Just in case the National Championship for Iowa wrestling, Top 5 ranking for Iowa men's basketball, Sweet Sixteen run for Iowa women's basketball, Big Ten Championships for women's gymnastics and men's track and field, and the Big Ten Tournament Championship for women's soccer had somehow already faded from your mind, here's another reminder: Iowa athletics is having a year to remember. Regular season success, postseason success, records being set, it's all happening all across the Iowa athletic department. It's been a tough year, these athletes have done amazing work to give us something that makes it just a little brighter.
Oh, and there's still more to come, including the possibility of another national championship.
- The Iowa field hockey team avenged their two losses to Northwestern that ended the regular season with a win where it mattered most last week, beating the Wildcats 3-1 to advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
- Iowa scored in the first quarter to take an early lead off of Ciara Smith's goal. Northwestern tied the game in the second, but Maddy Murphy put another away for the Hawks, giving them a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish. Lokke Stribos scored the insurance goal in the third and Iowa clamped down on defense to punch their ticket to the program's 12th Final Four.
- Iowa's team has been ranked in the Top 5 for the entire season but had struggled against premier competition during the regular season, falling to Top 10 teams Northwestern and Michigan. When the season was on the line, though, Iowa stepped up and looked like the decidedly better team. It's a great sign for a team that has National Championship aspirations.
- Iowa's next match will be against #1 North Carolina on Friday at 12 PM Central. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
- Iowa's Cinderella run finally came to an end last week against UCLA. The team lost 2-1 on a heartbreaking goal in the final minutes.
- Iowa scored early again when Meike Ingles found space on the right side of the box and slotted a low ball into the left corner in the seventh minute. It was a dream start for an underdog team built on defense and opportunistic attacks.
- UCLA put the pressure on the Iowa defense for the next 80 minutes, constantly attacking and dominating possession. Iowa was content to invite the pressure and defend as a team. It worked for the first half and most of the second, but UCLA broke through in the 85th minute with the equalizer. Five minutes later, in the game's final minute, UCLA found the back of the net again to steal the win.
- It was a devastating way to go out, but this team has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. They fought back when they could have given up and took advantage of the opportunities an unusual season provided. Their run for the ages included Iowa's first Big Ten Tournament championship and first-ever NCAA Tournament win. This team is going to be back and they're going to be fun to watch.
- Congratulations on a great season, Hawkeyes. You've built yourself an amazing foundation for the future.
- Last weekend, Iowa men's golf program competed in the B1G Championships, finishing only a single stroke behind Illinois and earning their best team finish since 2016. Sophomore Mac McClear claimed the individual championship, shooting a 215 (-1) to win the tournament.
B1G MAC!— Iowa Hawkeye Golf (@IowaHawkeyeGolf) May 2, 2021
Sophomore Mac McClear is the 2021 Big Ten Championships medalist!
McClear, Iowa's fourth Big Ten champion and second since 2015, was the only golfer in the field to finish under par (-1, 215). pic.twitter.com/wcevHqqynn
- McClear's amazing weekend included 40 pars and only six holes worse than par. Major congratulations to Mac on his great performance.
- The rest of the team had a strong weekend as well. Alex Schaake tied for 2nd in the tournament and Garrett Tighe tied for 10th.
- The Hawks' strong performance on the season earned them a slew of individual honors, including Schaake being named Co-Big Ten Golfer of the Year, Schaake and McClear earning 1st-Team All-Big Ten honors, and coach Tyler Stith being named Coach of the Year.
Congratulations to @alex_schaake and Mac McClear for earning first-team All-Big Ten honors!— Iowa Hawkeye Golf (@IowaHawkeyeGolf) May 5, 2021
Schaake was also named Big Ten Player of the Year, and Head Coach Tyler Stith has been voted Big Ten Coach of the Year.
FULL STORY https://t.co/wMU762W0nJ#FightForIowa pic.twitter.com/pwiKyxjdeM
- The Hawks will continue their postseason with a trip out west to Washington, where they'll compete in the NCAA regional championships May 17-19.
- The Iowa women's tennis team competed in the Big Ten Tournament last week, beating Maryland 4-0 in the quarterfinals, before losing to Ohio State 4-2 in the semifinals.
- Iowa put up a good fight against the top-seeded Buckeyes, closing the gap from 3-0 to 3-2 after wins by Alexa Noel (more on her in a moment) and Samantha Mannix. Ohio State's depth won out in the end though, as they claimed the next match to seal the win.
- Alexa Noel continued her remarkable season with two more wins in the conference tournament. Her record now sits at 23-0, with all 23 wins coming from the #1 spot. It's been a dominant season and it was no surprise to see Noel named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Big Ten Player of the Year. Noel, along with Elise van Heuvelen, was also named to the All-Big Ten 1st team.
Big Ten Player/Freshman of the Year University!— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) May 3, 2021
Anthe Nijziel (@iowafieldhockey), Caitlin Clark (@IowaWBB), & Adeline Kenlin (@IowaGymnastics) officially welcomed Alexa Noel (@iowa_tennis) to the club! #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/ZP6Vx4a2Z0
- The accolades for Noel didn't stop there. She also earned a seeded spot in the NCAA Championships, which guarantees her All-America recognition. Her season has been nothing short of historic. Oh yeah, and she's only a freshman. The tournament starts May 23rd.
- Iowa's men's team also competed in the Big Ten Tournament last week, falling to Michigan St 4-2 in the first round.
- The team was able to claim the doubles point, but only Oliver Okonkwo was able to win his singles match.
- The final season for the Iowa men's tennis team is over, but Okonkwo and his doubles partner Will Davies were selected to the NCAA Championships, the only B1G doubles team to earn an invite. They'll look to earn All-American honors when the tournament starts May 23rd.
- Iowa Softball bounced back from their recent rough patch in a big way last week, sweeping the 4-game series against Rutgers.
- It was a dominating performance throughout the weekend, culminating in a Sunday no-hitter from Allison Doocey. Doocey struck out five in the 8-0 victory. It's the program's 18th no-hitter and the first since 2015.
- The entire weekend felt like Iowa taking out their frustration from the past few weeks. Brylee Klosterman went 3-5 in Friday's 11-8 win, scoring three runs and hitting her first career home run. Aralee Bogar hit a grand slam and Marissa Peek added three RBIs and a home run of her own.
- Saturday included a doubleheader sweep. First, Iowa beat Rutgers 9-1 in five innings on the back of Kalena Burns' 4-6 day, which included six RBIs and two Home Runs. In the second game, Klosterman came up big again, going 4-4 to propel the Hawkeyes to a 6-2 win.
- Klosterman's big weekend at the plate and Doocey's no-hitter earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week and Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors, respectively.
Track and Field
- Iowa track and field competed in the Billy Hayes Invite last week and came away with 10 champions and a host of school records and personal bests.
As it always seems to be with this program, there are too many great performances to list them all, but some standouts included:
- Amanda Howe breaking the school record and winning Gold in the hammer throw with a 62.65-meter toss.
- Laulauga Tausaga winning the women's discus with a 58.22-meter throw.
- James Carter earning Gold in the men's triple jump with a 15.79-meter mark.
- The men's 4x100 team winning Gold with a season-best 39.68-second time.
- Jaylan McConico finishing 1st in the men's 110 hurdles with a personal-best 13.42. The time is good enough for second-best in school history.
- Jenny Kimboro taking home Gold in the women's 100 hurdles after a 13.61 time.
- Wayne Lawerence Jr. bringing home Gold in the men's 400 with a 45.80 time. Hawkeyes claimed the first, second, and third-place spots in the race.
- Iowa claiming the 1st-5th place spots in the women's 400 hurdles, led by Jenny Kimboro's 58.43. Kimboro's time was her best so far this season.
- Austin Leitz matching Kimboro and winning Gold in the men's 400 hurdles, finishing in 50.99 seconds.
- Antonio Woodard winning the men's 200 in 20.67 seconds.
- Seriously, that's only the winners. There are at least as many podium finishes, not to mention all the season and personal bests. Iowa Track and Field is on a ROLL right now.
- Case in point:
- Iowa Baseball had a tough weekend, dropping two of three games against Indiana.
- The Hawks were able to take the series opener in a 6-5 thriller. Iowa took the early lead and was up 6-3 in the eighth before Indiana scored two to keep in close. Iowa slammed the door shut in the ninth to claim the win.
- Iowa lost the second game 12-6. This one wasn't close from the start, as Iowa gave up five in the first inning. They battled back, as they have all season, closing the gap to 8-6 in the 4th, but Indiana pulled away in the middle innings.
- The rubber game started out close, but Indiana broke out with a five-run fourth inning to take a 7-2 lead. Iowa again refused to go quietly, but Indiana answered every time the Hawks got close, eventually pulling away to win 12-8.
- This Iowa baseball team has its flaws, but they are going to compete and fight in every game, for the entire game. The results may not always be what they want, but they're an enormously entertaining team to watch and an easy group to get behind. They'll be home for a series against Penn State starting on May 7th.