No. 1 Iowa field hockey remains undefeated after east coast road trip

The Hawkeyes won two tight games against top-10 teams this weekend to remain atop the Big Ten.


Casey Stone

Iowa forward/midfielder Maddy Murphy runs the ball down the field during the Iowa Field Hockey game against Ohio University on Sep. 10, 2021 at Grant Field. Iowa defeated Ohio 8-0.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

No. 1 Iowa field hockey stepped up on the east coast this weekend, taking home two ranked victories to move to 12-0 on the season.

The top-ranked Hawkeyes got a pair of 2-1 victories against No.6 Rutgers and No. 7 Maryland, respectively.

Iowa exploded for two goals in the span of 16 seconds against Rutgers in the second quarter Friday. After fifth-year senior midfielder Nikki Freeman scored, fellow fifth-year senior forward Maddy Murphy found the back of the net.

Iowa was outshot by Rutgers in Piscataway, 9-5, but the Hawkeyes were clinical enough en route to their 2-1 victory.

“This was a hard-fought win,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said in a Friday release. “Rutgers is a fantastic team who put us under immense pressure, and I was so proud of the problem-solving we displayed each quarter.”

Against Maryland, Iowa played a more open match in which the Hawkeyes outshot the Terrapins 13-10.

There was no score in the first quarter, but the Hawkeyes put on pressure in the second period and outshot Maryland, 7-1.

Hawkeye senior forward Leah Zellner opened the scoring with just seconds left in the third period, and Maryland equalized early in the fourth quarter to tie the game.

Murphy responded with a late goal in the 49th minute, sealing the win for Iowa.

“Maryland is lethal in transition, and they tested us in many moments throughout the game,” Cellucci said in a Sunday release.. “We knew we would have to play outstanding team defense for 60 minutes today to stay in this game.”  


The Hawkeyes are now 12-0 for the first time since 1992. 

The 1992 Hawkeyes made it to the NCAA Tournament national championship game.

The wins also moved the Hawkeyes to 4-0 in Big Ten play, giving Iowa a one-game lead in the conference standings.


Murphy has been the focal point of Iowa’s offense for the past five years, scoring 44 goals in her first four seasons.

While the Hawkeyes have been spreading out goal production this season, the fifth-year senior forward continued her production this weekend, scoring two difference-making goals for the Hawkeyes.


Iowa’s defense kept eight shutouts in a row heading into the weekend — a program record. No opponent scored a goal in 561 minutes of game time this season.

That streak ended against Rutgers in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game, when Scarlet Knights senior Kerrie Burns found the back of the net.

Maryland also notched one goal against the Hawkeyes.


The Hawkeyes hit the road again next weekend, heading to Michigan for a matchup against Michigan State on Friday and Central Michigan on Sunday.