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

Field hockey in troubled waters

Anthony Vazquez
A Hawkeye takes on an Ohio State player and goalie, Iowa’s women’s field hockey team lost to Ohio State 3-1 on Sunday at Grant Field on October 18th, 2015. (The Daily Iowan/Anthony Vazquez)

The situation the Iowa field-hockey team is in is nothing short of disappointing.

The Big Ten Tournament comes next month and while Iowa — 2-4 in conference play — might slide in, the Hawkeyes will be in for a tough matchup. They will likely be a No. 7 or No. 8 seed and have to play a top-tier team in Michigan or Maryland.

Things began to unravel early because of All-American Natalie Cafone missing the season with a shoulder injury. Iowa also graduated three starting seniors last year and also had two players leave the program — starting freshman Pommeline Korstanje and sophomore Jessy Silfer.

On Aug. 20, at its annual media day, the Hawkeyes felt they could survive without Cafone. There was a sense that the five new freshmen might instantly be able to provide a spark while junior Stephanie Norlander could take on the load Cafone left.

But now, the Hawkeyes are just stuck.

The team sits at 9-7 overall and eariler in the month was blown out 4-0 two weekends in a row. These losses led to Iowa dropping from the coaches’ poll, something that hasn’t happened to the program since 2011.

Iowa continues to make the same mistakes on both ends of the field that cost them games, most recently, against the Buckeyes on Sunday, when they lost, 3-1.

The Hawkeyes knew they needed to step up to move up in the Big Ten, but they simply haven’t been able to seize the opportunity.

During the game with Ohio State, Iowa achieved its largest total of shots on goal against a Big Ten opponent (22) but only managed to turn those chances into 1 goal. Yes, they’re able to take shots, but they can’t execute and win games.

During the second half, Ohio State’s Peanut Johnson scored back-to-back goals, and it seemed as if the Hawkeyes had lost their confidence. Iowa wasn’t able to recapture any sense of momentum and lost the game.

After the loss, Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci did not speak with the media, something that hadn’t happened all year prior to the game — which was surprising, to say the least. The feeling after the game was similar to a 3-2 loss to Stanford earlier in the season.

They spoke to the media at that time, but the mistakes they made against the Cardinal were the same against the Buckeyes.

So why was it an issue not to discuss what went wrong in the contest?

Perhaps they knew they had the game in their hands and let it slip away, perhaps they knew the two games at Grant Field were important games to be won and salvaged the weekend with a 3-1 win over a bad Michigan State team on Oct. 16.

But the loss against a good team such as Ohio State is the reason the Hawks won’t go far in the Big Ten Tournament, if they get in. The Buckeyes are third in the conference, and Iowa has had little luck against the top tier of the Big Ten this season.

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