The top-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team returns to Grant Field for their home opener. The Hawkeyes will face Central Michigan on Friday at 3 p.m. (CT) before welcoming UMASS Lowell to Iowa City on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. (CT).
• 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 X/@iowafieldhockey.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 1 in this week’s NFHCA poll. It is the second time in program history the Hawkeyes have been ranked No. 1 (2021) by the NFHCA.
• Freshman Dionne van Aalsum was named Freshman Player of the Week for the second week in a row. Sophomore Mia Magnotta was named Defensive Player of the Week on August 29.
• Freshman Dionne van Aalsum leads the Hawkeye offense with eight goals in four games.
• Iowa has 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 20th time in program history in 2022.
• The Hawkeyes punched their ticket to the Elite Eight four consecutive times and 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.
TOP OF THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Hawkeyes are ranked first in the Week 1 Penn Monto/NFHCA National Division I rankings. The team has been ranked in 73 consecutive polls dating back to the 2016 season.
• 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.
• The Hawkeyes have downed the No. 1 team in the nation three years in a row (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).
• 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.
DIONNE VAN-AWESOME IN THE RANKINGS
Freshman Dionne van Aalsum ranks second nationally in goals (8) and points (16). She leads all freshman in both those catagories.
FRESHMAN, FRESHMAN, FRESHMAN
• Six of Iowa’s seven goals in opening weekend were scored by freshmen, including all three against No. 1 North Carolina.
• The back-to-back Big Ten Freshman Player of the Week Dionne van Aalsum has gone four-for-four in multi-goal games in collegiate career.
• Freshman Lieve van Kessel’s first career goal was in overtime against the No. 1 Tar Heels.
• Freshman Miranda Jackson recorded her first career goal in her career debut against No. 12 Wake Forest.
MAGNOTTA IN GOAL
Sophomore goalie Mia Magnotta has played the duration of all four games this season. She has only allowed two goals, tallied 10 saves, and has been part of three Hawkeye shutouts. The Forty-Fort, Pennsylvania native tallied a career high six saves against No. 1 North Carolina in her fifth career start.
• Magnotta ranks fourth in the nation and second in the conference in goals against average (.50).
• Magnotta was Big Ten Defensive player of the week on August 29.
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 scored her first goal this season against Fairfield in the first 16 seconds of the matchup.
In 2022, Iowa scored 18 goals on 91 penalty corner attempts for a 19.8 percent conversion success rate.
• The team had 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.
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 60 or more consecutive games.
Sofie Stribos – 62
Harper Dunne – 60
Leive Schalk – 42
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.
SCOUTING CENTRAL MICHIGAN
• Central Michigan is not ranked in the NFHCA poll.
• The Chippewas are currently 1-2 with a season-opening win against Colgate.
• Sophomore Amelia Lane leads the team with two goals on three shots.
SCOUTING UMASS LOWELL
• UMASS Lowell is not ranked in the NFHCA poll.
• The River Rocks are currently 2-1 coming off a 9-0 win over Merrimack.
• Sophomore Isabelle Halters leads the team with three goals. Sophomore Madison Leeper follows with two goals and two assists.
• Iowa is 13-0 all-time against Central Michigan. The Hawkeyes have posted three straight shutouts against the Chippewas (4-0 in 2021, 11-0 in 2019, 11-0 in 2016).
• The Hawkeyes have never faced UMASS Lowell.
No. 1 Iowa continues its home slate hosting two games at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes host Vermont at 3 p.m. (CT) on September 15 and Merrimack College at 1:00 p.m. (CT) on September 17.