Nijziel Named NFHCA West Region Player of the Year

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa senior Anthe Nijziel has been named the National Field Hockey Coaches Association West Region Player of the Year, it was announced Monday by the association.

Nijziel is the third player and fourth Hawkeye to earn the distinction, joining Natalie Cafone (2014, 2016) and Katie Birch (2019). Five student-athletes nationally are honored as regional Player of the Year honorees each season.

The Netherlands native was previously named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Year, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection. She was also selected to the Big Ten All-Tournament team and tabbed as a NFHCA first-team All-West Region honoree last week.

During the regular season, Nijziel was a three-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and two-time NFHCA National Defensive Player of the Week honoree.

Nijziel earned the West Region Player of the Year distinction after anchoring an Iowa defense that was one of the nation’s best in 2021. The Hawkeyes tied for the NCAA lead with 11 shutouts and limited opponents to 110 shots – just 62 on goal — in 20 games. Iowa posted a school-record eight consecutive shutouts in September.

Offensively, Nijziel scored five goals, including one game-winner, and tallied four assists as a key part of the Hawkeye penalty corner unit.

The Hawkeyes won their first 16 games of the 2021 season and claimed the outright Big Ten regular season title – the first since 1999. Iowa finished the season with a 17-3 overall record and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 19th time in program history.