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Field hockey hangs on

BY JORDAN GARRETSON | OCTOBER 05, 2009 7:20 AM

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Just like the Iowa field-hockey team’s 2-1 loss to Indiana on Oct. 2, the Hawkeyes fell into a 1-0 hole fewer than four minutes into their game on Sunday.

But unlike the contest against the Hoosiers, Iowa (4-6, 1-1 Big Ten) was able to battle its way to a 3-2 victory over California (3-7) at Grant Field.

After giving up a goal only 2:57 into their game against the Hoosiers, Sunday’s match with the Golden Bears seemed all too similar at its beginning for the Hawkeyes. Megan Shimojima’s scored off a deflection at the 3:35 mark to put California up, 1-0.

A penalty corner at the 7:41 mark gave Iowa an opportunity to put itself right back in the game — and senior Tricia Dean seized it. Despite what turned out to be a broken play, Dean gathered herself to fire in a laser from the top of the circle, tying the game up, 1-1.

The Hawkeyes were able to strike again before the conclusion of the first half. Junior Chelsea Miller tallied her first goal of the season on a deflection at the 19:30 mark.

California wasn’t able to make the necessary adjustments to stifle the Iowa attack following halftime.

At the 39:43 mark, Dean found the back of the net again, opening up a 3-1 lead for Iowa. Dean’s goal was once again fired in from the top of the circle on a Hawkeye penalty corner, however, this one came off a well-executed pass from sophomore Leslie Pyle.

Dean’s goals were her fifth and sixth of the season.

“I think we came out a little more focused and with a greater intensity than we had on [Oct. 2],” Dean said. “We were caught on our heels when [Indiana] scored early, and we didn’t really bounce back from that. [On Sunday], we wanted to prove ourselves.”

The Golden Bears weren’t ready to concede despite the Hawkeyes’ three-straight goals. California’s Natalie Nurnberg cut the deficit to 3-2 after recording her fifth goal of the season at the 44:42 mark.

Iowa’s defense remained strong for the remainder of the game, but a goaltending mistake by Hawkeye freshman Kathleen McGraw led to a penalty corner for the Golden Bears with no time remaining on the clock. With all 10 of California’s fielders standing in on the corner, McGraw redeemed herself by making the save, which preserved the 3-2 victory for the Hawkeyes.

“We were very fortunate,” Iowa head coach Tracey Griesbaum said. “We have to be able to take those situations and learn from them. But something like that, that can never happen again. Our goalkeepers learned a pretty hard lesson, but [McGraw] stepped up and made the next save.”

Iowa’s next game comes on Oct. 11 when the Hawkeyes travel to Columbus, Ohio, to play Ohio State in a Big Ten matchup at noon.

“We need to be 100 percent focused on Columbus and taking it to Ohio State,” Griesbaum said. “They’re very good. It’s going to take all of our effort and energy to get the job done.”


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