WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• The Hawkeyes finished the 2021 season with a 17-3 overall record. Iowa won the outright Big Ten regular season title and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 19th time in program history.
• Head coach Lisa Cellucci concluded her eighth season at the helm of the Hawkeye field hockey program and her 22nd season overall. Cellucci has been a part of 268 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. The Hawkeyes have won three Big Ten titles (2019, 2019 (BTT), 2021) under her watch.
• Cellucci earned her third straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor in 2021. She is the first coach in Big Ten history to be named Coach of the Year in three consecutive seasons.
• The Hawkeyes finished the 2021 season ranked No. 3 nationally in the Penn Monto/NFHCA national rankings.
• Iowa had four student-athletes garner NFHCA All-America honors — the most for the program since 1996. The four selections were tied for the most nationally with Syracuse and Michigan. They were the 98th, 99th, 100th and 101st All-Americans in program history.
• Senior Anthe Nijziel was named the NFHCA All-West Region Player of the Year, Big Ten Co-Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season in 2021. She is the third player in Big Ten history (all Hawkeyes) to earn multiple Player of the Year honors.
• The Hawkeyes earned a program record eight Big Ten weekly honors during the 2021 season. Iowa also was awarded NFHCA National Player of the Week honors on four occasions.
• Following the season, the Hawkeyes had a school-record 17 Academic All-Big Ten selections.
• Iowa started the season with 16 consecutive victories — the second longest winning streak in school history. It was the program’s longest streak since winning 20 straight games to start the 1992 season before falling in the NCAA finals.
• Iowa won five consecutive games against top-seven ranked opponents from Sept. 19-Oct. 3. The team went 10-3 against nationally-ranked foes, including seven wins against top-seven ranked opponents.
• Iowa finished the season with a 7-0 road record with victories at No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland. The seven road wins were the most since 1999.
• The Hawkeyes posted a program-record eight consecutive shutouts from Sept. 4-26. Iowa had 11 shutouts this season — the most since 1993 when the team had a school-record 16.
BIG TEN CHAMPS
The Hawkeyes claimed the outright Big Ten regular season title for the first time since 1999. It was the program’s second regular season title in three years and the 16th in program history.
• Four Hawkeyes — seniors Anthe Nijziel, Maddy Murphy and Grace McGuire and junior Esme Gibson — earned NFHCA All-America honors. Nijziel was a first team selection, Murphy and McGuire were named to the second team and Gibson was tabbed as a third-teamer.
• The four All-Americans are the most for the program since 1996 (when head coach Lisa Cellucci was a Hawkeye goalkeeper). Iowa tied Syracuse and Michigan for the most honorees nationally.
• Murphy’s honor was the fourth of her career, as she became just the second Hawkeye, joining Kristy Gleason, as a four-time All-American. Nijziel’s honor was her second straight first-team nod.
NIJZIEL’S TROPHY COLLECTION
Senior Anthe Nijziel added to her trophy collection in 2021 as the defender was named the NFHCA West Region Player of the Year, Big Ten Co-Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. She was also a NFHCA first-team All-West Region and a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection.
• Nijziel is the third player and fourth Hawkeye to earn the NFHCA Regional Player of the Year accolade, joining Natalie Cafone (2014, 2016) and Katie Birch (2019).
• She is the third player in Big Ten history and third Hawkeye all-time to earn the Big Ten Player of the Year honor more than once, joining Liz Tchou (1986, 1987) and Kristy Gleason (1992, 1993).
• Nijziel is the second Hawkeye and eighth Big Ten student-athlete to earn multiple Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors.
MURPHY: HONDA SPORT AWARD FINALIST
Senior Maddy Murphy joined elite company when she was named a Honda Sport Award finalist by a panel of coaches and experts from the NFHCA. Murphy is the 12th Hawkeye all-time to be up for the distinction and the first since Lauren Pfeiffer in 2008.
HAWKEYES ON ALL-REGION TEAM
Iowa had six student-athletes garner NFHCA All-West Region honors — the most for the program since 2008. Seniors Grace McGuire, Maddy Murphy, Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos and junior Esme Gibson were first-team selections, while senior Ellie Holley was a second-team honoree. Murphy is a five-time all-region selection.
ALL-BIG TEN SELECTIONS
The Hawkeyes had five All-Big Ten selection — the most for the program since 2012 when assistant coach Jess Barnett was one of five Hawkeye honorees.
• Seniors Anthe Nijziel (unanimous) and Maddy Murphy were first-team selections, while seniors Grace McGuire and Lokke Stribos and junior Esme Gibson were second-team honorees. It was Nijziel’s third career honor (second straight first team) and Murphy’s fifth career accolade — a school record.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Iowa finished the season ranked third in the Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. The Hawkeyes were ranked No. 1 for six straight weeks heading into the postseason. 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.
CELLUCCI CLOSES IN ON 100
Head coach Lisa Cellucci — the three-time reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year — is approaching a milestone victory in her Hawkeye coaching career. The eighth-year head coach has 99 victories as Iowa’s head coach. She will be the fourth Hawkeye head coach to reach the 100 win milestone in 2022.
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 had an NCAA-best 11 shutouts this season — the most for the program since 1993 when it had a record 16 shutouts. Iowa had 11 shutouts in 20 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 allowed just 15 goals in 20 games (1,206 minutes) this season.
• The Hawkeyes allowed 110 shots (62 shots on goal) in 20 games and surrendered just 15 goals on the season.
• Iowa allowed six or fewer shots in 13 of the team’s 20 games and more than six shots on goal just once.
I SCORE, YOU SCORE, WE ALL SCORE
The Hawkeyes scored 66 goals in 20 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 66 goals tied for fourth nationally. The Hawkeyes scored three or more goals in 12 of their 20 games. Ten different players scored game-winning goals.
• Eleven Hawkeyes scored at least two goals this season. Senior Ciara Smith paced the team with 10 goals as a reserve forward, while seniors Ellie Holley and Lokke Stribos scored eight goals apiece. Both Holley and Smith’s goal totals were career highs.
• Senior Nikki Freeman scored two game-winning goals — at No. 6 Rutgers, vs. No. 19 Ohio State. She had six goals on seven shots this season.
• Five Hawkeyes tallied multi-goal games this season — Holley (2), Smith (1), Sofie Stribos (1) and Esme Gibson (1).
The Hawkeyes scored 22 goals — 33.3 percent of its goals — off penalty corners during the 2021 season.
The Hawkeyes finished the 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 were 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 enjoyed a breakout 2021 season, as she finished second in goals (8) and assists (11), while leading the team in game-winning goals (4) and tying for team lead in points (27). The NFHCA Second-Team All-West Region honoree had career highs in goals, assists, game-winning goals and points in her final Hawkeye season.
• She has two multi-goal games this season, giving her three multi-goal games for her career.
Iowa allowed three goals in the first quarter this season, while scoring 14 times. The Hawkeyes outscored their opponents 34-5 in the first half.
Senior Ciara Smith led the team in goals, scoring 10 times (off 24 shots) as a reserve forward. The Virginia native entered the 2021 season with six goals in 46 career games.
• Smith came off the bench in 19 of Iowa’s 20 games, making her only start in the Elite Eight game against Northwestern.
• Smith scored twice, netting back-to-back goals, including the game-winner, in the Sweet 16 come-from-behind victory against America. The strikes were her fourth and fifth NCAA Tournament goals of her career.
Two Hawkeye freshmen — Lieve Schalk and Annika Herbine — were key contributors. Schalk started all 20 games as a midfielder, where she has four assists. Herbine had two goals and three assists as a reserve forward.
Iowa had 54 assists on its 66 goals during the 2021 season. The Hawkeyes’ 54 assists ranked fourth nationally and third in the Big Ten.
• Senior Maddy Murphy led the Big Ten and tied for second nationally with 13 assists, while senior Ellie Holley tied for 14th nationally with 11 assists.
• Fourteen different Hawkeyes were 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 had 46 saves in 20 games with an NCAA-best 11 shutouts. She had a program-record eight consecutive shutouts from Sept. 4-26.
• McGuire went 17-3 with a 0.75 goals against average and a 0.754 save percentage. She led the Big Ten and ranked second nationally in goals against average.
• 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.
• McGuire earned NFHCA second-team All-America, NFHCA first-team All-West Region and second-team All-Big Ten honors. All three were the first of her career.
Senior Maddy Murphy earned her fourth All-America distinction in 2021, making her the second Hawkeye all-time to earn four All-America honors (along with Kristy Gleason).
• Murphy scored double digit goals in three of her five seasons, including a career-high 13 goals in 2018. The Tasmania native scored 51 career goals and had 15 career game-winning goals. Her 51 goals rank 10th all-time in school history.
Senior Maddy Murphy was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week three times, 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 went 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 FAREWELL
The Hawkeyes welcomed back Maddy Murphy, Emily Deuell, Ellie Holley and Nikki Freeman for an encore as the quartet took advantage of the NCAA’s eligibility waiver due to COVID-19 to play a fifth season. These seniors finished their careers with five NCAA appearances, including two Elite Eights and Final Four run and they advanced to consecutive Big Ten Championship finals, including winning a title in 2019. This group won two Big Ten regular season titles, including in outright title in 2021.
The Hawkeyes boasted 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 67 games.
• Seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 81 games of their Hawkeye careers. Fifth-year Maddy Murphy started 98 career games, missing only one possible game (in 2020) in her Hawkeye career. Seniors Nikki Freeman (87 starts) and Ellie Holley (82 starts) have started 80+ games in their Hawkeye careers.
Maddy Murphy – 98 games (*missed one game in 2020)
Anthe Nijziel – 81
Lokke Stribos – 81
Ellie Holley – 68
Nikki Freeman – 44
Sofie Stribos – 40
Harper Dunne – 38
Grace McGuire – 38
Esme Gibson – 37 (58 career starts; did not start one game in 2020)
Leive Schalk – 20
Ciara Smith – 1
A STORIED HISTORY
• The Hawkeyes have made 27 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 28 NCAA Tournament victories and 12 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.