Nov. 19, 2008

Courtesy of Iowa Athletics

The University of Iowa field hockey team (18-4) travels to Louisville, KY, to compete in NCAA Finals this weekend. Iowa, the fourth overall seed, faces top-seeded Maryland Friday in the national semifinals. The match will begin at 4 p.m. (CST). The other semifinal match-up will feature second-seeded Wake Forest against third-seeded Syracuse. That match will be played at 6:30 p.m. (CST). The championship game will be played Sunday at noon (CST). All matches will be played at Trager Stadium. Iowa is the only team of the four to play at the home of the Louisville Cardinals this year.

This weekend's championship game will be televised live to a national cable audience on CBS College Sports. Hawkeye fans can also catch the action this weekend on and the official website of the NCAA.

Maryland, ranked first in the final NFHCA rankings, won the ACC regular season and tournament championship this season. The Terrapins are the top seed in the tournament and enter Friday's match with a record of 20-2 overall. Maryland defeated No. 20 Albany (4-2) and No. 8 Duke (8-5) in the NCAA Regionals to advance. Missy Mehard is the head coach of the Terrapins. In her 21st season at the helm of the program, she is 365-100-9 all-time.

Iowa has played Maryland 11 times, including four times in the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. The last time the Hawkeyes and Terrapins met in a regular season or NCAA Tournament games, was the national semifinals in Boston, MA in 1999. Maryland beat Iowa 2-1 in double overtime to advance to the championship game that year. The Hawkeyes also lost to the Terrapins 1-0 in 1993, 2-1 in the 1991 and 2-1 in 1987 in national semifinal match-ups.

Iowa is 1-1 all-time against the Orange. The teams last met in 2003. The Hawkeyes were victorious, 6-1. In addition, Iowa is 3-6 all-time against the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest defeated the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge earlier this season. Iowa fell 3-2 in Winston-Salem, NC, in the season opener.

Iowa enters the weekend with a swagger in close games having won its last four contests by one goal, including two in overtime. That last time Iowa won four game by one goal was near the end of the 1994 season. For the season, the Hawkeyes are 9-3 in one-goal games, including 3-0 in overtime contests.

The Hawkeyes defeated No. 13 Louisville Saturday in East Lansing, MI, in the first round of the tournament, 1-0. It marked the first Iowa victory in the NCAA Tournament since 1999. Iowa then faced Michigan State Sunday for the third time this season. Tied at zero with 27:45 remaining in the second half, the game was delayed due to inclement weather. Play resumed Monday at 10 a.m. (CT). Sarah Pergine scored the game-winner to send the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Finals.

Tournament Notes
 - Iowa has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 20 times
 - The 20 appearances tie for sixth-most all-time
 - The Hawkeyes (.565), have the eighth-best winning percentage in tournament history
 - At 26-20, Iowa has won the fourth-most tournament games
 - The Hawkeyes have made 11 championship round appearances, good for fourth-most all-time
 - The 20 appearances and 11 NCAA Finals appearances both lead the Big Ten Conference
 - Iowa won the 1986 National Championship