IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In a back-and-forth affair, the eighth-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team outlasted No. 6 Penn State, 3-2, behind Maddy Murphy's first career hat trick on Friday night at Grant Field. Iowa improves to 4-2 in the Big Ten with a 12-3 overall record.
HOW IT HAPPENED
In a defensive battle for most of the first half, the Hawkeyes pushed across the game's first goal in the 23rd minute. On the first shot on goal of the game, Murphy put Iowa up 1-0 on a rebound goal. Murphy was just getting started on a brisk, windy night.
The Hawkeye offense put the pressure on Penn State in the first half, registering nine shots and four penalty corners, while the defense allowed zero shots and penalty corners to lead 1-0 at the break.
The Nittany Lions came out on the offensive in the second half, scoring in the 37th minute off a penalty corner. Anna Simon was credited with the goal to tie the game at one. Penn State had the momentum for the first 15 minutes of the second half, but never got a shot off.
Iowa regained momentum in the 52nd minute on Murphy's second goal of the game that was upheld after a review.Lokke Stribos, who passed the ball in from outside the circle, was credited with the assist. Penn State wasn't going away, recording three quick shots on goal in the 54th minute, but Iowa goalkeeper Leslie Speight saved them all.
Penn State's Emily Klinger scored the equalizer in the 56th minute on a redirected shot. At two goals apiece with 14 minutes left, the Hawkeyes won the possession game, and put shots on goal in the 58th and 63rd minutes, but Penn State's goalkeeper saved both of them.
It was Murphy's third goal with less than three minutes remaining (67:41) that put the Hawkeyes on top 3-2. Katie Birch assisted Murphy's game-winning goal from the baseline.
QUOTING COACH CELLUCCI
"We stuck to the game plan. We chipped away. We said we might bend but we aren't going to break. We absolutely did not break tonight. I couldn't be happier with the performance and obviously the result. We've had a great week of practice. They are confident, they know they can compete with anybody, and they were able to execute for 70 minutes. This was a fantastic result at home on Grant Field under the lights. It couldn't be a better night."
"Penn State is a very lethal attacking team. We knew they were going to get their offensive chances. Again, we had to chip away. We had to clean up a few things defensively, which we did, and then we were able to throw their game back at them with our counter attack. It was a great performance."
HEAR FROM THE STUDENT-ATHLETES
Maddy Murphy: "It feels so surreal. We haven't had a win like that and it feels so good. Everyone played so well, and we played as a team. After we lost 5-1 last year, to come back from that is outstanding. I couldn't be happier. This is a testament to how hard we've been training and how much we've focused in. Everyone wants it so bad and you can see it on the field. Everyone is putting in 110 percent every game, and the wins are coming. Everybody better watch out."
Katie Birch: "We knew Penn State was going to be a battle; it always has been. We talk a lot about bending, but not breaking. We've got a lot of grit on our team that we can bring it all 70 minutes of the game. We really did that today.Coming back definitely shows our resilience and grit. We scored with two minutes left, which is insane."
- It was Iowa's first win over Penn State since 2014 when Iowa beat the No. 4 Nittany Lions, 4-0, at Grant Field.
- Today marked Iowa's first win against a top-10 opponent since 2016 against No. 9 Northwestern.
- Iowa improves to 9-0 this season when scoring at least three goals.
- Maddy Murphy's first career hat trick extends her season total to 13 goals, which is the second most in the Big Ten. Murphy only needed three shots to net a trio of goals. Murphy now has four game-winning goals on the year.
- Goalkeeper Leslie Speight made three saves in five chances to improve her record to 12-3.
Iowa returns to Grant Field on Sunday at noon (CT) to face No. 2 Maryland in the last home game of the season. Sunday is senior day for four Hawkeyes -- Makenna Grewe, Riley Kniptash, Isabella Brown, and manager Liam Norton. The game will be televised on BTN.