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

No. 8 Iowa field hockey defeats No. 3 Rutgers in season finale

The Hawkeyes honored their seniors as they topped the Scarlet Knights, 7-2, at Grant Field on Friday.
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.

The No. 8 Iowa field hockey team dominated No. 3 Rutgers, 7-2, on its Senior Day season finale at Grant Field in Iowa City on Friday.

After scoring just two goals in back-to-back losses last weekend, the Hawkeyes bounced back in a big win to end the season, setting the stage for a Big Ten Tournament round one matchup with Maryland on Nov. 2.

Hawkeye forward Alex Wesneski reflected on the emotional state of the team heading into the match after the rough results from the road trip. 

“There are bigger things than just life,” Wesneski said. “To really get in and do it for those people, do it for each other — our circle is something that we’ve been saying, ‘Us versus us.’ It’s all about how we grow and how we can move forward, and we really showed that.”

Hawkeye first-year midfielder Dionne van Aalsum led the charge, logging two goals and an assist for the match on Friday. 

Wesneski and fellow forwards Annika Herbine and Miranda Jackson joined midfielders Esme Gibson and Jacey Wittel in each chipping in a goal in addition. 

Iowa second-year goalkeeper Mia Magnotta finished the match with five saves. 

Both teams put on a defensive clinic in the first half as van Aalsum scored the lone goal throughout the first 30 minutes of the match.

It wasn’t until the second half when Iowa started to pull away. The Hawkeyes went on to outscore the Scarlet Knights, three goals to one, in both the third and fourth quarters. 

Senior send-off

After the match, the Iowa field hockey team held a ceremony for its six seniors leaving the team: Gibson, Sammy Freeman, Mary Jane McNary, Sofie Stribos, Kelly Rose, and Harper Dunne. 

Herbine called the team a sisterhood upon reflecting on the seniors around her. 

“With this being our last game on Grant [Field this season], we used that as motivation to look left and right to our seniors,” she said. “This team is so close, and we love one another like sisters. I think that’s why we performed so awesome today.”

A season in retrospect

Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci has been crucial to Iowa’s success this season. The Hawkeyes currently sit at the eighth spot on the field hockey national rankings and previously sat as high as the number one spot in early September. 

But Cellucci’s biggest impact on the team is felt beyond the sport. 

“Lisa teaches us every day that we have to come out strong. It’s a privilege to be a part of this program and wear it on our chest,” Wesneski said. “When we walk onto the field, it’s not really about the result. It’s more about how we represent ourselves, our team, and the program — every single game, every single day, on and off the field.”

While sports certainly provide great memories that last a lifetime, Wesneski’s lifelong memories haven’t quite come on the field. 

“The connection that our team has is something that I’ve never been a part of in my four years here,” Wesneski said. “It’s really awesome to be a part of a team that is friends on and off the field. We really show the connection that we have, the ability to coach each other, and [the ability] to take criticism from each other. It’s been very important [to our success].” 

Up next

The Hawkeyes, seeded sixth in the Big Ten Tournament, will look to continue such success as they take on third-seeded Maryland in a first-round matchup in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Nov. 2.

Iowa and Maryland last squared off on Oct. 20, the Terrapins besting the Hawkeyes, 4-1.

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About the Contributors
Chris Meglio
Chris Meglio, Sports Reporter
Chris Meglio is a first year student at the University of Iowa studying a double major in sport studies and journalism. He will be working as a sports journalist for The Daily Iowan covering women's volleyball for the fall sports season.
Grace Smith
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.