The fourth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team begins a season-long five game road trip Friday at No. 5 Penn State beginning at 5 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes will then face No. 17 James Madison at 10 a.m. on Sunday in a neutral site matchup. Both games will be played at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex in University Park, Pa.
• Friday and Sunday’s games will be streamed live on BTN+. (Sunday’s game will not have commentary.)
• 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 sits at No. 4 in the Week 5 Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches’ poll on Oct. 4 after going 1-1 last weekend at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes lost an overtime battle against No. 4 Maryland, 2-1, before defeating No. 21 Rutgers, 1-0.
• The Hawkeyes are 4-2 against nationally ranked opponents in 2022, which includes a 2-0 victory over No. 1 Northwestern on Sept. 23 in Evanston. It was the second straight year Iowa has knocked off the No. 1 ranked team in the country.
• Iowa is opening a five-game road trip with three road games and two neutral site contests. The Hawkeyes are in the midst of a stretch where they will play seven straight ranked opponents.
• The Hawkeyes are 3-0 in true road games this season and the team has won 10 consecutive road games dating back to last season.
• Iowa has had three players earn Big Ten weekly honors in 2022 — Anthe Nijziel (Defensive, Sept. 12), Grace McGuire (Defensive, Sept. 26) and Alex Wesneski (Offensive, Sept. 26).
• Iowa is outscoring its opponents, 34-9, this season.
• The Hawkeyes have posted five shutouts this season. Iowa didn’t allow a shot or penalty corner in a 2-0 win over No. 22 UMASS on Sept. 11.
• Iowa is leading the nation in goals against average (0.79), while ranking fifth in scoring margin (2.20), shutouts per game (0.45) and winning percentage (.818), seventh in assists per game (3.00) and save percentage (.812), ninth in points per game (9.18) and 10th in goals per game (3.09) and scoring average (3.00).
• Iowa is leading the Big Ten Conference in goals per game (3.09) and shutouts per game (0.45).
• Senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire is third in the nation and leads the Big Ten with a 0.83 goals against average. She is also eighth nationally in save percentage (.804).
• Junior Alex Wesneski is tied for fourth nationally with 11 goals and she is 17th in points per game (2.00).
• 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 277 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 are ranked fourth in the Week 5 Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. Iowa has been ranked in the top five in every poll this season. The team has been ranked in 67 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.
PLAYING FROM AHEAD
The Hawkeyes are out-scoring their opponents 11-0 in the first quarter and 17-2 in the first half this season. Iowa has scored first in every game this season.
• Iowa has scored in the game’s first seven minutes in seven contests, including a strike just 43 seconds into its win over Providence College. The team has scored in the game’s first three minutes four times.
• The Hawkeyes haven’t trailed in regulation this season. In its two losses, the golden goal in overtime (by UNC and Maryland) ended the game.
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.
Iowa has scored 15 goals on 59 penalty corner attempts for a 25.4 conversion success rate.
• The team has had five or more penalty corners in six of its 11 games.
Three Hawkeye position players have played the duration this season and rarely leave the field — Lokke Stribos (10), Anthe Nijziel (9) and Harper Dunne (6).
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 eight of Iowa’s first 11 games of the 2022 season as she leads the team with 11 goals, which are third in the Big Ten and tied for fourth nationally. Wesneski’s 11 strikes have come on just 24 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, which led to her being named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 26.
• Wesneski has four multi-goal games in her career.
• Her offensive outburst has nearly tripled 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 11 games this season, giving her six strikes — second-most on the team. Herbine has a team-best three game-winning goals (Wake Forest, Saint Louis and Providence), which are tied for fourth 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 eighth in the Big Ten.
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 was superb during its season-long seven-game winning streak, posting four shutouts in the seven contests. Iowa 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 31 games dating back to the 2021 season.
MCGUIRE IN GOAL
Fifth-year senior Grace McGuire has started 49 consecutive games in goal. The Missouri native has won 39 games, posted 22 shutouts and made 123 saves during her career. She has a 0.82 career goals against average.
• McGuire is 9-2 with a 0.83 goals against average with 37 saves and four 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.
• McGuire currently ranks third in the NCAA in goals against average, sixth in winning percentage (.818) and eighth in save percentage (.804).
• 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 33 assists on its 34 goals in 11 games this season with 10 different players tallying at least one assist. Eight different Hawkeyes have at least two assists on the year. Iowa is seventh in the nation in assists, averaging 3.00 per game.
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 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 68 games.
• Fifth-year seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 92 games of their Hawkeye careers. Three additional Hawkeyes — Sofie Stribos, Harper Dunne and Grace McGuire– have started 49 or more consecutive games.
Anthe Nijziel – 92
Lokke Stribos – 92
Sofie Stribos – 51
Harper Dunne – 49
Grace McGuire – 49
Leive Schalk – 31
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 PENN STATE
• The Nittany Lions, ranked fifth in the latest NFHCA poll, are 9-2 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten Conference, sitting in second place. Penn State has won eight of its last nine games with its only loss being a 5-4 overtime defeat at Northwestern on Sept. 30.
• Penn State’s only other loss came in the second game of the season — a 2-1 home loss against Louisville.
• The Nittany Lions’ Sophia Gladieux is tied for second nationally with 13 goals this season. She is one of two Penn State players that has at least 10 goals. The Nittany Lions are seventh nationally averaging 3.13 goals per game.
• Goalkeeper Brie Barraco has started all 11 games, where she has posted a 1.41 goals against average with 47 saves. Penn State has four shutouts this season.
SCOUTING JAMES MADISON
• The Dukes bring a 7-4 overall record and a No. 19 national ranking into the weekend. The game against Iowa will be James Madison’s lone game this weekend.
• James Madison is 3-2 against ranked foes this season with wins over No. 16 William & Mary, No. 12 Liberty and No. 20 Duke. Three of the Dukes’ losses have come against ranked opponents — No. 12 Virginia, No. 5 Louisville and No. 13 Syracuse.
• The Dukes average three goals per game with Diede Remijnse leading the team with eight strikes. Eleven different players have scored this season.
• Three different goalkeepers have seen time in goal. Brandelynn Heinbaugh has started eight games and she is 5-3 with a 1.73 goals against average with 35 saves.
• Iowa is 33-26-1 all-time against Penn State. The Hawkeyes have won eight straight games in the series, including 1-0 and 4-0 last season in Iowa City. The Nittany Lions’ last win came in Happy Valley in 2017 — 5-1.
• The Hawkeyes are 5-1 all-time against James Madison with the last meeting coming in 2015 — a 3-1 road win. Iowa’s lone loss against the Dukes came in 1998 by a score of 4-2.
Iowa will return to action Oct. 14, traveling to Columbus, Ohio to face Ohio State at 2 p.m. (CT).