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No. 7 Rutgers field hockey looks toward weekend home stand against Iowa, Indiana

The Rutgers field hockey team continues its Big Ten schedule against Iowa, the best team in the country, as well as Indiana. – Photo by Tom Gilbert

Following three victories against ranked opponents on the road, the No. 7 Rutgers field hockey team is settling in for two home matches.

Friday’s game against No. 1 Iowa is the last in a streak of seven ranked matchups that featured just one loss for the Scarlet Knights (8-1, 1-0). The matchup on Sunday against Indiana will wrap up the quick homestand.

No other Big Ten team has one loss, but two have yet to lose. The Hawkeyes (10-0, 2-0) are one of them.

Iowa is outscoring opponents 43-4 and has not given up a goal since late August in a game against North Carolina. In part, that is due to Grace McGuire. In 10 starts, McGuire has surrendered only 4 goals, all in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

She boasts a 0.40 goals against average. Her 24 saves put her at an 85.7% save percentage. McGuire is riding an eight-game shutout streak and has played every minute of the season.

Shoring up the defense is last week’s Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Anthe Nijziel. She has 1 goal, three helpers and 25 shots — good for second on the team.

More than a third of the Hawkeyes’ 43 goals came from Ellie Holley and Ciara Smith as the duo has a combined 15 goals. Additionally, Holley leads the team with seven assists. Maddy Murphy has 3 goals on 30 shots, the highest for Iowa, while Holley has 24 shots.

The last time the teams matched up was in the spring of 2021, and the Hawkeyes claimed a 1-0 win.

Two days after the matchup with Iowa gets underway, Rutgers will line up against the Hoosiers (6-4, 0-2). Indiana started the season on a three-game winning streak, including a win against No. 21 Miami of Ohio. Since early September, the Hoosiers haven’t been able to string together two victories.

Opponents outscore Indiana 18-15. Arabella Loveridge has been getting the majority of reps between the pipes. She has given up 14 goals and brought in 18 saves.

Kira Curland is atop the Hoosiers with 4 goals and 20 shots with 13 on goal. Sofia Arrebola Garcia and Yip van Wonderen have three assists apiece.

Last spring, the Knights blanked Indiana 3-0. Rutgers holds the overall record 8-2.

The Knights have two players with 4 goals, senior midfielder Milena Redlingshoefer and freshman midfielder/forward Lucy Bannatyne. Another two players have 3 goals, senior back Kerrie Burns and senior midfielder Gianna Mancini. Seven more players have found the back of the net, and nine have added assists. Freshman midfielder/forward Guillermina Causarano is a part of both categories.

Last week, Causarano was crowned Big Ten Freshman of the Week after scoring her first collegiate goal that turned into the game-winning goal against No. 20 Monmouth. Rutgers has had three recipients of the honor this year, including Bannatyne.

For updates on the Rutgers field hockey team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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