No. 2 Iowa field hockey earns first conference win of the season

The undefeated Hawkeyes took down Indiana, 3-0, on the road in their Big Ten opener.


Casey Stone

Iowa midfielder/forward Ellie Holley attempts to score a goal during the Iowa Field Hockey Big Ten/ACC Challenge game against Wake Forest on Aug. 27, 2021 at Grant Field. Iowa defeated Wake Forest 5-3.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

No. 2 Iowa field hockey started the Big Ten regular season in style, taking a comfortable victory over the Indiana Hoosiers Friday afternoon.

The Hawkeyes won, 3-0, courtesy of goals from fifth-year midfielder Ellie Holley, senior defender Lokke Stribos and senior forward Ciara Smith. 

Holley opened up the scoring early in the second quarter for her sixth goal of the season — tied for the Hawkeye lead. 

Stribos scored off a penalty corner for the Hawkeyes’ second goal of the game, with an assist from senior midfielder Leah Zellner and freshman midfielder Lieve Schalk. Smith found the back of the net late in the fourth quarter to seal the Hawkeyes’ shutout of the Hoosiers.

The Hawkeyes outshot Indiana, 11-1, in the first half, but equaled the Hoosiers with three shots in the second.

“This was a very tough game to play,” Hawkeye head coach Lisa Cellucci said in a Friday release. “Credit to Indiana, they had a fantastic game plan and played great team defense. I am proud of the poise, presence, and persistence of the group. It is great to get the first Big Ten win of the season.” 

On Sunday, Iowa beat No. 5 Louisville, 2-0, to secure its third ranked win of the season. Iowa outshot the Cardinals, 8-5, on the day.

In the second quarter, Zellner flicked the ball over Louisville’s goalkeeper for the Hawkeyes’ first goal of the game

Smith stepped up later in the second quarter to notch her sixth goal of the season, as Holley came up with the assist.

“Our senior leadership shined through,” Cellucci said. “This was a defensive battle and required great discipline to defend the lethal offense that Louisville possesses.”  


Staying undefeated, the Hawkeyes are off to their best start to a season since 1999. The 8-0 Hawkeyes have defeated three ranked teams, including two in the top five: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 11 Wake Forest, and No. 5 Louisville.

Iowa also earned its first conference victory, putting it in a tie with Penn State and Ohio State for the Big Ten lead.


After giving up four goals in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge to start the season, the Hawkeyes rebounded to record six consecutive shutouts.

The Hawkeyes have not allowed a goal in 695 minutes of game time. 

Behind Iowa’s defense, senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire had to make just five saves on the weekend.


The Hawkeyes have seen 13 different athletes score a goal throughout the season, but Smith has emerged as one of Iowa’s biggest threats.

Smith has six goals through eight games — a tie for the team lead with Holley — and has spread out her scoring across five different games.


Iowa welcomes No. 8  Penn State to Grant Field in Iowa City next weekend. The Hawkeyes will play the Nittany Lions on Friday at 6 p.m. and on Sunday at 12 p.m. Both games will be streamed on BTN+.