Iowa field hockey’s Freeman sisters excited to be back on the same team

Incoming freshman Sammy Freeman is joining her sister Nikki in the Hawkeye program.


Hannah Kinson

Iowa midfielder Nikki Freeman air dibbles during a field hockey game between Iowa and Duke at Grant Field on Sunday, September 15, 2019. The Hawkeyes were defeated by the Blue Devils, 2-1 after two overtime periods.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

With the addition of Sammy Freeman, there’s now another sister duo on the Iowa field hockey team.

Incoming freshman Sammy Freeman is joining her sister, senior midfielder Nikki Freeman, on the team this year. The duo will join Lokke and Sofie Stribos as sisters on the team together.

Although they have been on the same team before for a year in high school, the Freemans didn’t get much playing time together. This year, playing together is one of the things that they’re most excited about.

“We crossed paths a little bit in high school, but I was a freshman and [Nikki] was a senior, so the only time we were able to play together was in one tournament,” Sammy Freeman said. “But this is otherwise going to be our first time playing together in the big bubble, and I’m just so excited to finally be on the field with her.”

The Freeman sisters are from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and field hockey is seemingly a family trait. Their older sister, Maddie, also plays collegiate field hockey at Montclair State University.

All three of them started playing club field hockey in elementary school and grew up challenging each other with a field hockey net in their backyard.

“Whenever we would get home from practice, we would always stay outside and shoot around,” Nikki Freeman said. “And we would always push each other to be better, especially in high school.”

Committing to Iowa, somewhere halfway across the country from their hometown, was a big decision to make. But Nikki Freeman said she immediately fell in love with Iowa City when she visited for the first time.

“[Iowa] was the farthest place that I looked, but overall it was my favorite out of all the schools,” Nikki Freeman said. “I loved the coaches, loved the team, the campus is amazing, and after all those factors the distance didn’t really matter to me anymore, because I knew it was the right choice.”

The decision was even easier for Sammy Freeman, who had already visited Iowa multiple times and knew the program even before her recruitment process.

Although Sammy already knew the recruitment process and the coaches before she started looking at schools, it was important to the coaches that they treat her the same as they would any other potential recruit.

“When we have siblings, we try to make sure that we give them the same attention as any other student that we’re recruiting,” assistant field hockey coach Michael Boal said. “Although we already knew a lot about Sammy, she deserved the same opportunity to get to know us and for us to get to know her as an individual.”

RELATED: Seven new recruits set to join strong 2020 Iowa field hockey lineup

And even though the sisters grew up training together, the coaches notice different skill sets while they are playing, including how they see the field during games.

Despite only having the opportunity to play within the conference after the Big Ten’s decision to move all fall sports to conference-only schedules in 2020, they’re excited for the season to begin the season.

“We’re really excited about playing just Big Ten teams,” Nikki said. “I think that it will be really competitive.”

Nikki and Sammy Freeman are already in Iowa City to participate in voluntary workouts with the team. The majority of the team is participating in voluntary workouts before official practices are scheduled to start on August 11.

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