No. 1 Iowa field hockey topples No. 2 Michigan in penalty shootout

The Hawkeyes improved to 15-0 on the season after taking down undefeated Michigan at Grant Field.

Iowa+celebrates+a+goal+during+the+first+quarter+of+a+field+hockey+game+between+Iowa+and+Penn+State+on+Sunday%2C+Sept.+26%2C+2021%2C+at+Grant+Field.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Nittany+Lions+4-0.

Jeff Sigmund

Iowa celebrates a goal during the first quarter of a field hockey game between Iowa and Penn State on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions 4-0.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter


For the first time in Iowa field hockey history, fans rushed Grant Field following the No. 1 Hawkeyes’ win over No. 2 Michigan Friday afternoon.

Iowa and Michigan came into the matchup undefeated — the Hawkeyes had 14 straight wins to start the 2021 season, while the Wolverines recorded 11.

And the Wolverines’ streak stopped at 11.

The two top-ranked teams notched two overtime periods before reverting to a penalty shootout to end the game.

While senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire tallied four saves on five shots, junior midfielder Sofie Stribos notched the game-winning shot for the Hawkeyes — moments after her sister, senior Lokke Stribos, recorded the Hawkeyes’ first goal in the penalty shootout.

“I was nervous at first, but I was saying to myself, ‘This is the moment when you take it for your team and you do it for them,’” Stribos said. “That’s what I did. I am proud of the team. I can’t even express it right now. We work hard for each other every day, and then we have these days where we can show it and that’s amazing.” 

Michigan only recorded one goal in the shootout, giving the Hawkeyes a 2-1 advantage.

“We’ve been thinking about this game all week and all year,” McGuire said. “And it has been circled on everyone’s calendar.”

The first half  of the matchup was scoreless, as both the Hawkeyes and the Wolverines locked down on defense. The Hawkeyes had two shots on goal in the first 30 minutes.

Michigan tallied the match’s first goal after halftime, as the Wolverines took advantage of a penalty corner in the 33rd minute to take a 1-0 lead.

The Hawkeyes played in a deficit until the final four minutes of regulation, when senior defender Anthe Nijziel found the back of the net for her fourth goal of the season — with assists from fifth-year senior midfielder Ellie Holley and forward Maddy Murphy.

And in Grant Field’s first-ever No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup, the Hawkeyes came out on top.

“We really asked them to rely on their body of work and skill level because we’ve never had to come from behind,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said in a release. “But in so many games they’ve had to make big plays, and they’ve done it over and over so we knew we could. I’m really glad to be able to see us execute it.” 

BIG PICTURE

The No. 1 Hawkeyes remained undefeated at 15-0 on the season — the only team in collegiate field hockey to not yet record a loss.

Iowa sits firmly at the top of the Big Ten standings, leading each conference team by at least one game.

12TH MAN

Iowa field hockey recorded an attendance of 1,236 fans for its game against Michigan — its largest attendance in the fall 2021 season.

Hawkeye fans packed the stands, and filled out all ends of the field — an experience the players were not used to, but appreciated.

“It was so cool, and I am really grateful for everyone who came out and supported us,” McGuire said. “It was longer than a normal game, but I won’t forget it for the rest of my life.”

GREAT WALL OF IOWA

Iowa’s defense continued its dominance against the Wolverines, not allowing a single shot on goal in the first half. Michigan only managed two shots on goal in the regulation period.

Overall, the Hawkeyes outshot the Wolverines, 14-10.

McGuire stepped up in the shootout, notching four saves to put Iowa over the edge.

“The mobility and footwork she showed in that type of pressure situation was incredible,” Cellucci said. “And I really think she fed off the crowd.”

UP NEXT

The Hawkeyes have a quick turnaround before another Big Ten clash Sunday at Grant Field.

Iowa will face No. 19 Ohio State at noon on Sunday, and the matchup can be streamed on BTN+.

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