Iowa field hockey falls to Northwestern in Elite Eight

The No. 11 Hawkeyes fell to the No. 3 Wildcats in a shootout, 2-1, to end the season.


Jerod Ringwald

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. Nijziel recorded one goal in the game. The Hawkeyes defeated the Minutewomen, 2-0.

Grant Hall, Sports Reporter

Iowa field hockey’s season ended after an Elite Eight loss at the hands of No. 3-seeded Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois.

The Wildcats took down the No. 11 Hawkeyes in a shootout, 2-1, to even the season series between the teams at one win apiece. The Hawkeyes upset the then-No. 1 Wildcats on Sept. 23.

Iowa and Northwestern have faced off in the past three Elite Eight rounds of the tournament, and both teams have upset the other when ranked No. 1.

On Sunday, the two squads ended regulation knotted at one goal apiece. The Hawkeyes’ Leah Zellner scored off a penalty-corner deflection from fifth-year senior Anthe Nijziel in the fourth quarter, and Northwestern’s Bente Baekers scored three minutes later to even the contest.

Northwestern’s Ana Medina Garcia converted her shot in the shootout, while sophomore Annika Herbine was unable to match for Iowa.

Iowa ends its tumultuous season at 12-8, after losing seven of its last 11 games. Three of those losses came in the span of one month at the hands of Michigan.

Seven fifth-year seniors suited up for their final game as Hawkeyes in the Elite Eight loss: two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Anthe Nijziel, Richmond transfer Olivia Frazier, Germany native Laura Drees, second-team All-Big Ten midfielder Lokke Stribos, second-team All-American goalkeeper Grace McGuire, and forward Ciara Smith.

McGuire did not compete for a third straight game due to injury, leaving redshirt freshman Mia Magnotta in goal. Magnotta notched four saves on the day.

Prior to the loss to Northwestern, Iowa recorded its first win of November. The Hawkeyes took down No. 5 Virginia, 1-0, in the Sweet 16. British midfielder Esme Gibson scored the game’s lone goal unassisted.