Field hockey rolls in two weekend matches

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Ting Xuan Tan

Iowa’s no. 19 Ryley Miller passes the ball during a field hockey match at Grant Field in Coralville on Friday, Oct 7, 2016. Iowa defeated Central Michigan 11-0. (The Daily Iowan/Ting Xuan Tan)

By Michael McCurdy

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Up until this past weekend, the Iowa field-hockey team has been just average at home, 3-3.

This past weekend, though, the Hawkeyes defended their home turf with a pair of games against Central Michigan and Cal-Davis.

From the beginning of the Central Michigan game on Oct. 7, Iowa was locked in and ready to go. Junior JoElla Guagliardo started things for the Hawkeyes with a goal on a rebound. Then, just seven minutes later, Chandler Ackers joined Guagliardo with a goal of her own, the first of three for her.

Iowa never turned back from its impressive start, scoring 9 more goals to beat the Chippewas, 11-0. It was the second most goals Iowa has scored in a game this season, meaning the offense might be beginning to click again after a midseason slump.

Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci said she was pleased with the offensive production her team displayed and how the intensity and energy never lacked, even though the score grew throughout the game.

“One of our goals today was to be really efficient on the offensive side of the ball,” Cellucci said. “I think we did that early on, especially getting an 8-goal first-half lead. We wanted to make really clean plays, and I think we did that. This was great momentum going into Sunday to play a very tough UC-Davis team.”

The team’s momentum carried on throughout the Davis game; the Hawkeyes got on the board early with a Natalie Cafone slap shot from the center of the scoring circle. The Hawkeyes continued their domination, scoring 4 more goals to shut out the Mustangs, 5-0.

In the weekend sweep, the Hawkeyes put up 16 goals, an incredible feat in field hockey. Even though the competition was not as top-notch as the previous weekend, for the team it was great to see their offense clicking.

Redshirt senior Cafone noted that, during this past weekend, the Hawkeyes scored in an array of ways, giving the team confidence that its offensive production will be fine going into next weekend’s gauntlet of games against Northwestern and Michigan.

“On Friday during the game, we really executed on our penalty corners, which was really big for us and something that we are going to take with us into next weekend,” Cafone said. “Today, we were able to score from the field, which was a major confidence booster knowing now that we can score from the field and from penalty corners.”

Recently, the team has gone through a midseason slump because of injuries and a lack of experience and depth. So, Ackers thought this weekend was essential in having the team get back on track for the remainder of Big Ten play.

“We always talk about how [the] season is an uphill grind and battle, we are constantly wanting to go up and never have these lulls,” Ackers said. “This weekend was a great weekend to have. We had a lot of shots on goal. I think we scored 16 goals, which is just awesome. This weekend provided us with a lot of enthusiasm and positive energy that we definitely are going to take with us to Michigan and Northwestern.”

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