No. 2 Iowa field hockey splits weekend series with Maryland

The Hawkeyes bounced back from a 1-0 loss Friday with 3-0 victory Sunday.


Hannah Kinson

Iowa defender Anthe Nijziel passes the ball during the second quarter of a field hockey game against Maryland on Sunday, April 4, 2021 at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 3-0.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

Iowa field hockey caught fire in the latter portion of Sunday’s matinee, scoring three goals en route to a convincing 3-0 victory over Maryland. With the win, the Hawkeyes split the weekend series with the Terrapins after a loss Friday.

“We continued to put them under some serious pressure with a lot of momentum and waves of attack,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “Once that first corner fell, you could see the confidence surge in the team.”

Maryland did put a few good shots on Iowa’s goal early in the third period, but the Terrapins failed to take advantage of their opportunities.

The Hawkeyes’ first goal of the day came off their second penalty corner of the match, as junior defender Anthe Nijziel found the back of the net for the second time this season.

Iowa carried the momentum from that goal into the fourth period, as senior Maddy Murphy rifled a shot into the back of the net to give the Hawkeyes some breathing room, 2-0.

Shortly after her first goal, Murphy scored again off a penalty corner. Murphy was assisted by Lokke Stribos. Stribos, who celebrated her birthday Sunday, now has two assists on the season.

The 3-0 win is the Hawkeyes’ first over the Terrapins since Maryland joined the Big Ten Conference in 2014.

“It was a relief to get it just so we don’t have to talk about it anymore and it is not on anyone’s mind,” Cellucci said.

The Hawkeyes’ series-closer Sunday went much differently than their series-opener Friday.

Iowa’s first game of the weekend saw the Terrapins hold the Hawkeyes scoreless, as Maryland converted one penalty corner in the second half to grab a narrow 1-0 victory.

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Holley and Murphy both had decent looks on goal for Iowa Friday, but Maryland goalkeeper Noelle Frost repelled both efforts.

With their split this weekend, the Hawkeyes still have yet to lose both legs of a doubleheader this season.

This year, Iowa has played a doubleheader each weekend. The first match of the series counts toward Big Ten Conference standings, and the second game is taken into consideration by the NCAA and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association to determine poll rankings and postseason seeding.

According to Murphy, Iowa’s conditioning is what put it over the top on Sunday, even after a difficult loss Friday.

“Our strength and conditioning is incredible and we have some really great coaching in that aspect,” Murphy said. “We came into the season so prepared physically and mentally to play those double headers.”

The Hawkeyes are now 10-2 on the season, tied for second in the Big Ten — trailing only Michigan. The Wolverines are 4-0 in conference games this season and 7-2 overall.

Next weekend, Iowa will take on No. 3 Northwestern on the road in Evanston. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats are currently tied at second in the Big Ten standings, as Northwestern boasts 4-2 league and 8-2 overall records.

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