The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa field hockey to have different look entering 2023 season

The Hawkeyes will bring back 15 players but add eight freshmen.
Cody Blissett
Iowa midfielder Sammy Freeman prepares to hit the ball during a field hockey exhibition match between Iowa and Northwestern at Grant Field in Iowa City on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats, 3-1.

The Iowa field hockey team has a different feel as it kicks off the 2023 season.

Joining the 15 players returning to the team this year is a group of eight freshmen who have earned plenty of praise from their teammates and the coaching staff alike.

Fifth-year senior forward Sofie Stribos was impressed with how quickly the freshman class both blended in with the returners and demonstrated immediate knowledge and skill.

“They knew a lot and were very prepared,” Stribos said. “I am impressed in how well they have adapted and how hardworking they are as players. They have raised my standard in so many ways.”

The 15 Hawkeyes set to return this season bring previous years’ postseason experience, including eight starters in last year’s 2-1 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament.

“What’s exciting for me is no one on this team who is returning has not been ranked in the top 10,” head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “They’ve all experienced a Big Ten Championship, a Final Four, and an Elite Eight. That type of experience is invaluable to a coaching staff.”

But Cellucci and her coaching staff expect to throw out a lineup where a good number of players on the field are freshmen.

Before Iowa’s second exhibition match of the season against Northwestern on Aug. 19, Cellucci said the starting lineup could potentially hold five new recruits, more than it has in recent years, with the upperclassmen giving advice to the rookies due to their lack of experience at the collegiate level.

“We are definitely going to have a different look but are really excited for our future and continuing to move forward and really grow,” Cellucci said.

The Hawkeyes had a successful 2022 season that saw the team reach as high as third on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll, going 11-6 in regular season competition.

Iowa continued that success only so far in postseason play, though, falling to No. 6 Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and defeating No. 5 Virginia in the first round of the NCAA tournament before its loss to Northwestern.

Iowa started the 2023 season playing two exhibition matches against Saint Louis and Northwestern on Aug. 12 and 19, respectively. The Hawkeyes beat the Wildcats, 3-1.

The Hawkeyes will experience their first taste of regular season action when they travel down to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the North Carolina Tar Heels on Aug. 25 and Aug. 27, respectively.

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About the Contributors
Jake Olson, Sports Reporter
Email: [email protected] Jake Olson is a Sports Reporter for The Daily Iowan. In his three years with the paper, he has covered everything from rowing to basketball. He is studying journalism and mass communication with a minor in sports and rec management.
Cody Blissett
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.