Holley Hat Trick Propels Hawkeyes to Victory

On Sunday, the Hawkeyes vanquished the Michigan State Spartans 5-0. Ellie Holley posted a three goal hat trick for the Hawkeyes.

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Holley Hat Trick Propels Hawkeyes to Victory

Iowa midfielder Katie Birch handles the ball during a field hockey match between Iowa and Ohio State on Friday, September 27, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 2-1.

Iowa midfielder Katie Birch handles the ball during a field hockey match between Iowa and Ohio State on Friday, September 27, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 2-1.

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa midfielder Katie Birch handles the ball during a field hockey match between Iowa and Ohio State on Friday, September 27, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 2-1.

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa midfielder Katie Birch handles the ball during a field hockey match between Iowa and Ohio State on Friday, September 27, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes, 2-1.

Austin Hanson, Sports Reporter

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Iowa City was not Sparta on Sunday as Grant Field proved to be a nest, sheltering the Hawkeyes from both rainfall and the Michigan State Spartans. 

Rain was present for the entirety of Iowa’s matchup with Michigan State. Despite the poor conditions, the Hawkeyes toppled the Spartans on Sunday afternoon, 5-0. The Hawkeyes have only lost one time at home this season. 

Iowa has outscored opponents 28-5 at Grant Field in 2019. Lokke Stribos, Maddie Murphy, and Ellie Holley contributed to that total. Holley earned a hat trick, putting up three goals on the afternoon. Despite all three of Holley’s goals coming unassisted, the junior was quick to attribute her success to her teammates.

“It was awesome,” junior Ellie Holley said. “Yeah, it’s great to get a hat trick, but my teammates were the ones that passed me the ball.”

Iowa’s performance was nothing short of magnificent. The box score may show that Michigan State was an inept foe. However, Michigan State was ranked 24th in National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll when they rolled into Iowa City.

Sunday was not the first time the Hawkeyes picked apart a nationally ranked opponent. In fact, the win over Michigan State wasn’t even Iowa’s first win against a top 25 opponent on the weekend. The Hawkeyes were able to defeat No. 14 Ohio State, 2-1, on Sept. 27.

“That was our goal, to start 2-0 in the Big Ten,” head coach Lisa Celucci said. “We know we have a long Big Ten season ahead of us.”

The Big Ten is arguably the best conference in field hockey this season. Currently, the Big Ten boasts seven NFHCA ranked teams: Maryland, Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, and Michigan State. Seven ACC teams have also found their way into the top 25: North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Louisville, Boston College, Syracuse, and Wake Forest.

The ACC has dealt Iowa its only losses on the season. Iowa is 1-2 against the ACC after defeating then-No. 10 ranked Wake Forest. The Hawkeyes lost to North Carolina on the road and Duke at home. Currently, North Carolina and Duke are ranked first and second in NFHCA poll, respectively.

Iowa’s losses this season have come against the top two teams in the nation. However, three of the Hawkeyes’ seven wins this season have come against nationally ranked opponents.

The road ahead for the Hawkeyes does not get any easier going forward. Iowa will take on the 18th-ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights at home on Friday. Then, the Hawkeyes will head to College Park, Maryland, for a matchup against the fourth-ranked Terrapins. The trip to Maryland will cap a stretch of four straight games against ranked Big Ten opponents.

The Hawkeyes are winning at an astonishing rate in 2019. This Iowa team seems destined to have a special run this season. This weekend, the Hawkeyes proved that they are ready for anything this season may bring. Iowa has also proven that it is a legitimate National Championship contender in 2019.

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