PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Two goals in the span of 16 seconds sent the top-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team to a 2-1 road victory at No. 6 Rutgers on Friday afternoon at Bauer Track and Field. The Hawkeyes move to 11-0 overall – the best start since 1992 — and 3-0 in Big Ten action.
The triumph is the team’s fourth consecutive win over a top-six ranked opponent and the sixth win over a nationally ranked foe overall.
“We had two timely back-to-back goals in the second quarter and the execution from Maddy (Murphy) and Nikki (Freeman) was clinical,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci.
After a quiet first quarter, Iowa broke through in the second. Senior Nikki Freeman notched the first goal at the 18:23 mark following an assist from junior Sofie Stribos. The Hawkeyes pounced again 16 seconds later when senior Maddy Murphy capitalized, scoring a quick goal on an assist by Freeman to make the score 2-0.
Rutgers cut the lead in half in the 46th minute when Kerrie Burns fired home a shot from the top of the circle, making the score 2-1. The strike halted Iowa’s shutout streak that dated back to Aug. 29 against North Carolina.
Iowa’s defense withstood five Scarlet Knight penalty corners in the second half en route to the victory. Senior Grace McGuire made three saves in the victory.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH LISA CELLUCCI
“This was a hard-fought win. Rutgers is a fantastic team who put us under immense pressure, and I was so proud of the problem-solving we displayed each quarter. We had a focus on playing disciplined team defense. We will enjoy this tonight and then begin prepping for Maryland.”
The last time Iowa started 11-0 was in the 1992 where the Hawkeyes won their first 20 games en route to advancing to the National Championship game.
Iowa’s remarkable shutout streak ended at 561:03 minutes of game time. The streak included a school-record eight consecutive shutouts.
Today’s game marked the 10th time this season that the Hawkeyes have scored two or more goals.
Freeman and Murphy’s goals are their fourth strikes of the season.
The Hawkeyes heads to College Park on Sunday to face No. 7 Maryland at 11 a.m. (CT). The game will be streamed live on BTN+.