Norlander turning heads for Hawkeyes

BY DANNY PAYNE | AUGUST 28, 2013 5:00 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Stephanie Norlander is well aware of the tradition established by former Hawkeye Jessica Barnett and current senior Karli Johansen — who graduated from Handsworth Secondary in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada — the same high school Norlander attended.

And the most evident similarity between the Iowa freshman and Barnett is the 8 on the front and back of their jersey.

“[Jess and I] went to the same high school, and now we both have come here, so that’s really awesome.” Norlander said.

Barnett graduated last spring as one of the most decorated field-hockey student-athletes in history, with All-American honors as a junior and senior highlighting her résumé.

Johansen and Norlander played together last summer on the Canadian Junior World Cup Team in Germany.

Even though Norlander has yet to play an regular season game wearing the Black and Gold, she is off to a hot start as a Hawkeye, recording 4 goals in the team’s exhibition at Ball State on Aug. 22.

Norlander is no stranger to scoring goals. During her time playing in the Vancouver Women’s Field Hockey Association from 2010-13; she scored 58 goals in 51 games. And during the 2012-13 campaign, she scored 26 times in 17 contests (an average of 1.5 per game) with West Vancouver Premier.

Norlander uses a combination of speed, power, and knowledge of the game to perform at a high level.

Iowa senior Kelsey Mitchell described Norlander as having a “rocket of a shot,” and head coach Tracey Griesbaum has repeatedly touted her speed and athleticism.

“She does moves that I’m just like, wow, for a freshman that’s awesome,” Mitchell said. “So I’m really happy to have her alongside and be coming along as quickly as she is.”

The praise doesn’t stop there for Norlander, sophomore forward Natalie Cafone, who the freshman played on the same forward line with during much of the Hawkeyes Aug. 25 exhibition against Missouri State, praised her teammate’s work ethic and reliability.

“I really like working with her, she’s a really hard worker and she would do anything for her teammates,” Cafone said. “I can always count on her and I know everyone else can count on her too.”

Griesbaum knows there is a long way to go for Norlander, but is ecstatic about what she has seen so far throughout her short career as a Hawkeye.

“I don’t want her to get too far ahead of herself; I think she has to get ready for each day and that week presents, and incrementally learn and take each responsibility on,” Griesbaum said. “She hasn’t disappointed at all. Really everything we expected she would bring from the recruiting process she has, and more.”

While Norlander has drawn attention thus far, she is looking forward to improving and excelling once the season officially begins on August 30 at Bucknell.

When asked about the tradition from her high school in British Columbia, she had one more thing to say, showing her Canadian pride.

“Yeah, Canada is where it’s at,” she said. “Keep the tradition alive.”

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.