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No. 1 Iowa Downs Merrimack


September 17th, 2023 by Asa Lucas

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The top-ranked University of Iowa field hockey team shutout Merrimack College, 8-0, on Sunday afternoon at Grant Field as three Hawkeyes recorded multi-goal games.


Iowa’s defense allowed no shots in its sixth shutout this season. The win moves the Hawkeyes record to 8-0 overall.


“We needed to look a little bit inside ourselves during that first quarter and have some discipline on our individual defense,” said head coach Lisa Cellucci. “Once we did that and continued to move the ball and work off ball for each other, that really set up all the goals going forward.”


Fifth-year Esme Gibson started off the scoring with a goal in the 17th minute off an assist from freshman Miranda Jackson. 


Junior Alex Wesneski recorded back-to-back goals in the second quarter. The Forty-Fort, Pennsylvania native found the back of the goal 21:51 into the game assisted by freshman Dionne van Aalsum following with another goal less than four minutes later assisted by freshman Gia Whalen. 


Junior Annika Herbine extended the Hawkeye lead 20 seconds into the second half with a goal assisted by fifth-year Sofie Stribos.


Freshman Rachel Herbine scored her first career goals. Herbine’s first career goal came 32:22 into the game off an assist from van Aalsum. She followed her first goal with another 46:16 into play assisted by junior Lieve Shalk and van Aalsum.


Van Aalsum closed out the scoring with back-to-back goals in the fourth quarter to extend her multi—goal streak to eight games scoring at 46:49 and 52:59. The Castricum, Netherlands, native was assisted by Annika Herbine and Gibson.



·       Three Hawkeyes — Gibson, Wesneski, and Rachel Herbine — recorded their first goals of the season.

·       Rachel Herbine recorded her first career goals and first multi-goal game.

·       Iowa’s defense has only allowed 43 shots (18 on goal) this season.

·       The Hawkeyes entered the weekend leading the country in shutouts per game (.67).

·       Sophomore Mia Magnotta has only allowed three goals in 479 minutes of action this season.

o   Magnotta has been in net for all six of Iowa’s shutouts.

·       van Aalsum has had multiple goals in every game this season and she leads the nation with 21 goals.



No. 1 Iowa travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan to open Big Ten play against No. 8 Michigan at 5 p.m. on Friday.