Murphy shines for Iowa field hockey in sweep of Ohio State

Iowa field hockey took down Ohio State twice this weekend, with senior Maddy Murphy leading the way on offense.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa Forward Maddy Murphy attempts to block a pass from Michigan’s Clare Brush during a field hockey game between Iowa and Michigan at Grant Field on Friday, March 12, 2021. The Wolverines beat the Hawkeyes 1-0.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

Senior forward Maddy Murphy was Iowa’s top point-scorer last season, leading the team with 12 goals and 13 assists in 22 games. Through Iowa’s first six games of the 2020-21 season, Murphy had not registered any points, forcing the Hawkeyes to lean on their defense.

This weekend, however, Iowa scored four goals in two 2-1 victories over Ohio State. The Hawkeyes are now 7-1 on the season.

Three of Iowa’s goals came from Murphy — two of which came in the second game.

Murphy’s first goal of the weekend actually proved to be the game-winner in the Hawkeyes’ Friday contest with Buckeyes.

Both games Iowa played this weekend stack up a lot differently in comparison to the Hawkeyes’ first six games of the year.

In Friday’s game, the Hawkeyes came out ready to play, scoring their fastest goal of the year, as Iowa put the ball in the net just seven minutes into Friday’s action.

Senior midfielder Nikki Freeman made the shot with assistance from junior defender Anthe Nijziel and fellow senior midfielder Ellie Holley.

Iowa maintained the momentum it gained from that goal as Murphy would go on to net her first goal of the year at the end of the first quarter.

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Senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire also made two crucial saves before the end of the first half to ensure Iowa took a two-score lead with it to halftime.

The second half of Friday’s game was much quieter between both teams, as the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes only fired a combined three shots in the latter portion of the game.

One of those three shots, however, did find the back of the net, as the Buckeyes managed to sneak one ball past McGuire.

As the final buzzer sounded on Friday, Iowa led, 2-1, and secured another Big Ten victory.

Saturday’s game went about the same as the Friday’s did for Iowa. The final score was again 2-1 and Murphy scored an unassisted goal eight minutes into the game to give Iowa an early advantage.

Murphy went on to score again with about 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Murphy was assisted by freshman forward Alex Wesneski. The assist was Wesneski’s first as a Hawkeye.

Although Iowa dominated the first half, McGuire had to spring into action in the second.

For much of the third period, the Hawkeyes’ backs were against the wall, as McGuire had to step up and make two more big saves to preserve a victory.

In the 47th minute of action, the Buckeyes found the breakthrough and make things interesting late in the match. But Iowa held strong to secure the win and earn the sweep over Ohio State on the weekend.

After struggling to convert on scoring chances for much of the first few weeks, scoring four goals in two games is a step in the right direction for the Hawkeyes.

With the wins, Iowa stays on top of the Big Ten ahead of the likes of Rutgers and Michigan.

Iowa returns to Grant Field in Iowa City for home matchups against Michigan State and Maryland.

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