The top-ranked University of Iowa field hockey program will close out the regular season by hosting No. 6 Northwestern on Friday at 2 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field. The game will be televised live on BTN.
• Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contests via live stats on hawkeyesports.com. Game updates are also available on Twitter/@iowafieldhockey.
• Friday’s game will be televised on BTN with Brendan Gulick and Kara Lentz on the call.
SENIOR DAY FRIDAY
The Hawkeyes will hold Senior Day festivities prior to Friday’s game. The program will honor seniors Meghan Conroy, Emily Deuell, Nikki Freeman, Ellie Holley, Makenna Maguire, Maddy Murphy and manager Parker Dains in a pregame ceremony.
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 267 Iowa victories and in 2020, she led the program to the Final Four for the 12th time — the first since 2008. Iowa has posted double digit win totals in six of her eight seasons and the Hawkeyes have won three Big Ten titles (2019, 2019 (BTT), 2021) under her watch.
• Iowa is the outright Big Ten Conference regular season champion for the first time in 22 years (1999). The Hawkeyes claimed a share of the regular season title for a second time in three seasons with its 3-0 victory over No. 19 Ohio State on Oct. 17. Every player on the Iowa roster is now a Big Ten champion. It is the 16th title in school history.
• The Hawkeyes are unanimously ranked No. 1 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings for a second straight week and are No. 1 for a fifth consecutive week. Iowa received 35 first-place votes and has 875 total points.
• Iowa has used the same starting lineup in all 16 games this season.
• The Hawkeyes earned their program record seventh and eighth Big Ten weekly honors on Oct. 18 when senior Maddy Murphy earned Offensive Player of the Week and senior Anthe Nijziel was the Defensive Player of the Week. It was the third honor for both this season. Nijziel also was named the NFHCA National Defensive Player of the Week for a second time on Oct. 20.
• Iowa is 16-0 for the first time since 1992. The 16 consecutive wins is the longest winning streak since 1992, a season where Iowa won its first 20 games before falling in the NCAA finals.
• The Hawkeyes are seeking their second undefeated regular season in program history (1992).
• Iowa won five consecutive games against top-seven ranked opponents from Sept. 19-Oct. 3. The team has nine victories over nationally-ranked foes, including seven against top-seven ranked opponents, with No. 6 Northwestern set to come to Iowa City this weekend.
• Iowa finished the regular season with a 7-0 road record this season with victories at No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland. The seven road wins are the most since 1999.
• The Hawkeyes posted a program-record eight consecutive shutouts from Sept. 4-26. Iowa has 11 shutouts this season — the most since 1993 when the team had a school-record 16.
• Iowa is the only undefeated team in the nation and have the country’s No. 1 RPI.
• The Hawkeyes are leading the nation in shutouts (11) and scoring margin (3.26), while ranking second in goals against average (0.43), third in assists per game (3.00), goals per game (3.75), points per game (10.50), save percentage (.841) and fourth in scoring average (3.69).
• 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.
BIG TEN CHAMPS
The Hawkeyes are outright Big Ten regular season champions for the first time since 1999. It is the program’s second regular season title in three years and the 16th in program history.
CELLUCCI CLOSES IN ON 100
Head coach Lisa Cellucci is approaching a milestone victory in her Hawkeye coaching career. The eighth-year head coach has 98 victories as Iowa’s head coach. She will be the fourth Hawkeye head coach to reach the 100 win milestone.
YOUR NO. 1 IOWA HAWKEYES
Iowa is ranked No. 1 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings for a fifth consecutive week and the Hawkeyes are unanimously No. 1 for a second straight week. The team made its debut at No. 1 on Sept. 28, marking the first time in program history the team has 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 posted a program record eight consecutive shutouts from Sept. 4-26. During the stretch, the Hawkeyes surrendered just 12 shots on goal in the eight games.
• The Hawkeyes have an NCAA-best 11 shutouts this season — the most for the program since 1993 when it had a record 16 shutouts. Iowa has 11 shutouts in 16 games.
• Iowa’s defense didn’t allow a goal from the second quarter of the Aug. 29 game against No. 1 North Carolina until the fourth quarter of the Oct. 1 contest at No. 6 Rutgers. The defense went 561:03 minutes without surrendering a goal and it has allowed just seven goals in 16 games (980 minutes) this season.
• The Hawkeyes have allowed 83 shots (44 shots on goal) in 16 games and have surrendered just seven goals on the season. Iowa has allowed four or fewer shots on goal in 13 of the last 14 games.
I SCORE, YOU SCORE, WE ALL SCORE
The Hawkeyes have scored 60 goals in 16 games with 15 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 60 goals are third-best in the nation (behind Liberty and Northwestern). The Hawkeyes have scored three or more goals in 11 of their 16 games. Nine different players have scored game-winning goals.
• Eleven Hawkeyes have scored at least two goals this season. Senior Ellie Holley leads the way with eight goals, while seniors Ciara Smith, Lokke Stribos and Maddy Murphy have seven goals apiece. Both Holley and Smith’s goal totals are career highs.
• Senior Nikki Freeman scored the game-winning goal — her first of the season — in the road win at No. 6 Rutgers. She has an efficient five goals on six shots this season.
• Four Hawkeyes have tallied multi-goal games this season — Holley (2), Sofie Stribos (1) and Esme Gibson (1).
The Hawkeyes have scored 21 goals — 35 percent of its goals — off penalty corners during the 2021 season.
PLAYING FROM AHEAD
• The Hawkeyes have trailed just once in 16 games this season. Iowa trailed for 24:10 minutes, against No. 2 Michigan on Oct. 15.
• Iowa has played with the lead for 638:55 minutes and with the game tied for 317:55 minutes.
The Hawkeyes finished the regular season with a 7-0 record away from Iowa City this fall with victories at No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland. The seven road wins are the most since 1999.
• The victory in College Park was the first for the program in school history, while the win over Rutgers snapped a 10-game Scarlet Knight home winning streak that dated back to the 2019 season.
• 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.
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 (9) and points (25). She has posted career highs in goals, game-winning goals and points.
• The United Kingdom native has registered at least one point in 10 of Iowa’s 16 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 13 times. The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents 32-2 in the first half.
Two Hawkeye freshmen — Lieve Schalk and Annika Herbine — have been key contributors. Schalk has started all 16 games as a midfielder, where she has four assists. Herbine has two goals and three assists as a reserve forward.
Iowa has 48 assists on its 60 goals during the 2021 season. The Hawkeyes’ 48 assists are third nationally and second in the Big Ten.
• Seniors Ellie Holley and Maddy Murphy are tied for 20th in the country with nine assists.
• Fourteen 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 36 saves in 16 games with an NCAA-best 11 shutouts. She had a program-record eight consecutive shutouts from Sept. 4-26.
• McGuire is 16-0 with a 0.43 goals against average and a 0.837 save percentage. She leads the Big Ten in goals against average and save percentage, while ranking second and third in both categories nationally.
• In the 2-1 win over No. 2 Michigan, McGuire made four saves in the double overtime victory. She stopped four of the five Wolverine shots during the game-deciding shootout.
• McGuire didn’t allow a goal in 561:03 minutes from the second quarter against No. 1 North Carolina on Aug. 29 to the fourth quarter of the Oct. 1 game at No. 6 Rutgers.
Senior Maddy Murphy was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week three times this season, earning the honor Aug. 30, Oct. 4, and Oct. 18. She was the NFHCA National Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 1 and Oct. 6.
• Murphy earned her first honor for her play in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, where she scored two goals and had two assists in leading the Hawkeyes to victories over No. 11 Wake Forest and No. 1 North Carolina.
• She earned her second honor of the season after scoring two goals and tallying an assist in road wins at No. 6 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland. She scored the game-winner in the win in College Park.
• Murphy’s third honor came after tallying four points in victories over No. 2 Michigan and No. 19 Ohio State. She assisted on the game-tying goal against Michigan and scored a goal and had an assist in the win over Ohio State — a victory that gave Iowa a share of the Big Ten regular season title.
• Murphy has three career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors and two NFHCA national honors.
Senior Anthe Nijziel was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week in consecutive weeks on Sept. 20 and Sept. 28 and she earned a third distinction on Oct. 18. Nijziel was tabbed as the NFHCA National Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29 and Oct. 20.
• 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.
• Nijziel earned her third Big Ten and second NFHCA honor after recording five points via two goals and an assist and anchoring an Iowa defense that allowed one goal over 140 minutes in wins over No. 2 Michigan and No. 19 Ohio State. She scored the game-tying goal against the Wolverines and had a goal and an assist in the win over Ohio State, while limiting the Buckeyes to two shots in Iowa’s 11th shutout.
LOKKE & ESME HONORED
• Senior Lokke Stribos was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 4 after leading the Hawkeyes to a pair of road wins at No. 6 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland. Iowa allowed two goals and just eight shots on goal in the two contests. It was Stribos’ first career honor.
• Junior Esme Gibson became the sixth Hawkeye to earn Big Ten weekly honors on Oct. 12 when she was tabbed as the Offensive Player of the Week. Gibson scored three goals in road wins over Michigan State and Central Michigan. She scored twice against the Spartans, including the game-winner.
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. This group has also won two Big Ten regular season titles.
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 66 games.
• Seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 77 games of their Hawkeye careers. Fifth-year Maddy Murphy has started 94 career games, missing only one possible game (in 2020) in her Hawkeye career. Seniors Nikki Freeman (83 starts) and Ellie Holley (78 starts) have started 75+ games in their Hawkeye careers.
Maddy Murphy – 94 games (*missed one game in 2020)
Anthe Nijziel – 77
Lokke Stribos – 77
Ellie Holley – 64
Nikki Freeman – 40
Leah Zellner – 39
Sofie Stribos – 36
Harper Dunne – 34
Grace McGuire – 34
Esme Gibson – 33 (55 career starts; did not start one game in 2020)
Leive Schalk – 16
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 51 career goals and 15 career game-winning goals. Her 51 goals currently rank 10th all-time in school history.
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 Wildcats are 12-4 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play heading into Friday’s game in Iowa City. Northwestern has won three straight since dropping back-to-back to back double overtime games at No. 8 Penn State and at No. 2 Michigan.
• Northwestern leads the Big Ten and ranks second nationally in goals with 62. Bente Baekers and Clara Roth both have double-digit goal totals with 16 and 10, respectively.
• Iowa leads the all-time series over Northwestern, 56-25-6.
• The two teams have split the last six meetings. The Wildcats won both regular season matchups last season before Iowa downed the Wildcats, 3-1, to advance to the Final Four.
The Hawkeyes are the top seed for the 2021 Big Ten Tournament, which will be held Nov. 4-7 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Iowa receives a first-round bye.