The Iowa Hawkeyes rise to the top of the field hockey poll
The GIST: One month into fockey season and the Iowa Hawkeyes, the new Midwestern superpower, have risen to top the poll — and just about every other stat line, too.
- Even more intriguing? Their star player is a true freshman (meaning she’s never redshirted). Step aside, Erin Matson — there’s a new GOAT in the making.
How they did it: Though always contenders, the Hawkeyes have lacked the extra oomph needed to dominate the cutthroat Big Ten lately (see: 2022’s mediocre conference record). But when then–No. 7 Iowa clocked massive wins over then–No. 12 Wake Forest and then–No. 1 UNC to open this season, they leapt to the top rank and haven’t blinked since.
- One of only two remaining undefeated Division I (DI) teams, the Hawkeyes have only allowed an astonishing three goals over eight games, and have outscored their last three opponents 18–1. Mind-boggling.
Their not-so-secret weapon: In addition to returning seven starters, the real game-changer has been midfielder Dionne van Aalsum. The Dutch freshman has taken the NCAA by storm, racking up multiple goals in every game to reach a nation-leading total of 21. With awards rolling in left and right, the 18-year-old is giving prodigy.
What’s next: Iowa opens conference play with a visit to a flailing No. 14 Michigan squad tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Is this finally the Hawkeyes’ year to top the Big Ten?