Van Aalsum Named B1G Freshman of the Year; Pair of Hawkeyes Earn First Team Honors

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Three University of Iowa field hockey student-athletes – fifth-year Esme Gibson, senior Harper Dunne, and freshman Dionne van Aalsum – earned Big Ten Conference recognition for the 2023 season, it was announced Wednesday by the league office.

Van Aalsum was named Big Ten Freshman of the year and earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition, while Gibson earned her first first-team All-Big Ten for her third consecutive All-Big Ten recognition. Dunne was recognized as Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award recipient. Iowa has had at least one first-team All-Big Ten selection in each of the past 13 seasons.

Van Aalsum has started all 17 games this season as a freshman. The Big Ten Freshman of the Year played a key factor in the Hawkeyes’ offense as she leads the nation with 27 goals, 60 points, 1.59 goals per game, and 3.53 points per game.

The Castricum, Netherlands, native earned four Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors (Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Oct. 30) and four Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors (Aug. 26, Sept. 5, Sept. 11, Oct. 30) during the regular season while also being named NFHCA Offensive Player of the Week twice. She is the first Hawkeye to win Big Ten Freshman of the year since Katie Birch in 2016 and the sixth Hawkeye overall.

Gibson garnered first-team honors after playing a big role in the Hawkeye defense that registered eight shutouts this season. The Worcestershire, England, native has scored one goal and recorded three assists.

Dunne was Iowa’s recipient for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The distinction is presented to student-athletes who display sportsmanship and ethical behavior, are in good academic standing, and demonstrate good citizenship outside of athletics. The Fort Worth, Texas, native had started in 65 consecutive games for the Hawkeyes before a season ending injury earlier this year.

No. 7 Iowa opens postseason play on Thursday, facing No. 8 Maryland at 4 p.m. (CT) in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Big Ten Tournament hosted in Ann Arbor, Michigan.