’ Field Hockey and LaCrosse Complex.
• Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contests via live stats on hawkeyesports.com.
• Both Friday and Sunday’s games will 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 261 Iowa victories and in 2020, she led the program to the Final Four for the 12th time — the first since 2008 — in its history. Iowa has posted double digit win totals in six of her eight seasons.
• The Hawkeyes climbed to No. 1 in the Week 4 Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. Iowa received 26 first-place votes and has 1,122 total points.
• Iowa is 10-0 to start the season for the first time since 1999. The 10 consecutive wins is the longest winning streak since 1999. Then 1992 team won its first 20 games of the season.
• The Hawkeyes will be playing their fourth and fifth consecutive games against top-seven ranked opponents when they face No. 6 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland.
• Iowa has five wins over top-11 ranked foes — No. 1 North Carolina, No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Penn State (2) and No. 11 Wake Forest. The win at Louisville was the first road win over a top-five ranked opponent since 2007 — a 2-0 win at No. 4 Duke.
• The Hawkeyes have posted a program-record eight consecutive shutouts. An opponent hasn’t scored on Iowa in more than a month — Aug. 29 against No. 1 North Carolina.
• Iowa is one of two teams nationally that is still undefeated (Michigan). The Hawkeyes are leading the nation in shutouts (8), are second in goals against average (0.400) and scoring margin (3.93), third in goals per game (4.30), save percentage (.857) and scoring average (4.33) and fourth in assists per game (3.20) and points per game (11.80).
• 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.
YOUR NO. 1 IOWA HAWKEYES
Iowa moved into the top spot in the Week 4 Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings on Sept. 28. It is the first time in program history the Hawkeyes have been atop the NFHCA poll. (The NFHCA was established in 1997.) It is believed Iowa’s last No. 1 ranking came after winning the 1986 National Championship when it finished atop the College Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.
HOW ‘BOUT THE D?
Iowa’s defense has posted a program record eight consecutive shutouts. During the stretch, the Hawkeyes have surrendered just 12 shots on goal in the eight games. Iowa limited No. 5 Louisville (2 SOG) and No. 6 Penn State (1 SOG/3 SOG) to a combined six shots on goals in the last three games.
• Iowa’s defense hasn’t allowed a goal since Aug. 29 against No. 1 North Carolina. The defense has gone 515:20 minutes without surrendering a goal and it has allowed just four goals in 10 games (600 minutes) this season.
I SCORE, YOU SCORE, WE ALL SCORE
The Hawkeyes have scored 43 goals in the first 10 games of the 2021 season with 14 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 43 goals are leading the nation. The Hawkeyes have scored three or more goals in eight of their first 10 games.
• Ten Hawkeyes have scored at least two goals this season. Senior Ellie Holley leads the way with eight goals, while senior Ciara Smith is second with seven goals. Both Holley and Smith’s goal totals are career highs.
• Smith has scored a goal in six of the team’s last seven games.
• Iowa had three or more different players score in the first six games to open the 2021 season.
The Hawkeyes have scored 14 goals off penalty corners during the 2021 season. Iowa scored off both of its penalty corners in the 4-0 victory over No. 6 Penn State on Sept. 26.
IT’S A HOLLEY GOOD TIME
Senior Ellie Holley is enjoying a breakout 2021 season, leading the Hawkeyes in goals (8), game-winning goals (4), assists (7) and points (23). She has posted career highs in goals, game-winning goals and points.
• The United Kingdom native has registered at least one point in eight of Iowa’s 10 games.
• She has two multi-goal games this season, giving her three multi-goal games for her career.
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.
Iowa hasn’t allowed a goal in the first quarter this season, while scoring 11 times. The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents 26-2 in the first half.
Two Hawkeye freshmen — Lieve Schalk and Annika Herbine — have been key contributors during Iowa’s 10-0 start. Schalk has started all 10 games as a midfielder, where she has two assists. Herbine has two goals and one assist as a reserve forward.
Iowa has 32 assists on its 43 goals in the first five weeks of the 2021 season. The Hawkeyes’ 32 assists are third nationally and second in the Big Ten.
• Three players — Ellie Holley (8), Maddy Murphy (5) and Nikki Freeman (4) — rank in the top 12 in the Big Ten in assists. Holley ranks 16th nationally in assists per game (0.70).
• 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 on Aug. 29. The St. Louis, Missouri, native has 24 saves in 10 games and has a program-record eight consecutive shutouts.
• McGuire, who has an NCAA-best eight shutouts, is 10-0 with a 0.40 goals against average and a 0.857 save percentage. She leads the Big Ten in both categories and ranks second nationally in goals against average and third in save percentage.
• McGuire hasn’t allowed a goal in her last 515:20 minutes in goal since a second-quarter goal by No. 1 North Carolina on Aug. 29.
Senior Anthe Nijziel was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week in consecutive weeks on Sept. 20 and Sept. 28 and she was tabbed as the NFHCA National Division I Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29.
• Nijziel earned her first nod Sept. 20 after anchoring a Hawkeye defense that posted back-to-back road shutouts at Indiana and at No. 5 Louisville. Iowa limited the two opponents to nine combined shots in the two games.
• She earned her second honor after tallying four points (1 goal, 2 assists) in Iowa’s two-game sweep of No. 6 Penn State. Iowa’s defense limited the Nittany Lions to four shots on goal in the two consecutive shutouts.
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.
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 60 games.
• Seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 71 games of their Hawkeye careers. Fifth-year Maddy Murphy has started 88 career games, missing only one possible game (in 2020) in her Hawkeye career. Seniors Nikki Freeman (77 starts) and Ellie Holley (72 starts) have started 70+ games in their Hawkeye careers.
Maddy Murphy – 88 games (*missed one game in 2020)
Anthe Nijziel – 71
Lokke Stribos – 71
Ellie Holley – 58
Nikki Freeman – 34
Leah Zellner – 33
Sofie Stribos – 30
Harper Dunne – 28
Grace McGuire – 28
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 sixth-ranked Scarlet Knights bring an 8-1 overall and 1-0 Big Ten record into Friday’s top-10 showdown. Rutgers has seven wins over ranked opponents this season, including victories at No. 6 Connecticut (2-1, 2OT) and No. 3 Northwestern (2-1). The lone loss was at No. 17 Saint Joseph’s (1-2) on Sept. 12.
• Rutgers has scored 24 goals (and allowed 11 goals) in nine games. Freshman Lucy Bannatyne and senior Milena Redlingshoefer lead the Scarlet Knights with four goals apiece.
• The No. 7 Terrapins are 7-2 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play entering this weekend’s action. Maryland is coming off wins at Indiana (8-2) and American (4-0) last weekend. The Terps two losses have come to No. 7 Boston College (2-3) and No. 8 Penn State (2-3, OT).
• Maryland has scored 33 goals with 13 different players finding the back of the cage. Senior forward Bibi Donraadt has a team-best seven goals, five assists and 19 points.
• Iowa leads the all-time series over Rutgers, 8-3-1. The Hawkeyes have won two straight over the Scarlet Knights, but Rutgers won the last meeting in Piscataway — 1-0 in 2018.
• Maryland leads the all-time series over Iowa, 15-3-1. Iowa went 2-1 against the Terps last season, including a 3-0 victory in the Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes have never won in College Park (0-5).
The Hawkeyes will travel to the Michigan to face Michigan State on Oct. 8 and Central Michigan on Oct. 10.