Oct. 12, 2004
IOWA CITY -
The No. 20 University of Iowa field hockey team will travel to State College, PA, for a pair of games. The Hawkeyes will battle Penn State Friday at 4 p.m., then tangle with Quinnipiac Saturday at 1 p.m. All times are CT.
Last Time Out
The Hawkeyes had a big week, going 3-0 against Pacific, Ohio State and No. 8 Michigan.
Against the Tigers on Thursday, the Hawkeyes won a 2-1 double overtime thriller. Pacific came out early and caught Iowa on its heels, scoring the first goal just five minutes into the game. Iowa tied things up soon after on a goal from Heather Schnepf.
The game remained tied through regulation and the first overtime. In double overtime, junior Debbie Birrell returned to the game after leaving with a cut above her left eye to score the game-winning goal.
Against Ohio State, the Hawkeye defense was the story as they shut-down the Buckeyes en route to a 2-0 win. Barb Weinberg made three saves on the day, while Caroline Blaum and Margot McMahon handled the goal scoring for the Hawkeyes.
Sunday's game against Michigan will be remembered as one of the all-time great comebacks for the Hawkeyes. The ninth-ranked Wolverines jumped out to a 3-0 first half lead and appeared to have the game well in hand before the Hawkeyes came storming back.
Iowa got two second-half goals from Birrell and one from Schnepf to tie the game. Michigan wouldn't give up, however, and drew four penalty corners with no time remaining in regulation. The Hawkeye defense was up to the task however, turning each away.
Four minutes into overtime, the Hawkeyes drew a penalty corner. After the ball was stopped, Schnepf sent a hard shot to the right of the cage, where freshman Kadi Sickel was waiting to tip it in and give Iowa the win.
The Hawkeyes are back in the polls this week, coming in at No. 20 after being unranked all season.
Wake Forest moves up to the top spot this week.
Michigan State is No. 3, while Michigan is No. 10 and Penn State is No. 19.
Ohio State, Northwestern and Indiana are all listed as receiving votes.
Players of the Week
The Hawkeyes were honored by the Big Ten Conference this week when they swept the Player of the Week awards.
Debbie Birrell was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week while Barb Weinberg was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Birrell was also named the National Division I Player of the Week by womensfieldhockey.com.
Birrell won her first player of the week award by scoring three goals and an assist for seven points over the weekend.
Weinberg earns her first defensive player of the week laurels this season and fourth of her career. She was 3-0 on the weekend and shut out Ohio State.
On Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions come into the weekend with an 8-6 record and a 2-1 mark in the Big Ten. They are ranked 19th in the latest STX/NFHCA Poll.
The Nittany Lions have the best defense in the Big Ten, allowing only 0.93 goals per game. Goalkeeper Megan Akstin leads the conference with a 0.92 goals against average.
On offense, Penn State has had more trouble and are last in the Big Ten in scoring with just 1.86 goals per game. Shaun Banta is the team's leading scorer with six goals and three assists for 15 points. Karin Grap is second with 14 points and leads the team with seven goals.
Iowa leads the all-time series with Penn State 19-15-1.
The Nittany Lions are coached by Char Morett, who is in her 18th season at Penn State.
The Quinnipiac Bobcats are currently 4-11 on the season.
The Bobcat offense is led by Krista McCarthy, who has scored 13 points off six goals and an assist.
The goalkeeping duties are held down by Erin McKay, who has a 2.80 goals against average and a .693 save percentage.
This is the first meeting between Quinnipiac and Iowa.
Quinnipiac is coached by Becca Kohli, who is in her 10th year.
The Century Mark
Sunday's win over No. 8 Michigan was the Hawkeyes' 100th win at Grant Field. Iowa is now 100-21 on it's home field, dating back to it's dedication in 1989.
Stopping the Skid
The Hawkeyes stopped a five-game losing streak at the hands of Michigan with their 4-3 victory Sunday. The last time Iowa had defeated Michigan was October 24, 1999.
The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series 35-7.
Off to a Good Start
Iowa's 3-0 Big Ten Conference record is the best start in the five years under Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum.
The last time Iowa started 3-0 in the conference was in 1999 under Beth Beglin. That season, Iowa defeated Ohio State, Penn State and Northwestern before falling to Michigan in Ann Arbor. They finished the season with a 9-1 record in the Big Ten, winning the regular season conference championship and advanced to the Final Four.
The Walking Wounded
The Hawkeyes showed their toughness over the weekend, with multiple players shaking off injuries to contribute.
Thursday against Pacific, Debbie Birrell had a gash opened above her left eye by a wayward ball, but was wrapped in gauze and returned to score the game-winning goal. She later received six stitches.
Against Ohio State, Kelly Slattery was hit in the face by a ball, possibly breaking her nose for the second-straight year. The sophomore was helped from the field, but donned a mask and returned to action to help lead the Hawkeye defense to a 2-0 shutout.
Allowing Three Goals
Sunday's win was the first time under Head Coach Tracey Griesbaum that Iowa has allowed three or more goals and still won.
The last time Iowa did that was in a 5-3 win over Ball State on September 20, 1998.
Senior Sarah Dawson leads the team in all offensive categories with eight goals, two game winning goals, six assists, 22 points and 33 shots.
Last season, she was a second team all-Big Ten selection. She has started every game in her Iowa career.
Sophomore Kelly Slattery has moved from the forward line to the backfield to help bolster the Hawkeye defense.
Having a Stroke
At the midway point of the season, the Hawkeyes have already drawn more penalty strokes than all of last year. Iowa has earned five strokes in nine games, as compared to just three in 19 games last year.
The Only Brick in the Wall
All-American goalkeeper Barb Weinberg will anchor the Iowa defense this year, and she better be in shape, because she won't be getting a rest for the entire season. Weinberg is the only goalkeeper on the Iowa roster.
Hawkeye ties always seem to run deep. This season, two seniors are the younger sisters of former Iowa all-Americans.
When the Hawkeyes face a Big Ten foe, more than likely they will be facing a coach with University of Iowa roots. Four of the seven head coaches in the Big Ten either played or was an assistant at Iowa before taking her respective job.
Michigan State's Michelle Madison (1982-89), Indiana's Amy Robertson (89-92) and our own Tracey Griesbaum (92-99) were all assistants with the Hawkeyes before being named to their head jobs. Michigan head coach Marcia Pankratz played for Iowa from 1982-85.