Nov. 6, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa field hockey team has earned a berth in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Iowa (14-6, 4-2 Big Ten) will play seventh-ranked Virginia in the first round on Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT) in Charlottesville, Va. The Hawkeyes and Cavaliers (15-5, 4-1 ACC) will square off at Turf Field on the campus of the University of Virginia.
It marks Iowa's sixth NCAA Tournament selection in the last nine years, and its 22nd NCAA bid in program history -- the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
"It means a lot," said UI head coach Tracey Griesbaum. "It's our standard that we want to achieve every year. To hit this marker again is really special."
No. 15 Drexel (15-6, 5-2 CAA) and No. 2 Princeton (17-1, 7-0 Ivy) complete the four-team regional and will play Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT). The winning teams will square off Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT) to advance to the NCAA Final Four, which will be hosted in Norfolk, Va.
"It's a really strong region," said Griesbaum. "Princeton had a great season and deserved a top-four seed, and Virginia is like a top-four seed. They play in the ACC and are going to be ready. Overall, the bracket looks really good, and our region in particular looks good."
Iowa, ranked 14th nationally, was selected to the NCAA Tournament for a second-consecutive season, earning back-to-back bids for the first time since 2007-08. Last year, the Hawkeyes fell at eventual NCAA champion Maryland, 4-2, in the first round of the tournament. Iowa will seek its first NCAA Tournament win since winning at Michigan State, 1-0, on Nov. 16, 2008.
The Hawkeyes, who claimed the 1986 national championship, are 26-22 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Iowa has a 9-4 record in first round games, and an 11-6 mark in second round match-ups. Iowa's 26 tournament victories and 11 NCAA Final Fours are the most of any school as a member of the Big Ten Conference.