Iowa field hockey wins fifth in a row

The Iowa Hawkeye field hockey team snagged two wins at home this weekend, one against No. 18 Rutgers and the other against UC Davis.


Raquele Decker

Iowa’s fielder, Maddy Murphy, pushed the ball down the field as UC Davis’ middle, Milou Korthouwer stays close behind during the field hockey game on Sunday, October 6, 2019.

Sarah Altemeier, Sports Reporter

For the past three seasons, the Iowa field hockey team has been unable to come out on top against Rutgers. The two most recent matchups —junior Maddy Murphy’s first two seasons as a Hawkeye —Iowa has lost by one on Scarlet Knight turf.

However, this wasn’t the case Oct. 4. The No. 7 Hawkeyes defeated No. 18 Rutgers at Grant Field, winning 2-1. 

“Our game plan was just to make it simple, pass it around, and that’s what we did,” Murphy said. “That’s what was in my head when [I] got two assists.”

The first goal came from sophomore Lokke Stribos, assisted by Murphy and senior Katie Birch in the 13th minute. Nine minutes later Rutgers responded, and the game was 1-1 going into the second half.

In the third quarter, sophomore Leah Zellner put the ball in the back of the net off assists from Murphy and senior Ryley Miller, securing the win.

“We knew Rutgers was going to be a really tough team,” Zellner said. “They’re very aggressive, and it’s another Big Ten team that we’ve been playing. We really focused on our individualized defense and not just diving in. We have a few things we need to work on, especially on defense, just because it was a really close game, but we knew coming out here we were going to have to play the full 60 minutes.”

This was Zellner’s third goal in three games, and she credited her success up front to her teammate’s passing and combinations.

Head coach Lisa Cellucci also gave special notice to the work of the midfield and defense in finding success up top.

“Leah’s execution up front has been outstanding, but it’s truly attributed to the build up in our midfield and backfield,” Cellucci said. “Anthe Nijziel really gritted it out today, Lokke has been delivering some great balls, Birchie and Sunny in the midfield — they’re all doing a fantastic job.”

Iowa then tallied its fifth win in a row on Sunday against UC Davis, 3-1. Iowa’s last loss came in overtime against then-No. 2 ranked Duke on Sept. 15.

The Hawkeyes kept the game plan for UC Davis similar to the one against Rutgers. They kept it simple, got the ball to their scorers, and put it into the back of the net. 

With the win against UC Davis, Iowa improved to 9-2 on the season and is 3-0 in the Big Ten with it’s first two wins coming against No. 14 Ohio State and No. 24 Michigan State. 

Although Sunday’s game was important, the Oct. 4 competition was a staple of the weekend. 

“We’ve been getting better every game to be honest,” Cellucci said. “Today we felt like we did put a complete game together. Rutgers is an awesome opponent, and they’re a great defensive team, so we felt like we were only going to get a couple opportunities, and we capitalized on them which is what we needed to do to get the W.”

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