Iowa field hockey’s Anthe Nijziel named NFHCA West Region Player of the Year

The senior defender anchored an Iowa defense that recorded an NCAA-best 11 shutouts this season.


Hannah Kinson

Iowa defender Anthe Nijziel passes the ball during a field hockey match between No. 6 Iowa and No. 22 Massachusetts at Grant Field in Iowa City on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

Iowa field hockey’s Anthe Nijziel was named West Region Player of the Year by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Monday.

The senior from the Netherlands already won the Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year awards this season. She was also an All-Big Ten first-team and NFHCA first-team All-West Region honoree.

Nijziel anchored an Iowa defense that recorded an NCAA-best 11 shutouts in 2021 — eight of which came consecutively. In 20 games this year, Iowa’s defense allowed just 110 shots. Only 62 of the shots the Hawkeyes surrendered were on goal.

Nijziel wasn’t just a force defensively, either. On offense, she scored five goals — including one game-winner. She also racked up four assists.

The Hawkeyes won their first 16 games in 2021, claiming a Big Ten regular season title outright. Iowa finished the season 17-3 overall. 

Two of Iowa’s three losses came to Northwestern. The Hawkeyes lost their last regular season game of the year to the Wildcats. Northwestern denied Iowa a perfect regular season record by winning that game.

The Hawkeyes then fell to the Wildcats in their second NCAA tournament game. Northwestern went on to win an NCAA title.

The Hawkeyes were bounced in the Big Ten tournament early on, losing to the Michigan Wolverines, 3-2, in their first postseason game.

Still, Iowa claimed its first outright Big Ten regular season title since 1999 this year. Iowa also made the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight for the 19th time in Hawkeye history.

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