Nijziel Named NFHCA National Defensive Player of the Week

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa senior Anthe Nijziel has been named the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Defensive Player of the Week, it was announced Wednesday by the association. It is Nijziel’s second honor this season.

The Netherlands native earned the distinction after recording five points via two goals and an assist, while also anchoring an Iowa defense that allowed one goal over 140 minutes in victories over No. 2 Michigan and No. 19 Ohio State.

Nijziel scored the game-tying goal in the 58th minute against the Wolverines, while keying an Iowa defense that surrendered six shots on goal over 80 minutes. She played the entirety of the double overtime contest.

Two days later, Nijziel scored a goal and tallied an assist in the 3-0 win over Ohio State, a victory that gave the Hawkeyes a share of the Big Ten regular season title. She anchored a defensive unit that posted its 11th shutout of the season and surrendered just two shots on goal in the game. It was the 13th time in the last 14 games that the defense has allowed four or fewer shots on goal.

The two wins were Iowa’s eighth and ninth victories over nationally ranked opponents this season, including seven over top seven ranked foes. The Big Ten regular season title is the 16th in program history and the second in three seasons.

Nijziel was also named the NFHCA Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29. The Hawkeyes have earned four national honors this season as senior Maddy Murphy was the offensive honoree on Sept. 1 and Oct. 6.

The Hawkeyes, who are 16-0 overall and 7-0 in Big Ten play, are idle this weekend. Iowa closes out the regular season Oct. 29, hosting Northwestern at 2 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field. The game will be televised on BTN.