Simone Kolander scores in the final seconds in 3-0 win over Nebraska. Photo by Jeremy Olson - www.digitalgopher.com

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Gophers Drop to Wisconsin, Top Iowa and Nebraska

by on 11 October 2016

After a disappointing loss in overtime to Wisconsin on seniors night, the Gophers came back to sweep Iowa and Nebraska.

Minnesota falls to Wisconsin 0-1

The Gophers played the first of three matches in nine days on Saturday, October 1. A crowd of more than 1,500 fans cheered on the Gophers in the border battle against Wisconsin. Prior to kick off, the program’s six seniors — Rashida Beal, Mara Dougherty, Tarah Hobbs, Simone Kolander, Ashley Pafko and Josee Stiever — were recognized. Each of the women has played a key role in the Gophers’ success this season and will be graduating early in December.

Photo by Jeremy Olson - www.digitalgopher.com

Photo by Jeremy Olson – www.digitalgopher.com

The match following the ceremony honoring the seniors was a physical one, but both teams were left  scoreless after 90 minutes. In the 9th minute of extra time, Badger Dani Rhodes scored the golden goal to end the game. The winning shot was just the second on goal for the Badgers. The first, in the 5th minute was saved by Hobbs.

The loss was a disappointing conclusion to a week of accolades. The NSCAA rankings placed the team at eighth — the highest ranking the program has reached and the fifth-straight week in the top ten.  For the second week in a row, Hobbs was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week — the first soccer player to earn consecutive individual honors since 2014. And Stiever was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com team of the week.

Gophers shut out Hawkeyes 3-0

The Gophers hosted the Hawkeyes in a rare mid-week match on October 6. In front of a small, dedicated crowd, they dominated the match, which ended with play in heavy rain.

Though the first half of the game resulted in both teams heading to the locker room scoreless, the second half heated up, despite the adverse conditions.

Stiever was the the first to find the back of the net in the 60th minute, assisted by her co-captain and roommate, Kolander.

With 13 minutes left in the match, it was Stiever once again scoring, this time assisted by Molly Fiedler.

In the 89th minute, April Bockin connected with Simone Kolander who made the score 3-0, which became final less than two minutes later.

The Gophers dominated every aspect of the game, outshooting the Hawkeyes by almost four times as the women from Iowa.

Gophers top Cornhuskers 3-0

In a tremendous team effort, Kolander and Stiever maintained possession of the ball, warding off three Nebraska defenders eight yards away from the goal. Steiver passed to Kellie McGahn, who put the Gophers on the scoreboard in the 17th minute.

In the 23rd minute, Molly Fielder sent a ball over the Nebraska defense to find Julianna Gernes just outside the 6 yard box. Nebraska’s Aubrei Corder came out to challenge her, but she was too late. Gernes scored in her first start of the year, putting Minnesota up 2-0.

With just seconds left in the game, Sydney Squires took a shot from just outside the 18 and Corder punched it away. Kolander was there to pick it up and send it home for one last goal just before the horn, her 11th of the season.

This kind of team effort right to the death is typical of this Minnesota team, who create chances and keep the energy high from the first whistle to the last. The Gophers kept the Nebraska defense busy, tallying 14 shots, six on goal. Tarah Hobbs, by comparison, had little to worry about, with the Cornhuskers managing to put only one of the eight shots on target.

The 3-0 win over Nebraska on Sunday was the seventh time the Gophers have won with that scoreline this season and brings their overall record to 11-3-1 (5-1-1 in conference play). The shutout was also the 29th in Hobb’s college career and the current program record.

Up next

The Gophers take to the road for their next three matches. They’ll visit Michigan to face off against Michigan State on Thursday, October 13 and University of Michigan on Sunday, October 16. They’ll play Northwestern University on Saturday, October 22 before returning home to close out the regular season against University of Maryland on Wednesday, October 26.

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