IOWA CITY, Iowa – Four University of Iowa field hockey student-athletes – seniors Anthe Nijziel, Grace McGuire, and Maddy Murphy and junior Esme Gibson – have been named National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Americans, it was announced Tuesday by the NFHCA. They are the 98th, 99th, 100th and 101st All-Americans in program history.
Nijziel earned first-team distinction, McGuire and Murphy were second-team selections and Gibson was tabbed as a third-team honoree. Murphy becomes just the second Hawkeye all-time, joining Kristy Gleason, as a four-time All-American. Nijziel earns her second straight first team honor, while McGuire and Gibson’s accolades are the first of their careers.
It is the first time since 1996 that the Hawkeyes have had at least four All-Americans and the four honorees are tied for the most nationally with Michigan and Syracuse.
Nijziel earned first-team honors after being named the NFHCA West Region Player of the Year, the Big Ten Co-Player of the Year and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. She was also a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten honoree and a NFHCA first-team All-West Region selection.
During the 2021 season, Nijziel anchored an Iowa defense that was one of the nation’s best. The Hawkeyes tied for the NCAA lead with 11 shutouts and limited opponents to 110 shots – just 62 on goal – in 20 games. The team 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. Nijziel was a three-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and two-time NFHCA National Defensive Player of the Week honoree during the regular season.
Murphy earned her fourth career All-America distinction – all second team honors – after tying for the team lead with 27 points in 2021. The Tasmania native scored seven goals, which included three game-winners, and had a team-high 13 assists.
The forward earned her school record fifth All-Big Ten honor, earning first-team distinction, in 2021 and she also garnered her fifth career NFHCA first-team All-West Region nod.
McGuire earned her first All-America nod after posting a 0.75 goals against average and making 46 saves on the year. The St. Louis, Missouri, native finished with an NCAA-best 11 shutouts, 17 victories and had a .754 save percentage. McGuire was also a first-team All-West Region and second-team All-Big Ten honoree.
Gibson earned her first career All-America distinction after scoring six goals and tallying two assists as a Hawkeye midfielder. The England native, who was a first-team All-West Region and second-team All-Big Ten selection, started all 20 games, scoring two game winning goals and being a key part of one of a team that posted nine wins against ranked foes.
Iowa finished the 2021 season with a 17-3 overall record with an outright Big Ten regular season title. The Hawkeyes advanced to the Elite Eight for the 19th time in program history where they fell 1-0 to eventual national champion Northwestern.