Iowa City – The field hockey season opens at home for the Hawkeyes this season, but the opponents won’t make the match-ups easy. Iowa starts off the year as one of the hosts of the ACC/Big Ten Cup.
Playing in Iowa City will be Michigan from the Big Ten along with Wake Forest and North Carolina from the ACC. Both teams finished ahead of Iowa in the rankings a year ago.
Iowa will play Wake Forest on Saturday, August 26 in the second game of that days doubleheader. Michigan and UNC will play first. Iowa will face North Carolina the next day at 2:00 p.m.
North Carolina, a preseason favorite to win the national championship, comes into Iowa City off of a loss to Delaware in the championship game a year ago. Iowa finished last year with a 3-1 loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament.
Ironically, the Hawkeyes opened last year with the same two match-ups. They defeated Wake Forest, but fell to the Tar Heels. Iowa’s overall record this past season was 12-7.
Leading goal scorer Natalie Cafone graduated, leaving Iowa with the task of replacing her 20 goals. Their best returning offensive player is sophomore Katie Birch who had nine goals a year ago and earned the title of Big Ten Freshman of the year. The Hawkeyes are also having to replace goalkeeper Alexandra Pecora.
Iowa follows up the ACC/Big Ten Cup with three games on the west coast against Stanford, California, and UC Davis.