Aug. 21, 2007
Iowa will return several student-athletes who have gained valuable experience. They include regional all-Americans, second team all-Big Ten selections and High Performance Training Center (HPTC) Midwest team members Kadi Sickel and Caitlin McCurdy. Meghan Beamesderfer was a regional all-American, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and HPTC Midwest team member; Lauren Pfeiffer was a regional all-American, Big Ten Tournament Most Valuable Player and HPTC Midwest team member; Roz Ellis was a HPTC Midwest team member and Caroline Blaum was a 2005 second team all-Big Ten and a HPTC Midwest team member.
"We are excited to have a core group returning for our offensive and defensive penalty corner units," said Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum said. "The girls gained a lot of experience last season. We are looking to play a more potent style in 2007. By having many returning players, it allows us to add offensive and defensive options."
Griesbaum will be joined by assistant coach Lisa Cellucci for the eighth year.
The following is a position-by-position breakdown of the 2007 squad.
"We are excited to have a core group returning for our offensive and defensive penalty corner units. The girls gained a lot of experience last season. We are looking to play a more potent style in 2007. By having many returning players, it allows us to add offensive and defensive options."
Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum
The forward line looks to be exceptional this season. Back is junior Caitlin McCurdy, who was the leading scorer in 2005 and tied for the lead last season. Joining McCurdy on the forward line will be junior Caroline Blaum and sophomore Jess Werley.
Second team all-Big Ten forward McCurdy led the team as a freshman with 28 points and 11 goals. As a sophomore McCurdy 22 points and 10 goals. This past summer, McCurdy played with the United States under-21 team in China and was a member of the HPTC Midwest team.
Blaum returns after sitting-out last season due to a knee injury. She is a talented offensive threat who was a second team all-Big Ten selection in 2005 and a member of the HPTC Midwest team last summer.
Werley will look to help McCurdy and Blaum on the forward line. Werley had an exceptional freshman year. She played in all 21 games and gained valuable experience.
"Having Caroline back to join Caitlin and Jess, will give us great leadership and scoring potential," Griesbaum said.
Talented freshman Sarah Pergine will be looking to challenge for playing time.
"The midfield line needs to step-up and create scoring chances for the team. They will also be held accountable for a high level of communication and organizational ability to help maintain structure in our offense and defense," Griesbaum said.
Last season, Pfeiffer was a regional all-American, Big Ten Tournament Most Valuable Player and the National Player of the Week by WomensFieldHockey.com (Nov. 13). Pfeiffer tied for the team lead (McCurdy) with 22 points and 10 goals. She was a member of the HPTC Midwest team last summer.
Dean could also see considerable time in the midfield. She had an outstanding freshman campaign starting all 21 games with one goal.
Freshman Chelsea Miller will look to contribute important minutes as well.
The Hawkeyes hope to fill a huge void left by all-American, two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Heather Schnepf.
Senior Kadi Sickel will look to be the rock of the Hawkeye defense. She is a constant force the entire game. Sickel joined McCurdy on the US Under-21 team, which traveled to China last summer and the HPTC Midwest team.
Joining Sickel is last season's Big Ten Freshman of the Year Meghan Beamesderfer. She is exceptionally fast and a much needed asset to the Hawkeye defense. She started 21 games for the 2006 Hawkeyes and was part of the HPTC Midwest team.
Junior Roz Ellis will also join the defense. She started every game last year for the Hawkeyes and was a member of the HPTC Midwest team.
"These three players understand the system and are all very athletic and talented," Griesbaum said.
Returning in goal for the third year will be junior Lissa Munley. Her backup will be junior Melissa Helsel.
Munley recorded two shutouts in 20 starts and was an alternate for the HPTC Midwest team.
Helsel recorded a shutout in her only start of the season.
"We are looking for these two to be at another level since it is going to be their third year," Griesbaum said.
"Having Caroline back to join Caitlin and Jess, will give us great leadership and scoring potential."
Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum
The Hawkeyes, once again, have an extremely challenging schedule in 2007.
"Our strength of schedule will rank with the best in the country," said Griesbaum said.
The Hawkeyes kick-off their season in Ann Arbor, MI for the sixth-consecutive season. They will play 2006 NCAA runner-up Wake Forest (Aug. 25) and follow with North Carolina (Aug. 26).
The following weekend Iowa will travel to Durham, NC where they will take on 2006 Final Four participant Duke (Sept. 2) and William & Mary (Sept. 3) a team ranked in six of the eleven NFHCA polls.
The Hawkeyes first home game is against the University of Louisville (Sept. 7). Louisville reached as high as tenth in the 2006 rankings.
The schedule does not get easier for Iowa as the season moves on. The Hawkeyes open Big Ten play at Michigan (Sept. 21). The Hawkeyes will visit 2006 Big Ten Regular-Season Champion Ohio State (Oct. 14) to conclude the regular-season road schedule.
The Hawkeyes will end the regular-season with a three game home stand against Penn State, Northwestern and Michigan State.
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