The fifth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team opens its home slate this weekend, hosting two games at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes host Boston University at 3 p.m. (CT) on Friday and Saint Louis on Sunday at 1 p.m.
• Friday and Sunday’s game will be live streamed on B1G+.
• 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 269 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.
CELLUCCI REACHES MILESTONE
Head coach Lisa Cellucci — the three-time reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year — earned her 100th career victory on Aug. 26 when the Hawkeyes downed No. 20 Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The ninth year head coach is the fourth Hawkeye head coach to reach this 100-win milestone.
WESNESKI X 2
Junior Alex Wesneski scored in each of Iowa’s first two games of the season. She scored the Hawkeyes’ first goal in each of the first two contests.
• The Pennsylvania native surpassed her 2021 goal total in two games. She had one goal (on five shots) in 14 games a season ago. She had four career goals prior to this season.
ANNI’S GAME WINNER
Sophomore Annika Herbine netted her first career game-winning goal in Iowa’s double overtime victory over No. 20 Wake Forest on Aug. 26.
GRACE FACES BARRAGE
Senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire earned her 31st career victory in Iowa’s 2-1 double overtime win over No. 20 Wake Forest on Aug. 26. She made three saves in the victory.
• The St. Louis native made a career-high 11 saves (facing 22 shots) against No. 2 North Carolina. It was her first career game with 10 or more saves as her previous career high came against the Tar Heels last season in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes played back-to-back overtime contests during their two games in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It was the first time since 2012 that Iowa played consecutive OT contests.
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. (The second poll will be released on Sept. 6).
• 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.
• Iowa has won eight consecutive road games dating back to the 2021 season.
MCGUIRE IN GOAL
Fifth-year senior Grace McGuire has started 40 consecutive games for the Hawkeyes in goal. The Missouri native has won 31 games, posted 18 shutouts and made 100 saves during her career. She has a 0.864 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 83 games of their Hawkeye careers. Four additional Hawkeyes — Sofie Stribos, Harper Dunne, Grace McGuire and Esme Gibson — have started 39 or more consecutive games.
Anthe Nijziel – 83
Lokke Stribos – 83
Sofie Stribos – 42
Harper Dunne – 40
Grace McGuire – 40
Esme Gibson – 39 (58 career starts; did not start one game in 2020)
Leive Schalk – 22
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.
• Boston opened the season with a weekend split, downing Providence (2-1) before falling, 5-2, at New Hampshire.
• Tess Csejka leads the team with two goals (on five shots) this season.
• Two goalkeepers — Caroline Kelly and Kate Thomason — have shared time in goal, each playing 30 minutes. Both goalies have allowed three goals and boast a 3.00 goals against average.
SCOUTING SAINT LOUIS
• The Billikens are 0-2 dropping a pair of games at Central Michigan (0-2) and at Michigan State (1-6) during the opening weekend.
• Olivia French scored Saint Louis’ lone goal during the first two contests.
• Iowa is 9-1 all-time against Boston University. The Hawkeyes have won three straight in the series, outscoring the Terriers, 12-2, in the three contests. Boston’s lone win came in 2007 by the score of 1-0 in double overtime.
• The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series over Saint Louis, 18-5-1. Iowa has won 18 consecutive meetings in the series and hasn’t allowed a goal since 1991.
• In the last nine meetings, Iowa has outscored the Billikens, 77-0, including 11-0 and 10-0 in the last two meetings.
The Hawkeyes remain home on Sept. 9 to face University of Providence at 2 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field.