UI junior Natalie Cafone is making her mark on the Hawkeye record books
Hawkeyes fall to 8-3 on the season, 2-1 in Big Ten play
Alexandra Pecora is learning from the all-time saves leader at Iowa, Lisa Cellucci
Cafone and Norlander score two a piece
Cafone and Norlander score two a piece
Lisa Cellucci enters her 16th season as a member of the Hawkeye coaching staff in 2015, and her second as head coach. Cellucci, the all-time saves leader at Iowa, was a three-time All-American and a member of the U.S. National Team. In her 15 years at Iowa, the Hawkeyes have compiled a 180-114 record and have been consistently ranked in the NFHCA top 20.
Cellucci previously worked as the recruiting coordinator, director of the Iowa Field Hockey Camp, and has primarily worked with the goalkeepers and the defense.
This past season, Cellucci directed an Iowa team that ranked seventh nationally and averaged more than three goals per game. Natalie Cafone and Stephanie Norlander earned NFHCA Division I All-American accolades under Cellucci's guidance to become the 86th and 87th Hawkeyes in program history to earn national distinction. Cafone, who earned All-America honors for the second straight season, led the Big Ten in goals and points, and ranked fourth and seventh nationally, respectively. Cafone's efforts earned her Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and NFHCA West Region Player of the Year laurels. Norlander, a second team selection, finished 13th and 19th nationally in goals and points per game, respectively.
Hawkeye goalkeepers have enjoyed tremendous success during Cellucci's time with Iowa. In 2012, Cellucci was a crucial part of the Black and Gold's success as Iowa reached its 22nd NCAA Tournament in program history. Senior Kathleen McGraw earned first team All-Big Ten and second team All-America recognition under Cellucci's guidance. McGraw, who was selected as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week three times during the season, played every minute in goal and posted five shutouts in leading Iowa to a 14-7 record and its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Her 1.58 goals against average ranked second in the Big Ten and 17th nationally. McGraw closed out her career with 336 saves, the fourth-most in school history.
In 2008, Cellucci was again a vital part of the Hawkeyes' success. She coached senior goalkeeper Lissa Munley to eight shutouts, including matches against three nationally ranked opponents. Cellucci helped Munley rank first in Big Ten shutouts, second in goals against average and third in save percentage. In addition, Iowa's goals against average ranked ninth-best in the country and helped lead Iowa to its third-straight Big Ten Tournament Championship, 20th NCAA Tournament appearance and 11th NCAA Final Four appearance.
Barb Weinberg, a 2005 graduate, became one of nation's top goalkeepers and went on to become a member of the USA National Team from 2005-2010. Under Cellucci's guidance Weinberg became a two-time all-American, three-time all-Big Ten selection and three time all-region pick.
As a student-athlete, Cellucci was one of the greatest goalkeepers ever to don the Black and Gold. During her four years with Iowa, the Broomall, PA, native was a three-time All-American, four-time All-Big Ten selection and four-time regional All-American.
In her playing days, Cellucci made an immediate impact for the Hawkeyes. As a freshman, she earned first team All-Big Ten, first team regional All-American and third team NFHCA All-American honors as she helped Iowa to a 16-4 record. Her sophomore campaign was even more impressive, when she went 18-3 and was first team All-Big Ten and a regional All-American, along with being second team NFHCA All-American.
During her senior campaign, Cellucci became Iowa's all-time saves leader by stopping her 494th shot in a 5-3 win over Ball State. She ended her career with 592 saves.
A member of the U.S. National Team from 1999-2000, Cellucci has extensive experience with the U.S. program. She played on the 1998 U.S. Under-23 National Team and on the U.S. Under-18 National Team in 1994. Cellucci also participated in three U.S. Olympic Festivals (1993, 1994 and 1995) and won a gold medal at the 1993 Festival and a bronze medal at the 1995 Festival.
She also has extensive coaching experience with USA Field Hockey. Cellucci, who has a level 2 USA Field Hockey coaching accreditation, has been coaching in the USA High Performance program since 2003 and has served as a member of the Midwest High Performance Coaching Staff since 2005.
Before returning to Iowa as a coach, Cellucci was an assistant coach at James Madison, where she helped the Dukes to a 15-7 record and a spot in the NCAA Tournament in 1999.
Cellucci, who serves on the Board of Directors for the National Iowa Varsity Club, graduated from the University of Iowa in 1998 with a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies.