August 27, 2014
The 20th-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team opens the regular season this weekend in the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Francis E. Henry Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Iowa faces Wake Forest on Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT) and North Carolina on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. (CT). Michigan will also take on both ACC schools.
SCOUTING WAKE FOREST
The 11th-ranked Demon Deacons head to Chapel Hill coming off a 12-9 season in 2013 and a sixth place finish in the ACC. Head coach Jennifer Averill returns for her 23rd season at the helm of the Wake Forest program. The Demon Deacons are led by senior Anna Kozniuk who was selected to the 2013 All-ACC Team. Last season, Kozniuk earned 24 points with nine goals and six assists.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA
In addition to Wake Forest, the Hawkeyes will also battle No. 2 North Carolina. The Tar Heels enter the 2014 season coming off an 18-6 mark in 2013 and are led by head coach Karen Shelton. Over the course of 32 years in Chapel Hill, Shelton has led North Carolina to six NCAA Championships; nine NCAA runner-up finishes, 18 ACC championships, and has over 550 career wins.
HAWKEYES IN THE BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is in its 13th year of existence, as it has been played annually since the 2002 season. Iowa finished with a 1-1 record at the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
WE MEET AGAIN
The Hawkeyes are 5-9 all-time against Wake Forest. Iowa won its last meeting with Wake Forest, 2-0, on Sept. 7, 2013 at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge hosted in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes fell to the Tar Heels, 3-1, on Sept. 8, 2013, at the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge in the two team's last meeting. Iowa last defeated North Carolina at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Aug. 31, 2008, as it downed the then-ranked No. 1 Tar Heels, 3-2.
IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Iowa field hockey team is ranked 20th in the country in the 2014 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Preseason Poll. The Hawkeyes garnered 173 points in the rankings, and one first place vote. Iowa has been ranked each week (33 weeks) in the poll dating back to Sept. 6, 2011. Iowa is one of six Big Ten Conference schools in the team rankings along with Maryland (first), Penn State (eighth), Northwestern (14th), Michigan State (16th), and Michigan (17th).
Cafone, a junior from Fairfield, New Jersey, enters the 2014 campaign coming off an outstanding sophomore season where she started every contest and led the nation in points per game (2.48); the first Hawkeye to do so in 22 years (Kristy Gleason, 1992). Cafone was named to the NFHCA Division I All-America second team, NFHCA West Region All-America first team, All-Big Ten first team, All-Big Ten tournament team, and was named the University of Iowa's 2014 Female Athlete of the Year.
Hemeon, a senior native of Gilroy, California, saw action in all of Iowa's 21 contests last season, making 20 starts. Hemeon led the team with eight defensive saves and recorded a hat trick against Indiana on Oct. 11. Hemeon was named NFHCA Division I All-America third team, NFHCA West Region All-America first team, All-Big Ten first team, and All-Big Ten tournament team.
Norlander, a sophomore native of North Vancouver, Canada, appeared in 18 games last season and made 17 starts. As a freshman, Norlander ranked third on the team in goals (nine), and points (19). Norlander capped her freshman campaign with NFHCA West Region All-America second team and Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.
Natalie Cafone and Dani Hemeon were named 2013 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Americans. Cafone was named to the second team, while Hemeon garnered third team honors. Cafone and Hemeon are the 84th and 85th national All-Americans in program history. Only four programs nationally have had more.
CAFONE STEPS UP
Junior Natalie Cafone was named the University of Iowa's 2014 Female Athlete of the Year. The Fairfield, N.J., native was the NCAA statistical champion for points per game in 2013, leading the nation in points per game (2.48) the first Hawkeye to lead nation in points per game since Kristy Gleason in 1992 (3.95). Cafone was named to the NFHCA Division I All-America second team, NFHCA West Region All-America first team, All-Big Ten first team and the All-Big Ten tournament team.
21 student-athletes on the UI field hockey roster: - 10 freshmen - Five sophomores - Three juniors - Three seniors
HAWKEYES BY STATE/COUNTRY
VIRGINIA: 4 ILLINOIS: 2 MICHIGAN: 1 PENNSYLVANIA: 4 CANADA: 2 NEW JERSEY: 3 BELGIUM: 2 CALIFORNIA: 2 NEW YORK: 1
Four members of the Iowa roster were also teammates in high school. Sophie Plasteras and Stephanie Norlander played alongside one another at Handsworth Secondary in North Vancouver, Canada, while Taylor Omweg and Melissa Progar competed for Tabb High School in Yorktown, Va.
The Black and Gold feature 10 freshman on the 2014 roster. Taylor Omweg and Veronique Declercq will both see action in the backfield. Torie Berkel, JoElla Guagliardo and Mallory Lefkowitz will contribute to the Hawkeye forward line. Pommeline Kortanje, Emily George, Mackenzie Sapp and Melissa Progar will each add to the midfielder's depth. Freshman goal keeper Katie Jones rounds out the Hawkeye newcomers.
After the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Hawkeyes will host Virginia in their home opener at 3 p.m. on Sept. 4. The Hawkeyes then hit the road for a four-game stretch from Sept. 11, through Sept. 21. The Hawkeyes will take on UC Davis, Stanford, Pacific, and will conclude the trip opening Big Ten play in Piscataway, N.J., taking on Rutgers.
HAWKEYES ON BTN
The Big Ten Network will be airing at least one Hawkeye contest this season. Iowa will appear on BTN Sept. 26, hosting Indiana at 2:30 p.m. (CT) at Grant Field in Iowa City, Iowa.
HAWKEYES IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Hawkeyes have been selected to the NCAA Tournament 22 times in program history -- the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes are 26-23 all-time in tournament play, including 9-5 in first round match-ups and 11-6 in second round contests. Iowa has advanced to 11 NCAA Final Fours, winning the 1986 national championship. The Hawkeyes 26 tournament victories and 11 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
4 EARN ALL-B1G HONORS IN 2013
Junior Natalie Cafone and Senior Dani Hemeon were named to the first team. 2013 senior Karli Johansen was selected to the second team, and Stephanie Norlander was tabbed as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Hawkeye to earn the award since Meghan Beamesderfer in 2006. She becomes the fourth Hawkeye to win the award, joining Beamesderfer, Caitlin McCurdy (2005), and Tiffany Leister (1999). Hemeon was also named Iowa's sportsmanship award honoree.
HAWKEYES SELECTED TO U.S. NATIONAL TEAM
Junior Natalie Cafone and former UI All-American Lauren Pfeiffer were selected to the 2014-15 U.S. Women's National Team. Pfeiffer, a member of the U.S. National Team since 2009 who has earned 66 caps, was a two time All-American at Iowa. During her career, Pfeiffer earned all-region honors three times, first-team All-Big Ten honors twice, and was named the Big Ten Tournament MVP twice.
NATIONAL ACADEMIC HONORS
The University of Iowa field hockey team was awarded the 2013 Gladiator SGI/NFHCA Division I National Academic Team Award. The National Academic Team Award recognizes those institutions that have achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher during the first semester of the 2013-14 academic years. Brynn Gitt and Jessy Silfer were named 2013 Gladiator SGI/NFHCA Division I Scholars of Distinction. The honor is awarded to student-athletes who achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or higher through the first semester of the 2013-14 academic year.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Become fans of the official Iowa Field Hockey fan page by going to facebook.com/iowafieldhockey to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow on Twitter at twitter.com/iowafieldhockey.