The fifth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team opens the 2022 season at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Hawkeyes will face No. 20 Wake Forest on Friday at 4 p.m. (CT) at Kentner Stadium before playing a neutral site game against No. 2 North Carolina on Aug. 28 at 3 p.m.
• Friday’s season opener will be streamed live on ACC Network, while Sunday’s game will be televised on ESPN through the ACC Network with Leah Secondo and Suzanne Bush on the call.
• Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contests via live stats on hawkeyesports.com. Game updates are also available on Twitter/@iowafieldhockey.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• The Hawkeyes return eight starters and 18 letterwinners from a team that finished 17-3, claimed an outright Big Ten title and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 19th time in program history in 2021.
• Head coach Lisa Cellucci is in her ninth season at the helm of the Hawkeye field hockey program and her 23rd 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.
• Iowa returns two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Anthe Nijziel. The defender is the third player in Big Ten history to earn multiple Player of the Year honors.
• Iowa welcomes back three All-Americans (Nijziel, Grace McGuire and Esme Gibson), four NFHCA All-Region honorees (Nijziel, McGuire, Gibson, Lokke Stribos) and four All-Big Ten selections (Nijziel, McGuire, Stribos, Gibson).
• Iowa went 10-3 against nationally-ranked foes in 2021, including seven wins against top-seven ranked opponents.
• The Hawkeyes’ last loss against a non-Big Ten team came in the 2020 Elite Eight against North Carolina.
NEXT UP – ONE HUNDO
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 ninth-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.
B1G PLAYERS TO WATCH
Three Hawkeyes — fifth-year seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos and senior Esme Gibson — have been named to the Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch List. It is the third straight season Nijziel and Stribos have been included on the list.
Iowa’s team captains for the 2022 season are seniors Anthe Nijziel, Leah Zellner and Esme Gibson and junior Ellie Flynn.
DEFENDING BIG TEN CHAMPS
The Hawkeyes claimed the outright Big Ten regular season title for the first time since 1999 during the 2021 season. It was the program’s second regular season title in three years and the 16th in program history.
THE B1G BEST RETURNS… AGAIN
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. It was her second straight year earning both Big Ten honors. She was also a NFHCA first-team All-American, and NFHCA first-team All-West Region and a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection.
• Nijziel was 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 was 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 was the second Hawkeye and eighth Big Ten student-athlete to earn multiple Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Hawkeyes begin the 2022 season ranked fifth in the Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. Iowa has been ranked in 62 consecutive polls dating back to the 2016 season.
• Last season, Iowa finished the year ranked third after being 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 had been atop the NFHCA poll.
• The Hawkeyes return 62.1 percent of their goals (41-of-66), 40.7 percent of their assists (22-of-54), 55.9 percent of points (104-of-186), 62.2 percent of shots (194-of-312), 58.4 percent of shots on goal (111-of-190) and 41.2 percent of game-winning goals (7-of-17).
• Senior Grace McGuire played every minute in goal in 2021, making 46 saves, posting a 0.75 goals against average and posting 11 shutouts.
A STOUT D RETURNS
The Hawkeyes return three defenders — Anthe Nijziel, Harper Dunne and Lieve Schalk — and goalkeeper Grace McGuire from a defense that led the NCAA with 11 shutouts in 2021 — the most for the program since 1993 when it had 16 shutouts.
• The unit posted a program record eight consecutive shutouts from Sept. 4-26 where it surrendered just 12 shots on goal in the eight games.
The Hawkeyes return nine different players that scored at least one goal during the 2021 season, including leading goal scorer Ciara Smith. The Virginia native had a team-high 10 goals while playing primarily as a reserve forward a season ago.
• Iowa’s offense was prolific, scoring 66 goals in 20 games to tie for fourth nationally. The Hawkeyes scored three or more goals in 12 of their 20 games.
The Hawkeyes finished the 2021 season with a 7-0 record away from Iowa City with victories at No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland. The seven road wins were the most since 1999.
MCGUIRE IN GOAL
Fifth-year senior Grace McGuire has started 38 consecutive games for the Hawkeyes in goal. The Missouri native has won 29 games, posted 18 shutouts and made 86 saves during her career. She has a 0.81 career goals against average.
• Last season McGuire made 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.
• The reigning All-American didn’t allow a goal in 561:03 minutes from the second quarter against No. 1 North Carolina on Aug. 29, 2021, to the fourth quarter of the Oct. 1 game at No. 6 Rutgers.
The Hawkeyes added three new players to the roster in graduate transfers Laura Drees and Olivia “OP” Frazier to go along with freshman Milly Short.
• Drees joined the program from University Hildesheim in Germany, while Frazier transferred from Richmond.
• Frazier was a two-time All-Atlantic 10 selection for the Spiders, earning first-team honors as a junior after scoring a team-high 14 points on four goals and six assists. She played in 63 career games at Richmond, scoring eight goals and tallying 12 assists.
• Short is the lone true freshman on the roster. She joined the team after playing three seasons at Stourport Hockey Club in England.
Four Hawkeyes — Olivia Frazier, Annika Herbine, Jacey Wittel and Mia Magnotta — earned invitations to USA Field Hockey’s 2023 U-21 and Development Squad Selection Camp. The camp will take place in December 2022 or Jan. 2023.
For a second straight year, the Hawkeyes boast a roster with 14 upperclassmen, including seven fifth-year seniors, three seniors and four juniors. Over the past four seasons, Iowa’s fifth-year seniors have won 60 games.
• Fifth-year seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 81 games of their Hawkeye careers. Four additional Hawkeyes — Sofie Stribos, Harper Dunne, Grace McGuire and Esme Gibson — have started 37 or more consecutive games.
Anthe Nijziel – 81
Lokke Stribos – 81
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.
SCOUTING WAKE FOREST
• The Demon Deacons are ranked 20th in the NFHCA preseason rankings. Wake Forest, who was picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll, went 7-10 in 2021.
• Senior All-American Meike Lanchokhr was named to the ACC Preseason all-conference team. She scored nine goals and had two assists last season.
• Wake has two transfers on the roster in Indiana transfer Anna Gwiazdzinski and Boston College transfer Sky Caron.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA
• The Tar Heels are ranked No. 2 nationally in the preseason NFHCA poll and UNC was tabbed to win the ACC for a sixth consecutive season in 2022.
• UNC had two players — Erin Matson and Meredith Sholder — earn Preseason All-ACC Team honors. Matson scored 27 goals and had 10 assists in 17 games last season.
• North Carolina went 13-7 overall last season. The Tar Heels lost to eventual NCAA Champion Northwestern, 2-0, in the NCAA Tournament.
• The Hawkeyes went 2-0 at the 2021 Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Iowa City, downing No. 11 Wake Forest (5-3) and No. 1 North Carolina (3-1). It was the first time in school history that Iowa went 2-0 in the Challenge.
• Iowa is 9-13 all-time against the Demon Deacons. The Hawkeyes have won nine of the last 10 meetings in the series, including winning, 2-1, in Ann Arbor in 2019 and 5-3 in Iowa City last season.
• The Hawkeyes are 4-31 all-time against North Carolina. Iowa defeated the Tar Heels, 3-1, last season to knock off the top-ranked team in the nation. It was the team’s first win over UNC since 2008.
The Hawkeyes return home to open a five-game home stand on Sept. 2. Iowa faces Boston University at 3 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field.