Hawkeye field hockey dominates home-openers

Iowa field hockey beat Dartmouth and Ball State in its home-openers, scoring at least 6 goals in each game.

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

The Iowa field-hockey team dominated two opponents this past weekend, defeating Dartmouth, 6-0, on Aug. 31 and Ball State, 7-1, on Sept. 2 at Grant Field.

On Aug. 31, the Hawkeyes capitalized on penalty corners for 4 of their 6 goals. Penalty corners are awarded to the offense when an opponent fouls an attacking player at any location within a 25-yard area around the goal.

Junior Katie Birch put 3 of her 11 shots in the back of the net on Aug. 31 for her fourth career hat trick.

“I’m pumped,” she said. “We practiced so many penalty-corner attempts, so many shots. I’m so thankful that it’s paying off and scoring these goals for the team. We’re getting good wins.”

At the half, the Hawkeyes were only able to put 2 of their 16 shots away, shooting at a .125 percentage as a team.

“The start was a bit slow for us, but Dartmouth is a great team, and they play a different style than we’ve seen so far this year,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “It took us a little while to get adjusted to. Once we calmed down and focused on our possession, we were much better.”

The Hawkeyes turned around their offense at half, coming back to finish 4 of their 12 shots.

Besides the 3 goals Birch scored, senior Makenna Grewe and sophomore Maddy Murphy scored the other goals. Murphy tallied her third and fourth goals of the season.

“It definitely feels really good to win our first game on Grant Field, defend Grant Field, and get a really convincing win,” Murphy said. “Everyone worked really hard today. It just feels really great that we can back up last week’s performance with a 6-nil win this week.”

The Hawkeyes outshot the Big Green 28-3 and were awarded 12 penalty corners, while Dartmouth was held without one.

The Sept. 2 game against Ball State had a similar outcome. The Hawkeye defense, made up of Lokke Stribos, Anthe Nijziel, and Isbella Brown, as well as keeper Leslie Speight, only allowed 1 goal all weekend. The offensive side got its job done on Sunday as well. Junior Sophie Sunderland scored 3 goals, and Makenna Grewe, Ryley Miller, Isabella Solaroli, and Leah Zellner all added 1. Iowa out-shot Ball State 25-6 and was awarded 8 penalty corners; Ball State had 2.

“It was great to put as many goals as we did on this board this weekend,” Cellucci said in a release. “That has been our emphasis — to try to clean up our final third, and I think we did that. Going forward, we have to have a much higher rate of possession and play to our standard. That’s the message we gave to the team today, because our next couple weekends are going to be very tough. We know what’s ahead of us.”

The Hawkeyes are now 3-1. Next weekend, Iowa will head to Durham, New Hampshire, to take on Providence at 1 p.m. Sept. 8 and New Hampshire at 1 p.m. Sept. 9.



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