Iowa No.2 hosts Penn State No.6 for 2 games – University of Iowa Athletics
The second-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team will host No.6 Penn State for a two-game series this weekend at Grant Field. The first match will take place on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT) followed by a competition on Sunday afternoon from noon. (Friday’s game will count towards the Big Ten standings, while Sunday’s contest will be a non-conference game.)
• Iowa field hockey fans can follow all contests via live stats at hawkeyesports.com.
• Friday and Sunday matches will be streamed live on BTN +, a paid subscription service.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW?
• Head Coach Lisa Cellucci – the 2020 Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year – is in her eighth season leading the Hawkeye field hockey program and her 22nd season overall. Cellucci was part of 259 wins in Iowa and in 2020 she led the program to the Final Four for the 12th time – the first since 2008 – in her history.
• The Hawkeyes are ranked second in the latest Penn Monto / NFHCA National Division I standings. Iowa has 15 votes for first place (up from 11 last week) and has 1,135 points, 30 behind first-place Michigan.
• Iowa is 8-0 to start the season for the first time since 1999 – a season in which it won its first 10 games. The Hawkeyes went 2-0 in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge for the first time in program history before recording six straight shutouts in wins over New Hampshire, Boston, Ohio, St. Louis, Indiana and at No. 5 Louisville.
• Iowa has three wins over top-11 ranked opponents: North Carolina No.1, Louisville No.5 and Forest Wake No.11. The victory at Louisville was the first road victory over a top-five ranked opponent since 2007 – a 2-0 victory over No.4 Duke.
• The Hawkeyes’ eight-game winning streak is the longest since 2008. Iowa’s last nine-game winning streak was in 1999 (10-game winning streak).
• Iowa is one of four national teams still undefeated (Columbia, Michigan, Penn State). The Hawkeyes are second in the nation in goals per game (4.75), points per game (13.00), goals-per-game average (4.79), scoring margin (4.29) and shutouts per game (0.75) and are third in goals against average (0.50), fifth in assists per game (3.50) and save percentage (0.833).
• The Hawkeyes return all 11 starters and a total of 21 winners, including all Final Four players from last season.
• Iowa returns three All-Americans – Anthe Nijziel, Maddy Murphy and Ellie Holley – and a total of five players who have won the NFHCA All-Region honor.
• Nijziel is the reigning Big Ten player of the year and defensive player of the year.
AND THE D?
The Iowa defense recorded six consecutive shutouts for the fourth time in program history, joining the 1978, 1986 and 1993 teams for the most consecutive shutouts. (The 1986 team won a national championship).
• In the streak, the Hawkeyes allowed just 16 shots in six games (2.7 per game) and the team did not allow any shots on goal in the wins over Ohio and St. Louis. Iowa allowed just four shots in the Big Ten’s game opener against Indiana and five at No.5 Louisville.
• The Iowa defense hasn’t allowed a goal since Aug. 29 against the No. 1 North Carolina. The defense went 395: 20 minutes without conceding a goal.
The Hawkeyes scored 18 goals in wins over Ohio and Saint Louis on September 10 and 12. Thirteen different Hawkeyes scored in both games.
I MARK, YOU MARK, WE ALL MARK
The Hawkeyes have scored 38 goals in the first eight games of the 2021 season with 13 different players finding the back of the cage. Sixteen different Hawkeyes have scored at least one point. In contrast, Iowa has scored eight players in total during the 2020 season.
• Iowa’s 38 goals are second in the country and in the Big Ten. Northwestern leads the nation with 41 goals.
• The Hawkeyes have scored three or more goals in seven of their first eight games.
• Ten Hawkeyes have scored at least two goals this season with seniors Ellie Holley and Ciara Smith in the lead with six goals apiece. Holley and Smith’s goal totals are career-best and they are tied for fifth in the Big Ten.
• Three of Holley’s goals were winners which is a career high.
• Iowa has scored at least three different players in the first six games to open the 2021 season.
Iowa haven’t allowed a goal in the first quarter this season, while also scoring 10 times. The Hawkeyes outscored their opponents 22-2 in the first half.
Iowa has 28 assists out of its 38 goals in the first four weeks of the 2021 season, which are second nationally (and second in the Big Ten). Senior Ellie Holley is tied for first nationally with seven assists.
• With six goals and seven assists, Holley is second in the Big Ten and fourth nationally with 19 points.
• Thirteen different Hawkeyes were credited with an assist in 2021.
Elder Grace McGuire had a career-high nine saves in Iowa’s 3-1 win over No.1 North Carolina on August 29. The St. Louis, Missouri native made 20 saves in eight games.
• McGuire, who has the Big Ten’s top six shutouts, is 8-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average to lead the league. His goals against average leads the conference and ranks fourth nationally.
• McGuire hasn’t allowed a goal in his last 395: 20 scoring minutes since a second-quarter goal by No.1 North Carolina on Aug. 29.
Senior Anthe Nijziel won her second Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week title on September 20 after anchoring a Hawkeye defense that recorded back-to-back road shutouts at Indiana and No.5 Louisville. Iowa limited the two opponents to nine combined shots in both games.
Senior Maddy Murphy was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on August 30 and the NFHCA Division I National Offensive Player of the Week on September 1 for her participation in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge. The Tasmanian native scored two goals and had two assists to lead the Hawkeyes to victories over No.11 Wake Forest and No.1 North Carolina.
• This is Murphy’s first career national honor and his second Big Ten offensive player of the week honor.
Iowa opened the 2021 season with two Big Ten / ACC Challenge wins, beating No.11 Wake Forest (5-3) and No.1 North Carolina (3-1).
• It was the first time in school history that Iowa posted a 2-0 Challenge record.
• The win over North Carolina was the program’s first since 2008. It was the last time the Hawkeyes beat the nation’s No. 1 ranked team.
SUPER SENIOR FINAL
The Hawkeyes once again welcome Maddy Murphy, Emily Deuell, Ellie Holley and Nikki Freeman for a recall as the foursome take advantage of the NCAA’s eligibility waiver due to COVID-19. These seniors have made three NCAA appearances, including an Elite Eight and Final Four race, and have advanced to back-to-back Big Ten Championship finals, including winning a title in 2019.
The Hawkeyes have an experienced squad with 14 senior classes, including four fifth-year seniors, seven seniors and three juniors. Over the past four years, the Iowa fifth-year seniors have won 58 games.
• Seniors Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos have started all 69 games of their Hawkeye career. Fifth-year Maddy Murphy has started 86 career games, missing only one possible game (in 2020) in her Hawkeye career. Seniors Ellie Holley (70 starts) and Nikki Freeman (75 starts) have started 70 or more games during their Hawkeye careers.
Maddy Murphy – 86 games (* missed one game in 2020)
Anthe Nijziel – 69
Lokke Stribos – 69
Ellie Holley – 56
Nikki Freeman – 32
Lea Zellner – 31
Sofie Stribos – 28
Harper dunne – 26
Grace McGuire – 26
BEST FEEDBACK FROM B1G
Senior Anthe Nijziel was the Big Ten class in 2021, earning Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. She was the first Hawkeye to win both accolades in the same season.
Senior Maddy Murphy won her third All-America honor in 2021, making her the eighth all-time Hawkeye to win at least three All-America honors. The forward led the team with 18 points a season ago on eight goals and two assists.
• Murphy has scored double-digit goals in three of her first four seasons, including a career-high 13 goals in 2018. The Tasmanian native has 13 career game-winning goals.
A HISTORICAL STORY
• The Hawkeyes have competed in 25 NCAA tournaments in program history – the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
• Iowa made 12 NCAA Final Four appearances, most notably winning the NCAA Championship in 1986.
• The 27 NCAA Tournament wins and 12 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
PENN SCOUTING STATE
• Penn State is undefeated, winning six straight games to start the 2021 season. The Nittany Lions opened the Big Ten with a 3-2 road win at No.7 Maryland on September 18.
• The Nittany Lions are led by senior Anna Simon and sophomore Sophia Gladieux, both of whom have a record seven goals, two assists and 16 points. Penn State averages 3.67 goals and 13.7 shots per game.
• Junior goaltender Brie Baracco is 6-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average with 32 saves in six games. She recorded a shutout this season.
• Iowa leads the all-time series over Penn State, 31-25.
• The Hawkeyes have won the last six games of the series, including two 1-0 victories over neutral last season in Virginia Beach, Va. Iowa defeated Penn State in 2019 to claim the Big Ten Tournament title.
• The last loss to Penn State came in 2017 in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
The Hawkeyes will travel to the East Coast to face Rutgers on October 1 and Maryland on October 3. The matches will be broadcast live on BTN +.