IOWA CITY, Iowa – Junior Alex Wesneski’s first career multi-goal game propelled the fifth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team to a 4-0 shutout victory over Boston University in the Hawkeyes’ home opener on Friday afternoon at Grant Field.
The victory moves Iowa’s record to 2-1 heading into Sunday’s game against Saint Louis.
Wesneski opened and closed the Hawkeyes scoring, finding the back of the net in the 22nd and 51st minute. They were her team-leading third and fourth goals of the season, which are a career high.
Her first goal came on a deflection following an assist from sophomore Lieve Schalk and her second goal came on an assist from sophomore Jacey Wittel.
“I think we’re putting the ball in the right space, and we have good ball distributors all over the field,” said Wesneski. “Both of those goals came from great assists, so I have to give credit to my teammates, I was just standing in the right spot.
“It’s good to score, fun to score, fun to celebrate with my teammates. We have to keep putting the ball in the back of the net from here on out. We’re going to be playing a lot of challenging teams that will put us under a lot of pressure. The more we can score and less opportunities, the better we’re going to be as a team.”
Iowa’s second goal came in the 27th minute when senior Sofie Stribos found the back of the net for her second goal of the season to close out the first half, giving the Hawkeyes a 2-0 lead. Iowa took advantage of a penalty corner as Annika Herbine and Anthe Nijziel were credited with the assists.
With three minutes to play in the third, Herbine took advantage of an errant Boston pass, intercepting the ball, leading to a 1-v-1. Herbine pushed the ball in between the legs of Boston’s Kate Thomason for her second goal of the season.
Senior Grace McGuire made one save and Iowa’s defense limited the Terriers to a pair of shots in the game to complete its first shutout of the season.
QUOTING COACH CELLUCCI
“We were able to keep possession, we just needed to be able to create the picture ahead of the ball, that’s where we struggled today. We had an idea that BU would play us the way they did, so we needed to change the shape up front. Once we were able to do that, the goals started to fall.
“Alex is a goal scorer. We’ve known that about her, that’s why we recruited her. She’s in the right place at the right time and she uses her physicality and strength. That’s what it is, great body position. We’re excited to see her take off. It has been a welcome to our offense. We hope she keeps it going.”
– Iowa outshot Boston, 10-1.
– Wesneski has a career high four goals. She had four career goals entering the 2022 season.
– McGuire’s shutout was the 20th of her career.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday, hosting Saint Louis at 1 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field.