Fall means back to school, hoodie weather, changing leaves, and the return of Iowa beating Iowa State in the annual Cy-Hawk series. There's no better start to the school year than watching the Hawks rack up the wins across the athletic spectrum. Last Thursday, the Iowa women's soccer team did their part, taking care of Iowa State.
Not to be outdone, the #3 Iowa Field Hockey team took down #1 UNC 3-1. It's not even September and two of Iowa's hottest teams from the 20-21 school year are already off to the races.
- The Hawkeyes controlled the game, showing off a more aggressive style than last year's defend-and-counter playing style (though it helped playing with an 11-on-10 advantage for a good portion of the match after an Iowa State player was red carded). Senior Courtney Powell kicked off the scoring in the 22nd minute, lofting a ball over the goalkeeper to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
- The goal was a special one for Powell, who transferred from Iowa State this year after losing her father, a lifelong Hawkeye fan, to Covid last year.
Courtney Powell transferred from Iowa State to play for @HawkeyeSoccer after her dad, a longtime Hawkeyes fan, died from COVID.— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) August 27, 2021
Now, watch what happened when Powell and the Hawkeyes faced her former team in the Cy-Hawk Series. pic.twitter.com/LCOHRTjmYM
- The winning goal was scored late in the second half when Iowa executed a perfect set piece, leaving Sara Wheaton all alone to bury the volley in the back of the net.
That win improved the Hawkeyes to 3-0 on the season, following season-opening wins over DePaul (2-1) and Saint Louis (1-0). Unfortunately they dropped a narrow 1-0 game to Kansas in overtime today.
But Iowa is still off to a strong start in 2021-22 and they'll look to continue that and will look to continue their hot non-conference pace against Purdue-Fort Wayne (9/2) and Mississippi State (9/5) before Big Ten play begins September 19th.
- Field Hockey has consistently been one of the gold standard programs for Iowa athletics and the team came into the 2021 season looking to build upon their Final Four run a year ago. After dispatching #11 Wake Forest 5-3 on Friday in the field hockey Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Iowa took on #1 North Carolina, the same team that eliminated them in last year's NCAA semifinal.
- The match was a hard-fought defensive affair throughout most of the first half. Iowa took the lead early in the second quarter when Maddy Murphy finished off Ellie Holley's perfect ball into the middle. UNC answered back quickly to even the score going into halftime.
- The second half belonged to the Hawkeyes, aided by a full crowd of Hawkeye fans and students. Meghan Conroy scored what would become the winning goal off of a deflected shot from the outside to give Iowa the 2-1 lead.
The exclamation point came midway through the fourth, when Maddy Murphy sprang Ellie Holley with a beautiful pass in behind the Tar Heel defense. Holley outraced her defender and put the ball in the open net, sealing the win for the Hawks.
- Iowa's win should move them up to #1 in the country in the next poll. They'll look to continue the momentum against New Hampshire on September 4th.