Iowa field hockey looks to rebound at Michigan


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Losses have been few and far between for the Iowa field-hockey team this season.

The Hawkeyes reeled off seven-straight wins after losing, 2-0, to No. 2 North Carolina on Aug. 28.
But that streak was halted in 3-0 loss to No. 7 Penn State last weekend that head coach Tracey Griesbaum called disappointing, and it remains to be seen how the Black and Gold (8-2, 1-1 Big Ten) will respond.

The No. 12 Hawkeyes will head into Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday to take on Michigan in their first action since the loss. The match will be played at Ocker Field at 9 a.m.

Forward Kelsey Mitchell said she is certain the team can leave the home-field loss to the Nittany Lions in the past.

"We've moved on," the sophomore said. "We aren't forgetting about it, because we don't want what happened Sunday to happen again. We're learning lessons from the game and taking them with us as we move forward."

The Hawkeyes were stunned by three second-half goals from the Nittany Lions — two right out of the gate in the second half and the third at the 69-minute mark.

"We came out a little weaker in the second half," midfielder Jessica Barnett said. "I don't know if we weren't prepared for them to come out as hard as they did … that shook our confidence a little bit and we weren't able to get good [passing]. We had a lot of unforced turnovers, and they scored their third goal, which no one wants to happen — but it did."

Iowa's winning streak was snapped with the loss, but Mitchell was adamant that the team could start a new string of victories.

"We're working on our goals: improve our offensive penalty corners, take advantage of more of them, and make them more productive." the Berlin, N.J., native said.

The Hawkeyes responded well to their other loss of the season by rebounding with a 7-3 win over Kent State on Sept. 2.

History is on Iowa's side as it heads into Michigan.

The Wolverines and the Hawkeyes have been butting heads since 1979, but the Black and Gold are going into this weekend's matchup with 17-6 all-time record in Ann Arbor. The Hawkeyes own the overall series, 39-16.

"No one likes losing, but it was a good learning experience for us," Barnett said. "We found out that we can't have lapses in our play. We have to expect all the Big Ten teams to come out hard. We just need to move forward coming off a loss."

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