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Field hockey to face Hoosiers for final home test

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 14, 2011 7:20 AM

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The field-hockey season could last as long as another month, but the No. 13 Hawkeyes will take Grant Field for the final time Saturday.

The Hawkeyes (10-3, 2-2 Big Ten) will take on No. 18 Indiana (8-4, 2-2 at 1 p.m. for Senior Day.

"[The scheduling] is out of our control," head coach Tracey Griesbaum said. "There's nothing we can do, that's how they schedule. It is what it is."

After this weekend's game, the squad will hit the road and finish the regular season with three road games in six days. An Oct. 22 at No. 19 Northwestern is the toughest test remaining. Iowa will finish off by playing Pacific (2-9) at Northwestern on Oct. 23 and head to Muncie, Ind., to face Ball State (3-11) on Oct. 28.

While Indiana offers a balanced attack that matches up well against the Hawkeyes, much of the spotlight will be on Iowa's Becca Spengler.

Spengler is the team's lone senior, and she will step onto Grant Field for the final home game of her Iowa career.

"Mentally, we have to go about it as a big game — but as if it were another game," Griesbaum said. "[Because it's] the last opportunity to play on Grant Field along with it being Becca's last home game, there is a little bit more emotion involved in it. But as far as the result we need and the way we are going to go about our business, it's really no different."

Spengler, a three-time captain of the team, has appeared in 60 games for the Hawkeyes. The Lititz, Pa., native has contributed eight goals and 20 points in her career thus far.

The two remaining Big Ten games will help decide where the Hawkeyes will be seeded in the Big Ten Tournament, which runs from Nov. 3-6 in University Park, Pa.

"[The Hoosiers] are balanced," Griesbaum said. "They are not a team with one aspect. If you look at other teams in the Big Ten, you can say, 'Oh they hang their hat on that,' and if you can take that away, you have a greater chance. They play a sound level of hockey."

— by Nick Szafranski


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