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 bounces back from loss, downs Michigan State

The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 3-1, on Sunday and are now 10-1 on the season.
Grace Smith
Iowa midfielder Dionne van Aalsum attempts a goal up the field during a field hockey match between No. 1 Iowa and Michigan State at Grand Field in Iowa City on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. Van Aalsum played for 51 minutes. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 3-1.

Iowa field hockey returned to its winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Michigan State at Grant Field on Sunday.

The Hawkeyes are now 10-1 overall and 2-1 in conference.

Iowa started off the game with determination on the offensive side. Third-year midfielder Jacey Wittel set up fourth-year forward Alex Wesneski, who pounded the back of the cage in the fifth minute of the contest. 

But the Spartans hung in with the Hawkeyes as Michigan State midfielder Ellie Rutherford took matters into her own hands and scored her fourth goal of the season only three minutes later. 

The Michigan State lead didn’t last long. Big Ten goal leader  Dionne van Aalsum found the back of the cage in the 12th minute of the game. The Netherlands product notched her 23rd goal of the season off of an assist from junior forward Annika Herbine. 

A penalty stroke on Michigan State allowed Iowa midfielder Hillary Cox to put the game out of reach in the 40th minute of play.

“We talked about it to give ourselves 24 hours after the game on Friday and just really focus on what we can do better and where we were slower on Friday,” Wesneski said. “I thought we came out today just looking to play us versus us out there on the field. There is really nothing to say about it.”

The offense turned it around Sunday after only mustering one goal in Friday’s loss to No. 12 Ohio State. The Hawkeyes only put up two shots on goal in the loss, both by van Aalsum.

Six different players put up nine shots on goal for Iowa against Michigan State, applying pressure on the Spartan defense the whole match. 

“We had much more of a willingness to join the play,” Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “We did the work upfront and really framed the goal well which led to that first goal. It gave us some great opportunities with the [penalty] corners we drew. That was so much better, and it was what we addressed at practice yesterday.”

The Hawkeye defense showed signs of improvement from the last contest. Iowa held Michigan State to only two shots on goal. Iowa goalie Mia Magnotta had a quiet day, only needing  to save one shot. 

Even with the solid performance, Cellucci and the coaching staff believe there are a lot of things Iowa can tighten up moving forward. 

“For the most part, we did keep them off of the board,” Cellucci said. “Where we are struggling is our counter-defense structure. That really is just a breakdown in our communication and organization. We have to address that because if we don’t we have a dangerous Northwestern team that loves to thrive on transition.”

Up Next

The Iowa field hockey team will face No. 3 Northwestern on October 6 at Grant Field. The contest will start at 3 p.m. and be streamed on Big Ten Network. 

This is a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game in which the Wildcats came out on top, 2-1.  

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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.
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
Grace Smith is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic Arts. In her four years at The Daily Iowan, she has held the roles of photo editor, managing summer editor, and visual storyteller. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Grace has held an internship at The Denver Post and pursued freelance assignments for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register.