No. 1 Iowa field hockey ready for home game against No. 19 Ohio State

The Hawkeyes can clinch a Big Ten regular season title with a win over the Buckeyes.


Jeff Sigmund

Michigan forward/midfielder Sarah Pyrtek look for a call during a field hockey game between No.1 Iowa and No. 2 Michigan on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Grant Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wolverines 2-1 in double overtime and a shootout.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

Fresh off a victory over No. 2 Michigan Friday, Iowa field hockey will return to Grant Field in Iowa City Sunday to take on No. 19 Ohio State.

The Hawkeyes’ 2-1 shootout victory against then-undefeated Michigan led Iowa fans, student-athletes, and even UI women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder to storm Grant Field.

“It was exciting to see the energy and feel it, because even if we don’t react to it, we’re uplifted by it,” Iowa goalkeeper Grace McGuire said. 

Michigan was the first team to capture a lead against Iowa in 2021 — even if it didn’t last through the game’s final whistle.

The Wolverines converted on their first penalty corner of the match, gaining a 1-0 advantage on the Hawkeyes in the third period.

Iowa failed to convert on two fourth-quarter penalty corners as it tried to erase Michigan’s lead.

Ultimately, defender Anthe Nijziel tied the game to force overtime, putting the ball in the back of the net with three minutes remaining in Friday’s game.

“We talked about it and knew we would be behind at some point this season,” Iowa head field hockey coach Lisa Cellucci said. “I just asked them to rely on their body of work and their skill level.”

While Friday’s win was momentous for the Hawkeyes, they haven’t allowed their focus to lapse.

“We just need to take care of the next one,” Cellucci said. “That’s been our approach all year and that’s why we are 15-0 because we have not looked too far ahead.”

Ohio State comes into Sunday’s game 7-6 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have dropped five of their last six games, including all three of their most recent Big Ten games.

Ohio State has been particularly porous from the back line, conceding nine goals in its last three matches. 

With a win against the Buckeyes tomorrow, the Hawkeyes can clinch a Big Ten regular season title and first-round bye in the conference tournament. Iowa is 6-0 in league play this season — a game ahead of second-place, 4-1 Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights’ lone conference loss came to the Hawkeyes.

Action between Iowa and Ohio State will begin at noon Sunday and stream live on BTN+.

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