The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

No. 18 field hockey needs a win

The Daily Iowan
Iowa midfielder Isabella Licciardello runs with the ball at Grant Field on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. The Hawkeyes defeated the Golden Flashes 7-1. (The Daily Iowan/Valerie Burke)

Iowa to face Northwestern in Evanston this weekend.

By Mario Williams
[email protected]

The Iowa field-hockey team will head to Evanston, Illinois, where they will take on Northwestern looking for a much-needed win.

The Hawkeyes now sit at 7-4 overall, 1-1 in the Big Ten. After its sloppy loss to Indiana on Sept. 25, the team will need a win not only to secure its spot in the coaches’ poll but also in the conference tournament.

While that may be their goal, it’ll be their toughest one yet. On Oct. 4, the Hawkeyes will try to stop a fierce Big Ten team that isn’t afraid to be aggressive. The Wildcats are 1-2 in the Big Ten and have competed against more conference opponents than the Hawkeyes. In fact, they lost to the Hoosiers, too.

“If everything can be on point, I think we’ll be good,” junior Stephanie Norlander. “We need to go out there and put our best foot forward.”

Northwestern has lost twice in the conference, but the Wildcats are not afraid to shoot and make goals. The Wildcats average 17.83 shots, good for second in the conference, and they average 3.58 goals per game, first in the conference.

Iowa is close behind those marks, averaging 15.82 shots and 3.45 goals per game.

Iowa may be ranked higher in the conference and in the coaches’ poll but Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci is aware of how savvy Northwestern’s program is.

“They have a ton of versatility in their team,” she said. “Within the course of a game, they’ll have one person play three or four different positions, so it’s very hard to just have a true matchup and try to take someone on their team out of the game, which is why we need to have more flexibility in our lineup.”

Flexibility will be one of they key components for Iowa to get the “W” it needs.

Second-year head coach Cellucci has put a number of players in many different positions this season, in part because of the lack of roster depth. Because Northwestern does the same, she hopes they will match up well.

“They’re very hard to scout because you take one part of their game away, and they have other parts that shine,” Cellucci said. “We just need to collectively as a team play solid hockey, and everyone has to understand her role.”

The Wildcats usually receive a number of penalty corners, and that is something the Hawks have struggled with this season. Iowa has a habit of allowing its opponents to earn corners, so the team hopes that isn’t the case in Evanston.

Northwestern has earned 104 corners and has allowed its opponents to only receive 56. The Hawks have received 85 corners and have given up 63.

Iowa junior Chandler Ackers noted that improving on penalty corners has been one of the big components of the team’s practice this week.

“We need to just play our game and get in a good groove,” Ackers said. “We can’t have any more losses, it’s not really going to help us.”

Follow @marioxwilliams on Twitter for Iowa field-hockey news, updates, and analysis.

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