June 17, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa field hockey team released the details of its 2014 schedule Tuesday. The Hawkeyes will face seven NCAA Tournament teams next season, including NCAA semifinalists Maryland and North Carolina.
"We are excited about our upcoming season," said UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum. "The nonconference schedule is very solid."
Eight of the Hawkeyes' opponents finished the season ranked in the NFHCA top-20 poll.
Iowa opens the season with a scrimmage against Louisville at Grant Field on Aug. 23. The Cardinals ranked 15th in the final NFHCA poll last season. A week later, the Hawkeyes open the regular season in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, playing Wake Forest on Aug. 30 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Demon Deacons advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2013, finishing the year ranked 13th. Iowa concludes the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Aug. 31 against host North Carolina. The Tar Heels ranked third in the final NFHCA poll and advanced to the NCAA Final Four last season.
Iowa welcomes Virginia to Grant Field for a marquee home opener on Sept. 4. The Cavaliers, a 2013 NCAA Tournament team, finished the year ranked seventh. Iowa and Virginia last met in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The Hawkeyes travel west Sept. 11-14, facing UC Davis (Sept. 11) and Stanford (Sept. 12) in Stanford, California, before traveling to Pacific on Sept. 14.
Iowa will play eight conference contests with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. The Hawkeyes face both conference newcomers on the road, opening league play at Rutgers (Sept. 21) and closing league play and the regular season at Maryland (Nov. 1). The Terrapins won the ACC in 2013, finished the year ranked No. 1 in the final NFHCA poll, and advanced to the NCAA Final Four. Iowa and Maryland last met in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Eight of the Hawkeyes' 2014 opponents finished the 2013 season ranked in the NFHCA top-20 poll.
"The Big Ten Conference is an incredible conference to be a part of, and the league is strengthened with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland," said Griesbaum. "We are looking forward to embarking on another challenging season."
Following the league opener at Rutgers, Iowa will play six-straight games at Grant Field, including three conference and three nonconference matchups. The Hawkeyes host Indiana (Sept. 26) in their conference home opener, Missouri State (Sept. 28), Ball State (Oct. 3), and Northwestern (Oct. 5), before rounding out the homestand against Michigan (Oct. 10) and Miami (Ohio) (Oct. 12).
Iowa's games against Ball State (Oct. 3) and Michigan (Oct. 10) will both be night games, and are set to begin at 7 p.m. (CT).
Prior to the regular season finale at Maryland (Nov. 1), Iowa travels to Michigan State (Oct. 17) and Ohio State (Oct. 19), and hosts Penn State on Oct. 25 in its home finale.
The 2014 Big Ten Tournament will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from Nov. 6-9. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament will be held Nov. 15-16 and the Final Four will be contested Nov. 21 and Nov. 23 on the campus of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.
Iowa is coming off a season where it posted a 13-8 record and advanced to the Big Ten Tournament title game. Two Hawkeyes -- Natalie Cafone and Dani Hemeon -- earned All-America honors; both return in 2014.