Stribos sisters push Iowa field hockey to new heights

Hailing from Brussels, Belgium, Sofie and Lokke Stribos wanted to compete in the Black and Gold from the moment they saw their older sister Marike do it in 2014.


Jeff Sigmund

Michigan Midfielder Sarah Pyrtek moves the ball upfield as Iowa Midfielder Sofie Stribos moves in during a field hockey game between Iowa and Michigan at Grant Field on Saturday, March 15, 2021. “The Hawkeyes defeated the Wolverines, 2-1, in a shootout.”(Jeff Sigmund/Daily Iowan)

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

For sisters Lokke and Sofie Stribos, the path to Iowa field hockey was relatively straightforward, even if they lived 4,292 miles and an ocean away from Iowa City.

The pair grew up in Brussels, Belgium, playing field hockey from a very young age. The two come from a field hockey family. Their mother played in college and their sister Marike played at Iowa from 2010 to 2014.

When Lokke and Sofie traveled to Iowa City from Belgium for Marike’s senior day, they both immediately knew they wanted to attend the University of Iowa and play field hockey in the Black and Gold.

“Since that day, I knew I wanted to become a Hawkeye as well,” Lokke said. “I have been training hard all these years to be a Hawkeye and follow my dreams.”

Sofie said her admiration for Marike is what ultimately led her to Iowa.

“My sister was always my hero and I looked up to her so much,” she said. “That was really the switch in my mind that I wanted to go to Iowa.”

Lokke and Sofie were born just one year apart — Lokke is currently a junior and Sofie is a sophomore.

Since she was a child, Sofie has been motivated by her desire to equal or surpass Lokke’s successes and achievements and create her own spotlight.

“She would always be the one coming back with trophies or best player of the game, so I was sometimes in her shadow,” Sofie said. “It was fun when the time came to shine, but she definitely helped me improve every step.”

RELATED: Iowa field hockey splits doubleheader with Michigan

Since they arrived at Iowa, both Lokke and Sofie have thrived — starting every game they’ve participated in. The sisters also play the same position — midfielder.

Last season, Lokke scored 10 times and assisted four goals, and she already has a goal and an assist this season. Sofie has also gotten on the score sheet once in 2020-21 after producing three goals in 2019-20.

In the opening game of the season, the two sisters connected for the winning goal as Lokke found Sofie off a penalty corner.

“They do a fantastic job with their execution and their communication on the field, and they definitely have a knack of playing well off of each other,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said.

While the Stribos sisters certainly share some genetics, they do not play the same way on the field. Sofie is an offensive-minded midfielder, while Lokke is more a defender rather than an attacker.

“Sophie is a player who is everywhere on the field, and is always there,” Lokke said. “I would describe myself as more laid back, but I have the vision to give those long balls.”

Iowa field hockey is 5-1 so far this season, with their lone loss of the year coming to Michigan at Grant Field in Iowa City March 12.

The Hawkeyes will travel to Columbus this weekend for two games against Ohio State. Friday’s game will begin at 3 p.m. with Sunday’s to follow at 11 a.m.

Facebook Comments