Field hockey splits after heartbreaker 


Anthony Vazquez

Mallory Lefkowitz races down battling and Ohio State player, Iowa's women's field hockey team lost to Ohio State 3-1 at Grant Field on Sunday, October 18th, 2015. (The Daily Iowan/Anthony Vazquez)

Iowa field-hockey team sits at 9-7 after a win against Michigan State and a loss against Ohio State.

By Mario Williams

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The Iowa field-hockey team closed its two-game home stand with a mixed bag of a weekend.

The Hawkeyes went 1-1 at Grant Field, with a win 3-1 against Michigan State on Oct. 16 and a loss by the same score against Ohio State on Sunday. The team is now 2-4 in conference play.

Coming into the match against the Spartans, Iowa needed a win quickly. The team hadn’t beaten a Big Ten opponent since Rutgers on Sept. 18, nearly a month ago, but it got the job done.

In the first half, a fast-paced Iowa offense continued to stay on its side of the field and in its circle. The Spartans couldn’t keep up, and the Hawkeyes outshot them 11-3 and earned 4 penalty corners.

Michigan State did get on the scoreboard in the 13th minute, but Iowa executed on both ends to keep it from scoring again. Sophomore Veronique Declercq scored two minutes before the half, tying the game at halftime.

In the second half, the Hawkeyes stuck to the game plan. They continued to execute on offense and continued to stay inside of the circle. The squad outshot Michiagn State 8-1 in the second half and earned more penalty corners as well, 4-1.

Junior Sophie Plasteras came off the bench in this contest and showed up big. She defended well whenever the Spartans attempted to make a charge, and she scored in the 50th minute. Her presence on the field was key to Iowa’s much-needed win.

“This was the best we’ve played today,” she said. “Our press was really on point today. It was good.”

Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci said that the junior’s stick was “like a magnet” once she hit the field, and after the game, the Hawks called her the “press whisperer.”

“Sophie was unbelievable,” Cellucci said. “She found herself in great spots, and I couldn’t be happier for her. She worked really hard at it.”

Ten minutes after Plasteras’ goal, junior Chandler Ackers added one when she fired a rocket toward Michigan State’s goalkeeper.

Iowa held Michigan State scoreless and without a shot for 57 minutes, and Iowa’s 19 shots were the highest the team has taken against a Big Ten opponent.

“We really came out from the beginning and just played hard,” Ackers said. “I’d like to see a few more goals on the scoreboard with 19 shots, but it was a great game altogether.”

It’s clear that Iowa isn’t afraid to take shots; its number of shots were exceeded in the Sunday contest against Ohio State.

The Hawks outshot the Buckeyes 22-10 but ended up falling short on the scoreboard, 3-1.

In the first half, it was all defense from both teams, but Ohio State scored first, taking a 1-0 lead before halftime. The Hawkeyes took 5 shots and limited the Buckeyes to just 2.

Sophomore Mallory Lefkowitz tied the contest in the 39th minute. Iowa kept knocking on the door, hoping that maybe it would open, but it never did.

Although statistically the Hawks dominated, recording 17 shots in the second half, Ohio State seemed to be the more aggressive team. Ohio State’s Peanut Johnson scored back-to-back goals in the 56th and 60th minutes, dimming Iowa’s confidence, and the Buckeyes held the Hawks scoreless for the remainder of the match.

If it’s one thing the Hawkeyes learned in their heartbreaking loss to the Buckeyes, it’s the stony truth of sports: You can excel on the stat sheet, but it all boils down to who can come up with the win.

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