The seventh-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team travels to Albany, New York to continue play on the road. The Hawkeyes will face Fairfield on Friday at 1 p.m. (CT) for a neutral sight matchup at Alumni Turf before playing No. 19 UAlbany on Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. (CT).
• Sunday’s game against UAlbany will be televised on American East TV.
• 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
• Freshman Dionne van Aalsum was named Freshman Player of the Week, while sophomore Mia Magnotta is the Defensive Player of the Week. It is the first time either have received this honor.
• Freshman Dionne van Aalsum led the Hawkeyes to two victories in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge after recording back-to-back multi-goal games in the first two games of her collegiate career.
• Iowa has now defeated the top-ranked team in three straight seasons (3-1 vs. No. 1 North Carolina in 2021, 2-0 vs. No. 1 Northwestern in 2022 and 3-2 vs. No. 1 North Carolina in 2023)
• The Hawkeyes return seven starters and 14 letterwinners from a team that finished 12-8, advancing to the Elite Eight for the 21st time in program history in 2022.
• The Hawkeyes made their fifth straight and 27th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history — the most of any team as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
• Fifth-year senior Esme Gibson (second-team) earned All-Big Ten recognition for the 2022 season.
• Head coach Lisa Cellucci is in her tenth season at the helm of the Hawkeye field hockey program and her 24rd season overall. Cellucci has been a part of 282 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 eight of her ten 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.
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, 2022 when the Hawkeyes downed No. 20 Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The tenth year head coach is the fourth Hawkeye head coach to reach this 100-win milestone.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Hawkeyes are ranked 7th in the Week 10 Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. The team has been ranked in 72 consecutive polls dating back to the 2016 season.
• Last season, Iowa finished the season 11th.
• In 2021, Iowa was 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 FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT SEASON
Freshman Lieve van Kessel’s first career goal in overtime sent the seventh-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team to an upset victory over top ranked North Carolina, 3-2, on the Tar Heels home turf on August 27, 2023. Dionne van Aalsum was the key player in sending the matchup into overtime after scoring her second goal of the game with six minutes left in regulation.
• This was the Hawkeyes’ first win against UNC in Chapel Hill.
• This is the second time in program history that Iowa went 2-0 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge (since 2002).
• This was only North Carolina’s third loss in Karen Shelton Stadium which opened in 2018.
• This was the first loss for the Tar Heels since November 2021, and their first regular season loss since October 2021.
• 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.
FRESHMAN, FRESHMAN, FRESHMAN
Six of Iowa’s seven goals this weekend were scored by freshmen, including all three against No. 1 North Carolina.
• The Big Ten Freshman Player of the Week Dionne van Aalsum recording back-to-back multi-goal games in the first two games of her collegiate career. She found the back of the net twice in a 4-0 win against Wake Forest and a 3-2 overtime win against No. 1 North Carolina.
• Freshman Lieve van Kessel’s first career goal was in overtime against the Tar Heels.
• Freshman Miranda Jackson recorded her first career goal in her career debut against No. 12 Wake Forest.
MAGNOTTA IN GOAL
The Big Ten Defensive player of the week sophomore Mia Magnotta posted both wins in goal this past weekend, recording her first shutout of her career vs. Wake Forest. The Forty-Fort, Pennsylvania native tallied a career high six saves against No. 1 North Carolina in her fifth career start.
• Magnotta has started five games in her career, all against ranked opponents.
ANNI & GAME WINNERS
Junior Annika Herbine scored in seven of Iowa’s 20 games last season, giving her eight strikes — second-most on the team. Herbine had a team-best four game-winning goals (Wake Forest, Saint Louis, Providence, and Michigan State). Herbine lead the team with 23 points (8 G, 7 A).
• Herbine had her first career multi-goal game against Providence College on Sept. 9, 2022 — a 3-1 Hawkeye win.
In 2022, Iowa scored 18 goals on 91 penalty corner attempts for a 19.8 percent conversion success rate.
• The team has five or more penalty corners in nine of its 20 games.
Four returning Hawkeye position players played the duration of last season and rarely leave the field — Harper Dunne, Esme Gibson, Sofie Stribos, and Lieve Schalk.
Senior Alex Wesneski scored in eight of Iowa’s games of the 2022 season as she leads the team with 11 goals. Wesneski’s 11 strikes have come on just 33 shots.
• The Pennsylvania native had three multi-goal games last 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, 2022.
• 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.
HELPING THE CAUSE
Iowa had 39 assists on its 40 goals in games last season with 10 different players tallying at least one assist. Eight different Hawkeyes have at least two assists on the year.
• For a third straight year, the Hawkeyes boast a roster with 14 upperclassmen, including two fifth-year seniors, five seniors and six juniors.
• Fifth-year senior Sofie Stribos and senior Harper Dunne have started in 56 or more consecutive games.
Sofie Stribos – 60
Harper Dunne – 58
Leive Schalk – 40
A STORIED HISTORY
• The Hawkeyes have made 28 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 30 NCAA Tournament victories and 12 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
• Fairfield opens its season today at Hofstra.
• The Stags posted an 11-9 overall record and a 5-2 record in NEC play in 2022. Fairfield won six of its final seven regular-season games before splitting two games in the NEC Championship in early November.
• Fairfield was selected as the favorite in the NEC Preseason Coaches Poll.
• UAlbany is ranked No. 19 in the preseason NFHCA poll.
• Hannah Mangan returns for a fifth year after finishing top-10 in the nation in goalie win-loss percentage and goals against average.
• Alison Smisdom finished top-15 in goals and points per game while adding a top-25 mark in defensive saves.
• UAlbany went 16-5 last season going 6-2 in conference play.
• Iowa is 2-0 all-time against Fairfield. The Hawkeyes won, 4-1, in 2016 and, 3-1, in 2007.
• The Hawkeyes are 1-0 against UAlbany after a win, 2-1, at Grant Field in 2012.
No. 7 Iowa opens its home slate hosting two games at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes host Central Michigan at 3 p.m. (CT) on September 8 and UMass Lowell at 11:30 a.m. (CT) on September 10.