No. 19 Hawkeyes take down UC Davis on senior day


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It was fitting that Karli Johansen scored 2 goals on Senior Day at Grant Field. The fourth-year Hawkeye and her fellow seniors enjoyed a 5-1 victory over California-Davis (4-10, 2-3) Sunday afternoon.

Johansen got the No. 19 Hawkeyes’ second and third goals of the match — the former assisted by seniors Niki Schultheis and Marike Stribos on a penalty corner and the latter from a penalty stroke after an Aggie defender used her chest to stop the ball from going into the net.

For Stribos, the game had an extra level of meaning because it was the first time her parents have seen her play as a Hawkeye. Her mother and father traveled across the Pond from Belgium to watch their daughter play her penultimate game at Grant.

“It was emotional, but I was focused on the game,” Stribos said. “Before with the national anthem and everything, but after that, when the whistle started, it was over.”

Stribos was right. After the pregame festivities, Iowa (11-6, 2-3) got to work and took care of business.

Stephanie Norlander got her team on the board 8:30 into the game when she tipped a Dani Hemeon shot high into the Aggie cage to open the scoring.

Both of Johansen’s goals came in the first half, and the Hawkeyes went into the break after scoring 3 goals on 22 shots.

“In the first half, I thought we kind of controlled the game a little bit,” head coach Tracey Griesbaum said.

After the intermission, Natalie Cafone added 2 goals to bring her season total to 19. The sophomore has 45 points in the 2013 campaign.

The first of her two scores was the most impressive one scored by either team all afternoon. It came after she carried the ball from the other side of midfield, lost it, and got it back before letting go a backhand shot that went in above Cal-Davis goalkeeper Danielle Herrington’s right shoulder.

“That was pure luck — I didn’t even know it was going to go in,” the native of Fairfield, N.J., said. “I should’ve had my head up and passed to a teammate. But I don’t know, I really don’t even know.”

Before her second goal, Jamie Garcia snuck a shot past fifth year senior Kelsey Boyce for Cal-Davis’ lone tally of the afternoon.

To close the afternoon’s scoring, Cafone played Johnny-on-the-spot when she tipped home a rebound on a Brynn Gitt shot seal the 5-1 victory.

After the game, sentimental feelings were abundant — especially for Griesbaum.

“I picture myself recruiting those girls, I can picture myself the first time they put on their uniform as freshmen,” the 14-year head coach said. “The time, it just seems to really, really fly. Again, all of them, they’ve been very, very special to this program.”

Iowa will return to action Saturday for their final regular-season game. The Hawkeyes will try to take down Michigan State (8-9, 3-2) to gain momentum going into the Big Ten Tournament.

“There’s minimum two weeks left, so let’s use this to kind of propel us a little bit,” Griesbaum said.

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