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 notebook | Hawkeyes prepare for Louisville Cardinals in first round of NCAA Tournament

Iowa earned a spot in the Evanston Regional for the second consecutive season after finishing the year, 13-5.
Grace Smith
Iowa midfield Dionne van Aalsum reacts 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 scored one goal in the first period. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 3-1.

The Iowa field hockey team will begin another NCAA Tournament run under head coach Lisa Cellucci on Friday. 

The No. 8 Hawkeyes earned an at-large bid after going 13-5 on the season and 4-4 in the Big Ten.

Iowa faces a familiar foe in No. 10 Louisville in the first round of the Evanston Regional. 

The contest is played at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Illinois. The ball will drop at 2:30 p.m. 

The winner of this game will move to the Elite Eight to face the winner of Miami-Ohio and No. 2 Northwestern. 

Last time out

The Iowa field hockey team took down Louisville, 2-1, on Oct. 15 at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Hawkeye first year forward Dionne van Aalsum recorded two goals in the match, both coming off penalty corner opportunities. 

But the offense wasn’t the standout of the game — it was Iowa goalie Mia Magnotta. 

Magnotta recorded her most impressive performance of the season after notching seven saves on eight Cardinal shots on goal. 

A combined six saves in the second and third periods kept the Hawkeye offense in the contest, allowing for a second van Aalsum score late in the fourth period to seal the game. 

Looking at Louisville 

The Louisville field hockey team earned its fifth straight NCAA Tournament bid under the guidance of Justine Sowry. 

The Cardinals went 14-6 on the year and 3-3 in ACC competition with wins over No. 2 Northwestern and No. 12 Ohio State.

Louisville has a plethora of capable scorers on the roster. The forward trio of fifth-year Emilia Kaczmarczyk, fourth-year Aimee Plumb, and second-year Rylie Wollerton all lead the Cardinals with five goals each. 

Graduate goalkeeper Merlijn van der Vegt has been a staple for the Cardinal defense. Hailing from the Netherlands, she gives up 1.01 goals per contest and has recorded six shutouts on the season, both good for fifth-best in the country. 

Hawkeye season in review 

The Iowa field hockey team entered the season as the seventh-ranked team in the country, according to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. 

Despite the high ranking, the Hawkeyes had a lot of questions to answer entering the 2023 campaign. 

Cellucci and company were asked to replace four starters on a team that reached the Elite Eight the previous season.

Despite the volume of departures, the Hawkeyes replaced the graduating class with a group of talented rookies. 

Miranda Jackson, Rachel Herbine, and van Aalsum have inserted themselves into the starting lineups and made an immediate impact.

Iowa started the season winning their first nine contests, including wins against No. 1 North Carolina, No. 16 Michigan, and No. 18 Albany. 

Following the hot start was an eight-game stretch with both highs and lows. Iowa went  .500 in that span with losses to No. 2 Northwestern, No. 4 Maryland, No. 12 Ohio State, and No. 15 Penn State. 

Iowa defeated No. 6 Rutgers in the final game of the regular season but dropped to the first round of the Big Ten Tournament against Maryland, 2-0. 

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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
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.