No. 3 Iowa field hockey rebounds against No. 21 Rutgers

The Hawkeyes took down the Scarlet Knights, 1-0.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa forward Leah Zellner celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during a field hockey game against Rutgers at Grant Field in Iowa City on Oct. 2, 2022. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 1-0.

Grant Hall, Sports Reporter

After falling to No. 4 Maryland in overtime on Friday night, 2-1, Iowa field hockey bounced back with a 1-0 victory at Grant Field over No. 21 Rutgers on Sunday.

Fifth-year forward Leah Zellner netted the Hawkeyes’ lone goal of the day. The Emmaus, Pennsylvania, native scored off an assist from senior forward Sofie Stribos 12 minutes into the contest.


“It was a total team effort,” Zellner said of her goal. “I got a great pass from Sofie and I was wide open in the circle.”

Sunday’s performance marked the Hawkeye defense’s fifth shutout of the year. Holding down the fort in goal is fifth-year senior Grace McGuire.

Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci pointed out McGuire wanted to improve against the Terrapins after the Hawkeyes’ losing performance to the Scarlet Knights.

McGuire, a 2021 second-team All-American, gave up two goals on Friday, including the game-winner on a penalty corner four minutes into the overtime period.

“She was really disappointed with the last goal on Friday against Maryland,” Cellucci said of McGuire. “It was an error that she would rarely make, so she wanted to have a really good performance today.”

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

McGuire accomplished her goal on Sunday, holding the Scarlet Knights to seven shots and recording five saves. Four of those stops came in the first quarter alone.

“Personally, I think it’s easier to touch the ball right after you come out of warmups,” McGuire said. “It’s a lot harder to go quiet the whole game and then make a save at the end. I was happy with the performance for myself.”

Smith missing from lineup

Fifth-year senior forward Ciara Smith has been inactive for the Hawkeyes’ past four games. In her absence, Iowa has been forced to incorporate other rotational players in unique ways.

“It’s really kind of the ‘next woman in’ mantra,” Cellucci said. “Hillary Cox has been able to play a little bit up front, she’s primarily a defender for us but she’s the fittest person on the team so she can do the running. We’re still getting her up to speed, but she’s given us some quality minutes.

“Laura Drees has done a great job coming in the midfield,” Cellucci continued. “We’ve had a couple people play a couple different lines … We would love to be able to give those players a little more consistency, but right now we’re going to just keep going with it.”

Iowa heads on the road

The win over Rutgers marked the end of the Hawkeyes’ brief two-game homestand. Now, Iowa will hit the road for five straight contests. 

First, the Hawkeyes will travel to University Park to take on Penn State on Oct. 7 and James Madison on Oct. 9. Then they will travel to Columbus and Ann Arbor, respectively, to face Ohio State on Oct. 14 and Michigan on Oct. 16. 

Iowa won’t compete at Grant Field for nearly a month. The Hawkeyes will play host to Michigan State on Oct. 28 for Senior Day.