No. 3 Iowa field hockey falls to No. 4 Maryland

The Hawkeyes lost an overtime heartbreaker to the Terps, 2-1.


Matt Sindt

Maryland’s Dani Van Rootselaar scores a goal, pushing the ball past Iowa goaltender Grace McGuire on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. The No. 4 Terrapins defeated the No. 3 Hawkeyes, 2-1, in overtime at Grant Field in Iowa City.

Grant Hall, Sports Reporter

The third-ranked Iowa field hockey dropped a top-five Big Ten matchup to No. 4 Maryland, 2-1, at home on Friday afternoon, taking its first home loss of the season. 

Junior forward Alex Wesneski scored the Hawkeyes’ lone goal unassisted with three minutes left in the third quarter. Wesneski stole the ball from Maryland’s Maura Verleg directly in front of the Terrapin goal and scored for the 11th time this season.

Wesneski entered the game tied second in the nation in scoring with Terps’ forward Hope Rose. Rose did not play Friday due to an undisclosed injury.


After Wesneski’s goal, It was all Maryland.

 Forward Dani Van Rootselaar picked up the slack for the No. 4 Terrapins in Rose’s absence, netting both their goals in the upset.

Each of Van Rootselaar’s scores came via penalty corner — the first coming two minutes after Wesneski’s goal and the second to win the game in the fourth minute of overtime.

Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci said Rose’s injury impacted both teams’ game plans.

“We found out [she wasn’t playing] when they were announcing the starting lineups,” Cellucci said postgame. “That was a positive for us, but in the end, it didn’t really matter. They played us slightly differently, man marked us all over the field, and that really caused some issues early on.

“It was a great game plan by Maryland, we just needed to be able to employ a couple different strategies and it took us too long to get into it and too many missed opportunities.”

The Hawkeyes struggled to generate opportunities throughout the contest, mustering six shots to the Terrapins’ 11.

Heading into the game, Cellucci said Iowa planned to put as much pressure as possible on Maryland’s sophomore goaltender Paige Kleft, but the Terrapins’ swarming defense didn’t allow the Hawkeyes to create many chances.

“We talked about it with the team, and said you know, we have to put their goalkeeper under pressure,” Cellucci said. “We didn’t create enough opportunities. There were too many balls over the end line, some missed receptions, and we’re just better than what we showed today.”

The loss marked Iowa’s first home defeat since Oct. 29 of last year. The then-No.1 Hawkeyes lost their first game of the season after sixteen straight wins at Grant Field to eventual national champions Northwestern.

Despite Friday’s defeat, Cellucci said her squad is looking ahead rather than dwelling on the outcome. 

“Progress isn’t always up,” Cellucci said, pantomiming an incline. “It’s going to have ebbs and flows. We have to regroup and play a really good Rutgers team on Sunday, and we need to take care of the details because it’s all about details and discipline for us. We did not play a great game of hockey today, and we know that.”

Sunday’s noon matchup at Grant Field is set to feature two ranked Big Ten teams coming off upset losses. The No. 21 Scarlet Knights dropped their Friday match, 2-0, against Indiana. 

Fans can tune in to the Iowa-Rutgers game on Big Ten Network.