No. 3 Iowa field hockey finds success in Boston

Iowa field hockey maintained its undefeated record with shutout wins over New Hampshire and Boston this weekend.

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Jeff SIgmund

The Iowa Hawkeyes and the North Carolina Tar Heels fight for the ball during the Iowa field hockey game against North Carolina on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tar Heels 3-1.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter


After a victory against No. 1 North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Iowa field hockey went to the east coast this weekend with high expectations.

And the Hawkeyes maintained their undefeated record with two shutout wins against New Hampshire and Boston.

Against New Hampshire Friday, the Hawkeyes got off to a fast start as junior midfielder Esme Gibson found the back of the net just four minutes into the game. 

From then on, Iowa continued the goal barrage, scoring a total of three goals in 32 minutes to preserve a clean sheet, 3-0, win over the Wildcats.

“Our backfield and goalkeeping were fantastic today,” Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci said in a Saturday release. “They organized well and came up with some big tackles to preserve the shutout.”

The Hawkeyes continued their momentum into Sunday’s match against Boston University. Iowa broke down the Terrier defense 26 minutes into the match as senior midfielder Lokke Stribos notched a goal off a penalty corner. 

The Hawkeyes came alive in the second half and scored three more goals to stroll to a 4-0 victory. 

“Today was a total team effort,” Cellucci said in a Sunday release. “It was fantastic to have four different goal scorers and to score in a variety of ways. The backfield was outstanding and handled a lot of pressure from BU with great poise.”  

BIG PICTURE

The Hawkeyes are still undefeated, as Iowa started the fall 2021 season 4-0 with victories over then-No. 11 Wake Forest, then-No. 1 North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Boston.

Iowa, the third ranked team in the country, is tied for first in the Big Ten standings with unbeaten Michigan. 

The Wolverines are currently ranked at No. 2 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.

DEFENSIVE DOMINATION

Through two games this weekend, Iowa allowed just five shots.

After some shaky moments in the backfield in Iowa’s opening weekend — the Hawkeye defense allowed four goals in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge — the Hawkeyes shut down the Wildcats and Terriers.

Both opponents only managed one penalty corner apiece against Iowa.

HAWKEYES CONTINUE TO SHARE THE ROCK

After Iowa had five different players score a goal last weekend, the Hawkeyes continued to share the rock in Boston.

This weekend, six different Hawkeyes found the back of the net — including a goal from Stribos in each game.

Senior forward Leah Zellner and fifth-year senior midfielder Nikki Freeman scored their first goals of the season, while senior forward Ciara Smith, fifth-year senior midfielder Ellie Holley, and Gibson added to their point totals.

Six different Hawkeyes also set up goals for their teammates this weekend, including freshman forward Annika Herbine — her first-ever collegiate assist in the Black and Gold came against Boston.

UP NEXT

The Hawkeyes will host two more nonconference opponents next weekend at Grant Field. 

Iowa will face Ohio at 3 p.m. Friday and Saint Louis on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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