Iowa Opens 2004 Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament with Overtime Win Over Northwestern
Nov. 5, 2004
Evanston, IL - With blue skies and a slight chill in the air the number two seeded Iowa Hawkeyes squared off against the seventh seed and host school Northwestern University to start off the 2004 Big Ten Conference Field Hockey Tournament. With each team scoring twice in the first half, the match went to sudden-death overtime after a scoreless second half, where the Hawkeyes scored first to pull out a 3-2 win.
Iowa ups their record to 11-6 overall and will play the winner of Friday's third match between Michigan State and Indiana on Saturday at 2:00 pm CST in the semifinals here at the Leonard B. Thomas Sports Complex. Northwestern ends their season at 7-13 and 1-5 in the conference.
Halfway through the extra period Iowa maintained a distinct advantage on penalty corners in the match with 14 compared to Northwestern's six. But a penalty corner was not necessary for Iowa to claim victory. With 14:21 gone in OT, a Caroline Blaum shot hit the back of the net unassisted to give Iowa the win and advance the Hawkeyes to the semifinals.
In the opening 10 minutes of the first half, Northwestern had two scoring opportunities on penalty corners. However, Big Ten All-Conference First Tem goaltender Barb Weinberg came up with two sprawling saves to keep the Wildcats off the board.
At the half-way point of the first stanza the NU attack gave Northwestern two more opportunities on penalty corners. After the Wildcats were unable to get a shot off on their third chance of the game, senior forward Candice Cooper connected on the team's fourth penalty corner with 19:45 off the clock to put the host team up 1-0. Sophomore Meghan Small assisted on the score by Cooper; both players were named as members of the Big Ten All-Conference second team.
The scoreboard didn't stay the same for long however. Just two minutes later Cooper tallied her third and fourth points of the match off of NU's fifth penalty corner of the morning. Christine Nannicellie and Ellen Schlafly each logged an assist on the goal with 21:45 remaining in the first half to give Northwestern the 2-0 advantage.
The Hawkeyes couldn't be kept quiet for long though. With 22:13 gone off the scoreboard senior forward Margot McMahon put one past Northwestern goalie Sherri-Anne Nyberg for Iowa's first goal of the morning with freshman Caroline Blaum being credited with the assist.
With less than one minute to play in the half, Iowa was awarded a penalty corner and came close putting a shot in the net when Wildcat net-minder Nyberg covered up the ball before it passed the goal line. The violation gave Iowa a penalty stroke with 35 minutes gone in the half. Senior midfielder Lauren Stiver took advantage of the opportunity, putting the free shot in to send the match into halftime knotted at two.
In the first 23 minutes of the second half Northwestern did not record a penalty corner while Iowa had two opportunities but was unable to convert on either. A third penalty corner with 24 minutes off the clock gave Iowa another chance at breaking the tie but, the ball never made it near the net as the Wildcats defense stopped the shot immediately.
With time winding down, Big Ten Conference coach of the year Tracey Griesbaum's Iowa squad had several opportunities on three penalty corners within a two-minute span, but was unable to get the ball past a stifling Northwestern defense. Another Iowa penalty corner came with just over a minute remaining in regulation with the NU defense again preventing Iowa from taking the lead, sending the match into overtime where it was eventually won by the Hawkeyes.