The eighth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team opens its 28th NCAA Tournament appearance on Friday, facing No. 10 Louisville 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.
• The winner of Iowa vs. Louisville will face the winner of Northwestern and California/Miami (OH) on Sunday at 2 p.m. (CT).
• 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 making their sixth straight and 28th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history — the most of any team as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
• Iowa is ranked No. 8 in this week’s NFHCA poll. The Hawkeyes were ranked No. 1 for four weeks straight (Sept. 5 – Oct. 2) for the second time in program history (2021). Iowa has been ranked in 81 consecutive polls dating back to the 2016 season.
• Iowa leads the nation in scoring average (3.22) and rank second in scoring margin (2.17). The Hawkeyes rank third in shutouts per game (0.44) and shutouts (8), fourth in goals per game (3.22) and fifth in points per game (8.67)
• Three Hawkeyes — Dionne van Aalsum (Freshman of the Year/First-Team), Esme Gibson (First-Team), and Harper Dunne (Sportsmanship Award) earned Big Ten recognition for the 2023 season.
• The Hawkeye seniors have won two Big Ten regular season championships and one Big Ten tournament title. They have competed in three NCAA Elite Eights and the 2021 NCAA final four.
• Freshman Dionne van Aalsum was named Big Ten Freshman of the year and received first team honors after leading the nation with 27 goals, 60 points, 1.50 goals per game, and 3.33 points per game. The Castricum, Netherlands, native was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week four times this season (Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Oct. 30), Big Ten Freshman of the Week four times this season (Aug. 26, Sept. 5, Sept. 11, Oct. 30), and NFHCA Offensive Player of the Week on September 13.
• Sophomore Mia Magnotta has recorded 64 saves and has been in goal the duration of the season including all of Iowa’s eight shutout victories. The Forty-Fort, Pennsylvania, native was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on August 29 and NFHCA Division I Defensive Player of the week on August 30.
• 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’ have defeated six ranked opponent this season. Iowa has downed No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Rutgers, No. 5 Louisville, No. 12 Wake Forest, No. 14 Michigan, and No. 19 UAlbany.
• 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.
• Head coach Lisa Cellucci is in her tenth season at the helm of the Hawkeye field hockey program and her 24th season overall. Cellucci has been a part of 292 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.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
• Iowa is traveling to Evanston for the second straight year for the NCAA Tournament.
• Iowa has qualified for six straight NCAA Tournaments — the longest streak since making a school record 15 consecutive tournaments from 1982-96.
• The Hawkeyes have made 28 NCAA Tournament appearances in program history — the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference — and have made 12 NCAA Final Four appearances, including winning the 1986 NCAA Championship.
• The Hawkeyes are 30-27 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. 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.
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.
• 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.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Iowa is ranked No. 8 in this week’s NFHCA poll. The Hawkeyes have been ranked in 82 consecutive polls dating back to the 2016 season.
• The Hawkeyes have been ranked in the top-ten for the duration of the season.
• The Hawkeyes were ranked No. 1 for four weeks in row earlier this season (Sept. 5 – Oct. 2). It was the second time in program history (2021) the Hawkeyes have been ranked No. 1 by the NFHCA.
DIONNE VAN AWESOME
Van Aalsum leads the nation with 27 goals, 60 points, 1.50 goals per game, and 3.33 points per game. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the year and earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition
• The Castricum, Netherlands, native was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week four times this season (Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Oct. 30), Big Ten Freshman of the Week four times this season (Aug. 26, Sept. 5, Sept. 11, Oct. 30), and NFHCA Offensive Player of the Week on September 13.
• She scored eight goals in wins over Western Michigan and UMass Lowell to became the first Hawkeye to record a hat trick since Maddy Murphy vs. Indiana in 2019 and the first Hawkeye with four goals in a game since Kim Scraper vs Brown in 2016.
ABOUT THE DEFENSE
The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents 58-19 this season. Iowa has surrendered 19 goals in 18 games, and the Hawkeye defense has allowed 165 shots and 84 shots on goal.
• The Hawkeyes have recorded eight shutouts, three being against ranked opponents. Iowa shutout No. 14 Michigan in its Big Ten opener.
• Iowa’s defense ranks third in the nation in shutouts (8) and shutouts per game (.44).
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.
FRESHMAN, FRESHMAN, FRESHMAN
• Six of Iowa’s seven goals in opening weekend were scored by freshmen, including all three against No. 1 North Carolina.
• Big Ten Freshman Player of the Year and four-time Big Ten Freshman Player of the Week Dionne van Aalsum has gone ten-for-18 in multi-goal games in her collegiate career, and she has scored at least one goal is 13 games.
• Freshman Miranda Jackson has recorded two goals against ranked foes, No. 12 Wake Forest and No. 14 Michigan. She has recorded five goals this season ranking third in the Hawkeye offense.
• Freshman Rachel Herbine recorded her first career goals and first multi-goal game against Merrimack College.
• Freshman Lieve van Kessel’s first career goal was in overtime against the No. 1 Tar Heels.
Hawkeye seniors – Sammy Freeman, Mary Jane McNary, Kelly Rose, Sophie Stribos and Esme Gibson – have won 70 games, two Big Ten regular season championships and one Big Ten tournament title. They have also competed in three NCAA Elite Eights and the 2021 NCAA final four in their time in black and gold.
• On the field, this class has earned two All-America, three all-region, two all-conference and two Big Ten all-tournament team honors.
• In the classroom, these scholars have accounted for 12 NFHCA national academic squad honors, 10 academic all-Big Ten selections, and multiple dean’s/president’s list honors.
MAGNOTTA IN GOAL
Sophomore goal keeper Mia Magnotta has played the duration of all 18 games this season. She has allowed 19 goals, tallied 65 saves, and has been part of eight Hawkeye shutouts. The Forty-Fort, Pennsylvania native tallied a career high eight saves against No. 2 Northwestern breaking her previous career high six saves she recorded in win over No. 1 North Carolina at the beginning of the season.
• Magnotta ranks second in the conference and eighth in the nation in goals against average (1.06).
• Magnotta was Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on August 29 and NFHCA Division I Defensive Player of the Week on August 30.
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 has 40 assists on its 58 goals this season with eight different players tallying at least two assists. Six different Hawkeyes have at least four 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 has started in over 70 consecutive games.
• Senior Harper Dunne started in 65 consecutive games before a season ending injury.
Sofie Stribos – 76
Leive Schalk – 56
Esme Gibson – 32
Mia Magnotta – 21
Milly Short – 20
Dionne van Aalsum – 18
Gia Whalen – 18
• Louisville is ranked tenth in the NFHCA poll with an overall record of 14-6 and conference record of 3-3.
• The Cardinals have won only two of thier last seven games with thier most recent loss coming from Duke, 1-0.
• Aimee Plumb leads the team in points with 15 coming from five goals and six assists. Three Cardinals lead scoring with five goals a piece.
• Iowa is 7-7 all-time against Louisville.
The Hawkeyes have won the last two matchups against the Caridnals. Iowa won 2-1 earlier this season and 2-0 in 2021.
With a win, the Hawkeyes would advance to Elite Eight for a fourth straight season.