The 11th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team opens its 27th NCAA Tournament appearance on Friday, facing No. 5 Virginia in the Sweet 16 at Lakeside Field on the campus of Northwestern. The game will begin at 2:30 p.m. (CT) in Evanston, Ill.
• Friday’s game will be streamed live on B1G+. The stream will be available free of charge.
• 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 are making their fifth straight and 27th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history — the most of any team as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
• Iowa is ranked 11th in the Week 10 Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches’ poll on Nov. 8. It is the first time this season the Hawkeyes have fallen outside of the top 10 of the national rankings.
• Fifth-year seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos will be making their 100th consecutive start against No. 5 Virginia on Friday in the NCAA Tournament.
• Three Hawkeyes — Anthe Nijziel (first-team), Lokke Stribos (second-team) and Esme Gibson (second-team) earned All-Big Ten recognition for the 2022 season.
• Nijziel earned NFHCA Division I Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors for her play in Iowa’s 1-0 win against Michigan State on Oct. 28. It was Nijziel’s second Big Ten honor this season (seventh of her career) and her third career national honor.
• The Hawkeyes earned four Big Ten weekly honors during the regular season – Grace McGuire (Defensive, Sept. 26) and Alex Wesneski (Offensive, Sept. 26).
• The Hawkeyes are 5-7 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 won its 10th game of the season with its 2-1 come-from-behind win over No. 17 James Madison on Oct. 9. It is the sixth straight year and the seventh time in head coach Lisa Cellucci’s tenure that Iowa has reached the 10-win mark.
• Iowa is outscoring its opponents, 38-20, this season.
• The Hawkeyes have posted six 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 10th in the nation in goals against average (1.09), 14th in save percentage (.780) and 12th in shutouts per game (0.33). Senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire is seventh in the nation in goals against average (1.01) and save percentage (.790).
• 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 279 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 seven of her nine 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.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
• The Hawkeyes are 29-27 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
• Iowa has qualified for five straight NCAA Tournaments — the longest streak since making a school record
15 consecutive tournaments from 1982-96.
EVANSTON, I KNOW THEE
The Hawkeyes are traveling to Evanston for the fourth-time this season to participate in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa and Northwestern scrimmaged to start the year, the Hawkeyes faced the Wildcats at Lakeside Field on Sept. 23, and Iowa played a neutral site game against Michigan in Evanston on Oct. 23.
3 HAWKEYES EARN ALL-BIG TEN HONORS
Fifth-years Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos and senior Esme Gibson earned All-Big Ten recognition for the 2022 season. Nijziel earned her third straight first-team All-Big Ten honor (fourth career accolade), while Stribos and Gibson earned their second career All-Big Ten distinction.
NATIONAL & B1G POW
Senior Anthe Nijziel was tabbed as the NFHCA Division I Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 2 and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 31 following her play in Iowa’s 1-0 win over Michigan State. Nijziel anchored an Iowa defense that allowed two shots (one on goal) en route to the Hawkeyes’ sixth shutout of the season.
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 11th in the Week 10 Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. The team has been ranked in 71 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 11-3 in the first quarter and 17-8 in the first half this season. Iowa has scored first in 12 of 18 games 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.
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.
ANNI & GAME WINNERS
Sophomore Annika Herbine has scored in seven of Iowa’s 18 games this season, giving her eight strikes — second-most on the team. Herbine has a team-best four game-winning goals (Wake Forest, Saint Louis, Providence, and Michigan State), which are tied for third in the Big Ten. Herbine leads the team with 23 points (8 G, 7 A).
• Herbine had her first career multi-goal game against Providence College on Sept. 9 — a 3-1 Hawkeye win.
Iowa has scored 18 goals on 91 penalty corner attempts for a 19.8 percent conversion success rate.
• The team has had five or more penalty corners in nine of its 18 games.
Four Hawkeye position players have played the duration this season and rarely leave the field — Lokke Stribos (16), Anthe Nijziel (16) Harper Dunne (13), midfielder Esme Gibson (4), Lokke Stribos (1) and Lieve Schalk (1).
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 18 games of the 2022 season as she leads the team with 11 goals, which are tied for seventh in the Big Ten. Wesneski’s 11 strikes have come on just 33 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.
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 19 of the team’s last 37 games dating back to the 2021 season.
MCGUIRE IN GOAL
Fifth-year senior Grace McGuire started 55 consecutive games in goal before missing the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal game against Michigan because of injury. The Missouri native has won 40 games, posted 23 shutouts and made 150 saves during her career. She has a 0.872 career goals against average.
• McGuire is 11-6 with a 1.012 goals against average with a career-high 64 saves and five shutouts in 2022. She tied her career-high 11 saves against No. 6 Michigan on Oct. 23 after previously posting 11 saves against No. 2 North Carolina on Aug. 28. McGuire has three games with 10 or more saves this season.
• McGuire has made 21 saves (10 in game one, 11 in game two) in two games against the Wolverines this season.
• 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 38 assists on its 38 goals in 18 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 24th in the nation in assists, averaging 2.11 per game.
Iowa’s team captains for the 2022 season are seniors Anthe Nijziel, Leah Zellner and Esme Gibson and junior Ellie Flynn.
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.
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 70 games.
• Fifth-year seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 99 games of their Hawkeye careers. Three additional Hawkeyes — Sofie Stribos, Harper Dunne and Grace McGuire– have started 56 or more consecutive games.
Anthe Nijziel – 99
Lokke Stribos – 99
Sofie Stribos – 58
Harper Dunne – 56
Leive Schalk – 38
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 29 NCAA Tournament victories and 12 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
• The Cavaliers enter NCAA Tournament play with a 13-7 overall record and the team went 3-3 in the ACC. UVA advanced to the ACC Tournament championship game as the No. 5 seed before falling to top-seeded and No. 1 ranked North Carolina, 3-2.
• Virginia has played eight games against six common opponents of the Hawkeyes — Penn State, James Madison, Northwestern, Wake Forest (2), North Carolina (2) and Maryland.
• Four Cavaliers — Annie McDonough, Daniela Mendez-Trendler, Adele Iacobucci and Jet Trimborn — earned All-ACC honors. McDonough and Mendez were first-team selections.
• Laura Janssen leads the team with 11 goals and 24 points, while Mendez-Trendler has eight points and three assists.
• Trimborn went 10-4 in goal, while posting a 1.19 goals against average, making 40 saves and posting five shutouts.
• Friday’s game will be the seventh all-time meeting between Iowa and Virginia. The series is tied 3-3.
• The Hawkeyes won the last meeting, winning 4-3 in 2014.
• Virginia has won both NCAA Tournament meetings, winning 1-0 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 2006 and 3-2 in Charlottesville in 2012.
With a win, the Hawkeyes would advance to Elite Eight for a third straight season.