IOWA CITY, Iowa – The sixth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey didn’t allow a single shot en route to its third shutout of the season – a 2-0 victory over No. 22 UMASS – on Sunday afternoon at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes improve to 5-1 this season.
“I think this is the most complete game we have put on the field (this season),” said senior captain Anthe Nijziel. “Defensively, it was a lot more organized, and we had some great passes stringing up the field.”
It was the fourth straight game Iowa’s defense has allowed five or fewer shots. Senior Grace McGuire was credited with the shutout – the 20th of her career.
Iowa took the early lead, scoring in the opening minutes for a second straight game. Nijziel capitalized off a penalty corner in the third minute for her second goal of the season. She was assisted by sophomore Annika Herbine and senior Sofie Stribos.
The Hawkeyes doubled their lead in the third quarter when junior Alex Wesneski scored for the seventh time this season. Senior Esme Gibson’s cross set up the goal, making the score 2-0 in the 45th minute.
Iowa had a 14-0 advantage in shots – with eight being on goal – and the Hawkeyes had nine penalty corner opportunities in the game.
QUOTING ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH MICHAEL BOAL
“We wanted to improve from Friday. We felt like we did some good things against Providence, but a few details got away from us. We feel like we put together a more complete performance today.
“We did a good job and put together some good combinations. We had multiple opportunities. We could have probably gotten another one or two goals with the opportunities we had. At the same time, we’re getting good opportunities and that’s the thing that is going to help us moving forward.”
– Wesneski has scored in five of the team’s six games this season. She has a team-leading seven goals leads the team with seven goals and is tied with Annika Herbine for the team lead in points (14).
– Iowa’s defense has allowed one goal over its last four games. The Hawkeyes have allowed 11 shots (five SOG) in the four contests.
The Hawkeyes open Big Ten Conference play Friday, hosting Indiana at 4 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field. The game will be a Gold Out for Childhood Cancer.