I hope you took my advice and watched #1 Iowa take on #2 Michigan in field hockey last week. I'll admit I'm hardly a field hockey expert, but the match was so competitive, with both teams playing at such a high level, that it was clear even to an amateur that both teams deserved their ranking. The atmosphere was incredible with fellow Hawkeye athletes and students packing the stands for the shootout thriller. Even better, the Hawks came away with a statement victory. You can read all about the Hawkeyes' dramatic win here.
Rob Houghtlin Sofie Stribos— On Iowa Sports (@GazetteOnIowa) October 15, 2021
Clinching the win for No. 1 Iowa over No. 2 Michiganpic.twitter.com/mlwI6IYaot
- Iowa's match against Michigan was a tightly contested, hard-fought affair. Iowa controlled the game and generated far more chances in the first half, but the Michigan defense held tough and kept the game scoreless at the half. Michigan drew first blood in the third quarter and put the Hawkeyes behind for the first time all season. Iowa's attitude never changed, even behind a goal, and they continued to push for an equalizer while holding Michigan to the lone score.
- Late in the fourth quarter, senior and All-American Anthe Nijziel put away a penalty corner to notch an equalizer for the Hawks.
- Nijziel's goal sent the game to overtime, a tense two-period affair that saw both teams have opportunities to score a golden goal. The Hawkeyes even had a penalty stroke to win the game, but it was denied by the crossbar. Unable to determine a victor, the match went to a shootout. Iowa's goalkeeper Grace McGuire stood tall in stopping the first four Wolverine shots. Michigan's goalie was game too, stopping the first three Hawkeye shootout attempts. The teams traded penalty conversions before Sofie Stribos had a chance to win the game with the final shootout try, where she did not disappoint.
- The crowd stormed the field in celebration, including a few familiar faces:
- Iowa only got a day of rest before they returned to action to take on Ohio State. The match was another tight contest, with both teams remaining scoreless through three quarters. In the fourth, though, Iowa showed why they're the best team in the country, scoring three goals on 12 shots and racking up seven penalty corners. The Hawkeyes' 3-0 win improved their record to 16-0 on the season and earned them a share of the Big Ten title, their second in three seasons. Not a bad weekend to be a field hockey fan.
- The Hawks received a few individual accolades on the week too, with Anthe Nijziel and Maddie Murphy each winning Big Ten Player of the Week honors.
- Iowa will have a much-needed bye week before returning to the field on October 29th against Northwestern.
- The Iowa soccer team played in a few dramatic matches of their own last week, besting Nebraska in a 4-3 thriller before following it up with 3-2 win against Illinois.
- The Hawkeyes started their week against Nebraska and got off to a rough start, falling behind 3-0 in the first half. A lesser team might have folded and suffered through the second half in hopes of a brighter tomorrow, but Iowa -- who you might remember bounced back from a 12th place Big Ten finish last year only to record a Big Ten Tournament win -- refused to go quietly. Instead, Iowa rattled off a historic comeback, scoring a goal just before the end of the first half and following it up with three more in the second half. Goals from Courtney Powell, Hailey Rydberg, Kenzie Roling, and Alyssa Walker earned Iowa its largest come from behind victory in program history.
- The Hawkeyes found themselves in another high-scoring game against Illinois on Sunday. Iowa jumped out to a 1-0 lead that they held throughout the first half. Illinois found an equalizer in the 57th minute, only for Meike Ingles to score her second of the day and put the the Hawkeyes back ahead 2-1. The Illini answered back yet again three minutes later to tie the game at two. It remained tied until late in the second half when Ingles found the back of the net for her third goal of the game, and first career hat trick, giving Iowa a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
- Iowa showed their resiliency yet again in both matches this week. They fought back from a deep hole against Nebraska and staved off a stubborn Illini squad. Iowa may not yet be a conference power on the soccer field, but they have a resolve that is unmatched and will give them a shot no matter who the opposing side is.
- Iowa's next match is against Minnesota on October 21st.
- Both Hawkeye cross country teams competed in the Bradley Classic on Friday, each coming away with a top 4 finish. The women's team finished second, while the men's side finished fourth.
- Brooke McKee paced the women's team, finishing 15th and setting a new career-best, 21:26.7. Gabby Skopec and Lauren McMahon also notched top-30 finishes, coming in 23rd and 26th respectively.
- On the men's side, Nick Trattner led the way for Iowa, finishing 8th in 24:14.8. Noah Healy and Kal Lewis both finished inside the top-30 as well, finishing 19th and 29th respectively.
- Both squads are ranked in the Top 10 in the Midwest Region with the Women ranking 9th and the Men ranking 8th.
- The Iowa volleyball team had another tough week last week, falling in straight sets to both Illinois and Northwestern.
- Iowa competed hard in the second and third sets against Illinois but lacked the killer instinct to notch set wins. The old adage that teams need to "learn how to win" certainly applies here. The Hawks were up 11-4 on the Illini in the third set but were unable to secure the set, instead falling behind 21-15 before ultimately losing the set 25-20.
- Against Northwestern, it was more of the same. Iowa stayed close to start the sets, even pulling ahead 17-11 in the second, but were unable to finish the set out and ultimately lost in straight sets.
- Iowa has another difficult slate this week, welcoming in #9 Nebraska on Wednesday before traveling to take on Northwestern and their highly-regarded technical coordinator (younger brother of yours truly) on Saturday.