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 finishes non-conference play undefeated in 8-0 victory over Merrimack College

Five different Hawkeyes recorded a goal in the match.
Sara Stumpff
Iowa’s midfielder/defender Esme Gibson dribbles the ball during a game between Iowa and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell at Grant Field in Iowa City on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023.

The Iowa field hockey team ended its non-conference schedule in dominating fashion, crushing Merrimack College, 8-0, at Grant Field on Sunday. 

This marks the second season in three years in which the Hawkeyes have gone undefeated in non-conference play, doing the same in 2021. 

But the Hawkeyes started slow in Sunday’s contest, the Warriors holding them scoreless in the first period. 

Iowa fifth-year senior midfielder Esme Gibson broke the ice for the Hawkeyes when she finally notched a goal just one minute into the second period. 

“We knew that straight shots weren’t going to work,” Gibson said. “We were hitting a lot from the top and figured it wasn’t working. Just the short passes to our open teammates on the post [worked]. It’s not all fancy field hockey, but it’s easy and works for us.”

Both ends of the field

Not too long after Gibson, the scoring continued for Iowa when senior forward Alex Wesneski scored back-to-back goals for the Hawkeyes in the 21st and 25th minute, respectively.

The Hawkeyes immediately put pressure on the Warriors in the second half. Iowa junior forward Annika Herbine found the back of the cage in the third period off of an assist from fifth-year senior forward Sofie Stribos. 

Iowa freshman forward Rachel Herbine, Annika’s younger sister, recorded both the first and second goals of her collegiate career in the 32nd and 46th minute, respectively, of the contest. 

Hawkeye freshman forward Dionne van Aalsum extended her lead for most goals in the country by notching her 21st and 22nd goals of the year soon after. 

The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week has now scored multiple goals in all eight contests this season. She also notched three assists in the afternoon.

Five different Hawkeyes recorded a goal in today’s contest — including three Hawkeyes with their first goals of the season in Gibson, Wisneski, and Rachel Herbine. 

“We see a lot in practice, loads of different people showing up and scoring in practice,” Gibson said. “It’s very nice to see it come in games. When you are playing two-touch hockey around the goalkeeper, it’s easy goals.”

The Hawkeye defense continued its non-conference dominance, holding the Warriors to zero shots on goal in the contest — the third time the team has done so this season. 

The Hawkeyes have only allowed 18 shots on goal this year and now lead the country in shutouts per game with 0.67.

“We dominated from start to finish, so we are happy about that,” Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “I think it’s great when you can get everybody in to have some quality minutes because we are going to need that going forward. We played some different people in different spots, which is going to be needed to give some different looks.”

Up next

The Iowa field hockey team will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Sept. 22 to take on the Wolverines in its first Big Ten test of the season. The game will begin at 5 p.m.

Michigan enters the contest with a 5-3 record and is 0-1 in the Big Ten with a loss to No. 17 Ohio State. But the Wolverines have two wins against top 25 opponents in No. 18 Old Dominion and No. 10 St. Joseph’s, so they will look to continue the hunt when the Hawkeyes come to town.

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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.
Sara Stumpff, Photojournalist
Sara is a third year UI student who transfered from Kirkwood. She is a "non traditional" student who will hopefully obtain her BFA in Photography and BA in Spanish.