The Daily Iowan

Iowa field hockey opens Big Ten play with win

With wins over Penn and Indiana, Iowa's win streak has increased to six.

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Iowa field hockey opens Big Ten play with win

Iowa's Mya Christopher fights for the ball during the Indiana field hockey game on Sunday, Sept. 16 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers (3-0), and have now won six consecutive games.

Iowa's Mya Christopher fights for the ball during the Indiana field hockey game on Sunday, Sept. 16 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers (3-0), and have now won six consecutive games.

Chris Kalous

Iowa's Mya Christopher fights for the ball during the Indiana field hockey game on Sunday, Sept. 16 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers (3-0), and have now won six consecutive games.

Chris Kalous

Chris Kalous

Iowa's Mya Christopher fights for the ball during the Indiana field hockey game on Sunday, Sept. 16 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers (3-0), and have now won six consecutive games.

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

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The Iowa field-hockey team continued its success this past weekend, extending its winning streak to six games after beating Penn, 3-0, on Sept. 14 and Indiana in its Big Ten opener on Sunday, 3-0.

Against Penn, all 3 goals were scored in the final 13 minutes of the game. Freshman Anthe Nijziel started the Hawkeyes off when she scored on a penalty corner with an assist from junior captain Sophie Sunderland.

Junior captain Katie Birch and sophomore Maddy Murphy also added goals, and the Hawkeyes outshot Penn, 18-5.

On Sunday, the Hawkeye defense proved to be strong again. Indiana got only 1 shot off all game; the Hawkeyes had 21.

“We wanted to put relentless pressure on Indiana, and our team defense and defensive third organization were our key parts to our game plan,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “We couldn’t have been better. Our back three — Isabella Brown, Anthe Nijziel, and Lokke Stribos — were outstanding. The whole team was. I’m really proud of the effort. I’m looking forward to our next Big Ten game.”

RELATED: Big half gives Iowa field hockey the victory over Penn

Sophomore Mya Christopher snagged the first goal of the game (and her first goal of the year) on an assist by Stribos with 12:46 left in the first half.

Murphy, who was assisted by Birch, put another shot away, her seventh of the season.

Not only did Nijziel play well for the Hawkeyes defensively, she also scored for the third game in a row.

“It feels great,” she said. “We try to execute a game plan really well every game. We really work as a team to organize our defense, and it’s going great so far.”

Junior keeper Leslie Speight shone in goal again. Jessica Krochmal, who was a goalkeeper for the 1993 team, which won the Big Ten Tournament and was recognized on Sunday, was impressed by Speight’s success.

RELATED: Hawkeye field hockey looks to continue hot streak

“That’s how you do it — just keep doing it.” Krochmal said. “I watched her warm up. She’s amazing. I think you just have to focus on why you’re there, and she’s there to be a wall and to be the lead offensive player, too. You get that ball, and you give it to your offense and hope they go like hell. I wish her the best of luck. She’s strong, she’s fast, she’s quick. She’s got all the makings to be an excellent goalkeeper.”

Jessica Enoch, who also played on the 1993 team, which went to the Final Four after defeating the No. 1 seed, was not only impressed with the Hawkeye keeper but the team as a whole.

“I just think they look like Hawks,” she said. “They’re hustling. They’re working really hard out there. They’re going after every ball. I’m proud of them, it’s fun to watch.”

This is the first time since 2011 that Iowa field hockey has had a 7-1 record. The Hawkeyes will try to continue their winning streak when they travel to Evanston to take on the No. 11 Northwestern in their second Big Ten game of the season on Friday and California on Saturday.

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