By the Numbers: Iowa field hockey heads to NCAAs

Hawkeye field hockey has had a stellar year in multiple categories.

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By the Numbers: Iowa field hockey heads to NCAAs

Maryland Forward Linnea Gonzales chases down the ball during the Championship Game in the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2018. The No. 2 ranked Terrapins defeated the No. 8 ranked Hawkeyes 2-1.

Maryland Forward Linnea Gonzales chases down the ball during the Championship Game in the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2018. The No. 2 ranked Terrapins defeated the No. 8 ranked Hawkeyes 2-1.

David Harmantas

Maryland Forward Linnea Gonzales chases down the ball during the Championship Game in the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2018. The No. 2 ranked Terrapins defeated the No. 8 ranked Hawkeyes 2-1.

David Harmantas

David Harmantas

Maryland Forward Linnea Gonzales chases down the ball during the Championship Game in the Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2018. The No. 2 ranked Terrapins defeated the No. 8 ranked Hawkeyes 2-1.

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

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Iowa field hockey is ranked No. 7 nationally. At the beginning of the season, the Hawkeyes were ranked 20th, and they have worked to increase that throughout the season.

By Oct. 2, they had moved up to 10th, and since then, they haven’t been ranked outside the top 10. The highest Iowa has reached this season was No. 7 on Oct. 16, but it fell back to No. 9 after losing to No. 13 Rutgers.

The Hawkeyes have upset two top-10 opponents, one of them twice: No. 6/7 Penn State during the regular season, 3-2, and then the Nittany Lions again in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, 3-2. The Hawkeyes also beat No. 7 Michigan in the tournament semifinals, 2-1.

Goals against average — 0.97 goals

This season, the Hawkeye defense has proven to be quite the obstacle for teams. Iowa has a 0.97 goals-against average. That figure ranks sixth nationally and is the best in the Big Ten.

Iowa’s back-three defense comprises of freshman standouts Anthe Nijziel and Lokke Stribos and senior Isabella Brown. Along with playing stellar defense, Nijziel and Stribos have combined to tally 20 points for the Hawkeyes. Nijizel has recorded 5 goals, one of which helped carry the Hawkeyes past Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, and 4 assists. Stribos has notched a goal and 4 assists.

Speight save percentage — .744

Hawkeye goalkeeper Leslie Speight is the only goalie the Hawkeyes have played this season after redshirt freshmen Grace McGuire was injured before the season began.

She has played a critical role for the Hawkeyes and has done a phenomenal job. Speight has the third-best save percentage in the conference (.744), 16th nationally.

RELATED: Iowa field hockey falls to Maryland in Big Ten Tournament Championship

Speight and the rest of the squad have recorded 7 shutouts, the most in the Big Ten. She has never allowed more than 2 goals to be scored in a single match.

Maddy Murphy goals — 13

Sophomore Maddy Murphy was named first-team All-Big Ten, and it’s easy to see why. She leads the Hawkeyes with 13 goals, the fourth most in the conference, and also leads the team with 33 points, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten.

Murphy recorded her first career hat trick this season against No. 6 Penn State and went on two three-game streaks of scoring a goal per game. Murphy has scored 4 game-winning goals this season and registered 7 assists for the Hawkeyes.

Shot differential — 263 vs. 126

The Hawkeyes have tallied more than double the number of shots of their opponents this season.

Outshooting the opposition usually correlates with a victory, but the Hawkeyes have lost a handful of matches while tallying more shots.

Regular-season games in which the Hawkeyes outshot their opponents and still lost include No. 6 Michigan (13-7), No. 2 Maryland (9-5), and No. 13 Rutgers (10-3). Recently, in the Big Ten Tournament finals, the Hawkeyes outshot Maryland, 9-5, but failed to capitalize, losing, 2-1.

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