The third-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team returns to Grant Field this weekend for two games against nationally-ranked foes. The Hawkeyes host No. 4 Maryland at 4 p.m. (CT) on Friday before welcoming No. 21 Rutgers to Iowa City on Sunday at noon.
• Friday’s game will celebrate 50 years of Title IX, while Sunday’s game will be a Black Out.
• Both Friday and Sunday’s games 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
• Iowa climbed two spots to No. 3 in the Week 4 Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches’ poll on Sept. 27 after going 2-0 in road wins over No. 1 Northwestern and Ball State.
• The Hawkeyes shut out the top-ranked Wildcats, 2-0, on Sept. 23 for its third win over a ranked opponent this season. It is the second straight year Iowa has downed the No. 1 ranked team nationally.
• Iowa had two players — fifth-year Grace McGuire and junior Alex Wesneski — earn Big Ten weekly honors — the team’s second and third honorees this season. McGuire was the Defensive Player of the Week and Wesneski was Offensive Player of the Week.
• Iowa is outscoring its opponents, 32-6, this season, which includes a 28-3 during the current seven-game winning streak.
• Iowa has posted four shutouts this season with all four coming during the winning streak. The Hawkeyes have allowed three goals during the winning streak and the team didn’t allow a shot or penalty corner in a 2-0 win over No. 22 UMASS on Sept. 11.
• The Hawkeyes rank in the top five in the nation in eight different categories. Iowa is second in goals against average (0.75), third in assists per game (3.56), fourth in points per game (10.67), scoring margin (2.69) and winning percentage (.889), fifth in goals per game (3.56), scoring average (3.44) and shutouts per game (0.44).
• Iowa is leading the Big Ten Conference in assists per game (3.56), goals against average (0.75), scoring margin (2.69) and shutouts per game (0.44).
• Junior Alex Wesneski is tied for second in the nation with 10 goals with all three players hailing from the Big Ten Conference. She is also 11th nationally in points per game (2.22).
• Sophomore Lieve Schalk is leading the Big Ten and ranks eighth nationally in assists per game (0.78).
• Fifth-year Grace McGuire is leading the Big Ten and ranks second nationally in goals against average (0.80) and she ranks 10th in save percentage (.806).
• The Hawkeyes are 3-1 this season against ranked foes with wins over No. 20 Wake Forest, No. 22 UMASS and at No. 1 Northwestern. Iowa’s lone loss came against No. 2 North Carolina when the Tar Heels rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in overtime.
• 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 276 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).
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.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Hawkeyes climbed two spots to No. 3 in the Week 4 Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. It is the Iowa’s highest ranking of the season as the team was ranked fifth in three of the first four polls. The team has been ranked in 66 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.
DOWN GOES NO. 1
Junior Alex Wesneski scored two first-half goals to lead Iowa to a 2-0 shutout victory over top-ranked Northwestern on Sept. 23. It is the second straight year the Hawkeyes have downed the No. 1 team in the nation.
• Prior to 2021, Iowa hadn’t defeated a No. 1 ranked team since 2008. The win snapped Northwestern’s 12-game winning streak dating back to last season.
The Hawkeyes have drawn 32 penalty corners in the last four games, including a season-high 13 in the 6-1 road win at Ball State on Sept. 25. Four of Iowa’s five goals against Indiana and four of the six goals against Ball State came via corners.
• Iowa has scored 15 goals on 51 penalty corner attempts for a 29.4 conversion success rate.
• The team has had five or more penalty corners in five of its nine games.
The Hawkeyes held No. 22 UMASS without a shot or penalty corner in Iowa’s 2-0 victory on Sept. 11. It was the first time since the 2021 spring season against Michigan State that Iowa’s defense completely shut down the opposition.
Junior Alex Wesneski has scored in seven of Iowa’s first nine games of the 2022 season as she leads the team with 10 goals, which are tied for second in the Big Ten and tied for second nationally. Wesneski’s 10 strikes have come on just 20 shots.
• The Pennsylvania native has three multi-goal games this season. She scored two goals in back-to-back wins over Boston and Saint Louis on Sept. 2 and Sept. 4 before scoring both goals in Iowa’s 2-0 road win at No. 1 Northwestern.
• Wesneski has four multi-goal games in her career.
• Her offensive outburst has nearly more than doubled her career scoring output. She had four goals entering the 2022 season.
ANNI & GAME WINNERS
Sophomore Annika Herbine has scored in five of Iowa’s seven games this season, giving her six strikes — second-most on the team and tied for seventh in the Big Ten, Herbine has a team-best three game-winning goals (Wake Forest, Saint Louis and Providence), which are tied for third in the Big Ten.
• Herbine had her first career multi-goal game against Providence College on Sept. 9 — a 3-1 Hawkeye win.
• Herbine is also second on the team with six assists, giving her 18 points, which are tied for fifth in the Big Ten.
FIVE IS BETTER
The Hawkeyes had five different players score in their 5-1 Big Ten opening win over Indiana on Sept. 16 — the most in a game this season. Lokke Stribos, Esme Gibson and Laura Drees scored their first goals of the season; Drees’ strike was the first of her career.
Iowa has had five players post seven multi-goal games this season. Junior Alex Wesneski has three multi-goal games, while Anthe Nijziel, Esme Gibson, Annika Herbine and Ciara Smith have one multi-goal contest.
The Hawkeyes’ defense has been superb during its seven-game winning streak, posting four shutouts in the seven contests. Iowa has allowed just three goals on 35 shots in the seven games with 20 being on goal. (Sixteen of those shots came against No. 1 Northwestern with Iowa leading 2-0).
• Iowa’s defense has given up five or fewer shots in 16 of the team’s last 29 games dating back to the 2021 season.
MCGUIRE IN GOAL
Fifth-year senior Grace McGuire has started 47 consecutive games in goal. The Missouri native has won 38 games, posted 21 shutouts and made 115 saves during her career. She has a 0.81 career goals against average.
• McGuire is 8-1 with a 0.80 goals against average with 29 saves and three shutouts in 2022. She made a career-high 11 saves against No. 2 North Carolina on Aug. 28 and had eight saves (on 16 shots) against No. 1 Northwestern on Sept. 23.
• McGuire has two wins over No. 1 ranked opponents in her career.
• 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.
HELPING THE CAUSE
Iowa has 32 assists on its 32 goals in nine games this season with 10 different players tallying at least one assists. Eight different Hawkeyes have at least two assists on the year. Iowa is third in the nation in assists, averaging 3.56 per game.
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.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE D
The Hawkeyes return three defenders — Anthe Nijziel, Harper Dunne and Lokke Stribos — 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 10 consecutive road games dating back to the 2021 season.
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 67 games.
• Fifth-year seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 90 games of their Hawkeye careers. Three additional Hawkeyes — Sofie Stribos, Harper Dunne and Grace McGuire– have started 47 or more consecutive games.
Anthe Nijziel – 90
Lokke Stribos – 90
Sofie Stribos – 49
Harper Dunne – 47
Grace McGuire – 47
Leive Schalk – 29
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.
• Maryland, who is ranked No. 4 nationally, has an 9-1 record this season with five wins over nationally ranked opponents. The Terps are 3-0 in the Big Ten with wins over Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.
• The Terrapins lone loss came against No. 7 Princeton on Sept. 20 (4-3 2OT).
• Maryland has scored 41 goals and allowed only 14 strikes in 10 games. Hope Rose leads the team with 10 goals, which is tied for second nationally.
• No. 21 Rutgers enters the weekend with a 6-4 overall record with three wins in its last four games. The Scarlet Knights lost 4-1 at home against No. 8 Michigan on Sept. 25.
• Rutgers has scored 17 goals, but has surrendered 21 in 10 games. Marique Dieudonne leads the team with three goals, and six Scarlet Knights have scored two goals on the season.
• Maryland leads the all-time series, 15-4-1. The Hawkeyes have won the past three meetings, posting a pair of 3-0 wins in 2020 in Iowa City and 2-1 last season in College Park. It was the team’s first ever win at Maryland.
• Iowa leads the all-time series over Rutgers, 9-3-1. The Hawkeyes have won the past three meetings, winning 2-1 in 2019, 1-0 in 2020 and 2-1 in 2021.
Iowa will return to action Oct. 7, traveling to University Park to face Penn State at 5 p.m. (CT).