Field hockey wins big in home opener at Grant Field


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The Iowa field-hockey team has a history of scoring 10 goals against Missouri State. The Hawks outscored the Bears 10-2 last year.

This year was no different. An offensive frenzy led Iowa (2-1) to a 10-0 victory over the Bears (0-3) on Sept. 1.

Missouri State kept Iowa at bay during the first 13 minutes of Sunday’s game. The Black and Gold controlled and dominated the time-of-possession battle but were unable to penetrate the net cleanly.

Jessica Barnett took initiative at the 11:55 mark of the first half. What began as a penalty corner for the Field Hawks turned into a save for the Bears. Barnett took the rebound and snuck it underneath the last line of defense for the game’s first goal.

Exactly six minutes later, the senior tallied another goal on another penalty corner, playing a beautiful slap-shot goal to put Iowa up, 2-0.

“We say all the time, regardless of the result, that it’s a team effort,” head coach Tracey Griesbaum said. “I think today, we had a lot of people have good minutes and good playing time.”

The Hawks’ offensive attack was widely spread all afternoon, and 10 Hawkeyes recorded a shot on goal. Eight were able to find the back of the net, with two Hawkeyes producing two goals apiece in Barnett in Natalie Cafone.

Iowa created 35 total shots on goal. It was a blistering offensive attack, highlighted with 5 goals in each half. The Black and Gold also generated 19 penalty corners throughout the game, while only allowing one.

That lone penalty corner for Missouri State was its only hope for a goal. The Bears were outmatched and bullied from the first whistle; they didn’t collect a single shot on senior Iowa goalie Kathleen McGraw.

This was due in large part to the persistent offensive attack from Iowa, but assistant coach Meghan Beamesderfer gave the defense a lot of credit. She said the past week at practice was great, and Sunday’s performance clearly showed it.

“We definitely kept gaining momentum throughout the entire game,” Beamesderfer said. “We just have to stay with this positive energy and keep moving forward.”

Griesbaum, while admitting the players could still improve upon the double-digit shutout, was pleased with the performance from her team. They followed the game plan and played stingy defense.

But what surprised the head coach the most was the play of a freshman. Young Cafone accounted for 2 of Iowa’s goals and six of their shots.

Her first goal came on a cross from Geena Lesiak at the 20:45 minute mark in the first half. Cafone caught the clean pass, made a shifty move to clear space, and put the ball away from 5 feet out to put Iowa up 3-0.

The freshman’s second goal came during a one-on-one. Cafone took the ball, split the defense, and placed a shot into the far right corner of the goal, putting the Hawkeyes up 6-0 early in the second half.

Cafone, a native of Fairfield, N.J., was humble after the game when she had every reason to celebrate. She didn’t expect to score — she held the same mindset during the Black and Gold scrimmage during the beginning of the year. She scored there, too.

“I don’t really expect. I just work as hard as I can,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my team. But it was a nice experience.”

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