Iowa field hockey off to best start since 2013

The Hawkeyes recorded two more 1-0 victories in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to continue their perfect start.

Iowa+midfielder+Lokke+Stribos+aims+for+the+goal+during+a+field+hockey+game+against+Michigan+State+at+Grant+Field+on+Sunday%2C+September+29%2C+2019.+Stribos+scored+one+of+5+goals+for+the+Hawkeyes.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Spartans+5-0.+

Jenna Galligan

Iowa midfielder Lokke Stribos aims for the goal during a field hockey game against Michigan State at Grant Field on Sunday, September 29, 2019. Stribos scored one of 5 goals for the Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans 5-0.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter


For Iowa field hockey, it was more of the same as the team secured two more wins in its second and last trip to Virginia Beach of the season.

The Hawkeyes secured two more 1-0 wins on the season over Rutgers and Penn State, meaning all four of the team’s games this season have ended in a 1-0 win for the Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes 4-0 start is the program’s best since 2013.

Once again, it was Iowa’s defense that stood out on the weekend, holding Rutgers to no shots over the entire game and allowing just four shots against Penn State. Goalkeeper Grace McGuire only had one save to make again over the entire weekend.

Improvements were made on the offensive end as well. Iowa registered six shots against Rutgers, with three of them going on target. Against Penn State, Iowa exploded on offense as it forced seven saves from Penn State goalkeeper Brie Barraco on 13 shots total.

Against Rutgers Friday, things started off slow for the Hawkeyes as neither side could get a shot off in the first quarter. After Iowa managed to get off three shots in the second quarter, both teams went back to holding strong defenses as no shots were allowed in the third quarter.

As they have every game so far this season, the Hawkeyes found a way to win late in the game. After ramping up the pressure late on and forcing several saves, it was junior midfielder Lokke Stribos who scored the game winner for Iowa.

Off the penalty corner, Stribos got the ball from senior midfielder Ellie Holley and junior forward Leah Zellner and found the back of the net with just six minutes left to play to secure the win.

“We knew they would tackle us hard, so we had to have great strength on our receptions and have the ability to move the ball and pull them out of space,” Iowa field hockey head coach Lisa Cellucci said in a release. “We put them under pressure in each quarter, stayed patient and chipped away until we found the back of the net. I was proud of our problem solving and resilience today.”

RELATED: Iowa field hockey returns to Virginia Beach for second-straight week of east coast action

The rematch against Penn State Sunday proved to be a much more open encounter, but Iowa showed improvements from the first meeting against the Nittany Lions to hang on for the win.

Iowa had a particularly strong first half, getting 10 shots off and scoring its first half goal of the season. It was defender Anthe Nijziel scoring off the corner from the top of the circle, with Zellner getting the assist.

Iowa survived a strong third quarter effort from Penn State and played solid defense the rest of the game to secure the team’s second win over Penn State this season.

“We knew they would tackle us hard,” Cellucci said. “So, we had to have great strength on our receptions and have the ability to move the ball and pull them out of space. We put them under pressure in each quarter, stayed patient and chipped away until we found the back of the net. I was proud of our problem solving and resilience today.”

Iowa leaves Virginia Beach atop the Big Ten ahead of its home opener against Michigan next week. The Hawkeyes will face off Friday and Sunday in a doubleheader against the Wolverines.

Facebook Comments