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Hawkeyes down Miami, 3-1

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | OCTOBER 13, 2014 5:00 AM

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Pretty it was not, but thankfully for the Iowa field hockey team, the NCAA doesn’t give style points.

After dropping two-straight Big Ten games at home, the Black and Gold finally managed to stop the bleeding and piece together a 3-1 win over MAC opponent Miami (Ohio). 

The win moves the Hawks to 9-4 on the season.

“We just needed to get a W when we went out today,” interim head coach Lisa Cellucci said.  “It definitely was not pretty, but we got the result, and we got some of our confidence back, and that’s all we were worried about today.”

With the team stabilized, the Hawkeyes can go back to the drawing board and regain their previously dominant form.

“I think we’ve definitely been in a bit of a funk these last few games, so to come out and get the win today at home was good for us,” sophomore Steph Norlander said.  “Winning is always an easy way to get out of stuff like that.”

Norlander, who scored the game-winning goal for Iowa midway through the first period, was part of an Iowa attack that had been missing its usual potency during the team’s back to back losses against Northwestern and Michigan. 

Norlander and Natalie Cafone were able to regain their scoring touch against the Redhawks, netting back-to-back goals to put the game out of reach for Miami. 

“They just gave us a little room, and we were able to keep possession for longer periods of time and build an attack, which was good to see,” Norlander said. 

And while the team seceded just one goal, Iowa’s overall team defense still leaves a lot to be desired in the mind of Cellucci. 

“What’s hurting us a lot right now is our individual defense during play,” Cellucci said. “We’ve still got to go back to the drawing board and clean some things up, but they’ve acknowledged it, and we just have to get some discipline behind it.”

Penalty corners continued to trouble the Hawks against Miami, which scored its lone goal of the game on a corner 12 minutes into the first period. 

Iowa, which gave up four corners in the first half alone, was thankful to escape those opportunities without more damage being done.

“We all really need to improve on our individual defense,” senior Dani Hemeon said.  “That was a little weak for us today, as was our ability to connect through our forwards.”

Now, with their six-game home stand in the books, the Hawks will go on the road this weekend and face Michigan State, which defeated the Hawks in the Big Ten Tournament championship game last season.

And while some might see playing that game on the road as a disadvantage, Cellucci welcomes the opportunity.

“We’re excited to go on the road because I think we’ll have a little bit more focus,” Cellucci said. “We have them to ourselves and will be able to concentrate on nothing but playing our game.”

Follow @ryanarod on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa field-hockey team.


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