Hawkeyes shrug off weather, NIU

By Todd McMahon

Neither wind nor cold could aid the NIU field hockey team in its quest to freeze the University of Iowa in Midwest Collegiate Field Hockey Conference action.

The fifth-ranked Hawkeyes shrugged off the adverse conditions at Huskie Stadium Sunday to post a 5-0 victory over the Huskies (5-10-1, 1-6-1) in the final home game for NIU and lone senior Pam Snavely.

Hawkeye senior Lisa Sweeney again dominated the Huskies for a second straight game. After notching five assists in Iowa’s 6-0 win Oct. 5, she recorded one goal and two assists Sunday.

The Hawkeyes (14-1-1, 8-0) had the advantage throughout the match. They fired 23 total shots on goal to the Huskies’ four, and they racked up a 14-4 advantage in penalty corners.

“They’re a very good team,” NIU head coach Laurie Bell said. “We knew going in that it would be tough, and their experience showed today. Their ball movement was better, and they’re a real nice team to watch.”

About all the Huskies could muster on the frozen turf was defense. Freshman goalkeeper Amy Boomershine came up with 13 saves, and junior defensive back Kristina Hahn made two defensive saves.

The defense kept the game close in the first half as the Hawkeyes led 2-0 at the break. Jibs Thorson scored on a penalty stroke to put Iowa on the board with 18:05 remaining. A questionable goal by Sweeney with 7:19 left made it 2-0 before the chilling conditions took over as Iowa scored three times in the second half.

“I believe the conditions were to our advantage,” Bell said. “But the cold and tiredness took over in the second half. Under normal conditions, the score would have been higher.”

NIU concludes its season this weekend at East Lansing, Mich. The Huskies do battle with the University of Michigan Saturday and face off with Michigan State University Sunday.