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Squires Scores Four as Gophers Stay Undefeated

by on 28 August 2017

As several Gopher grads continue to make a name for themselves overseas, the current squad has stepped up – and they’re playing with some serious swagger. Just four games into the 2017 season, eight different players have either scored or assisted on a goal.

Granted, it’s early and it’s still in non-conference play, but Minnesota is outshooting its opponents (68 to 34), outscoring them (10 to 2), and remains undefeated even after playing three of its first four games on the road. Not surprisingly, head coach Stefanie Golan likes how her team has responded to some early challenges so far.

 

Minnesota 1, Notre Dame 1

August 25, 2017 – Iowa City, Iowa

In just her second year, Nikki Albrecht is becoming a downright star for the Gophers. After earning All-Freshman Big Ten honors for her stout defense and ability to play heavy minutes, Albrecht has returned with even more confidence on the ball and willingness to make dangerous runs from the back line. Against top-ranked Notre Dame, that meant bringing the Gophers back from a 1-0 deficit and earning a crucial draw on the road. But this marked the Gophers’ second double overtime game in just three matches. A more balanced attack should help lessen the blow of those heavy minutes, but Minnesota’s strength and conditioning will be tested if matches continue to stretch past 90 minutes.

Minnesota 6, Iowa State 1

August 27, 2017  Iowa City, Iowa

Minnesota rebounded from its second draw of the season the same way it responded to their first, by absolutely crushing its next opponent. This time, the Gophers did it without starting goalkeeper Kailee Sharp, who injured her finger during warmups. Freshman Maddie Nielsen stepped in for her first start with only a moment’s notice and Sydney Squires basically handled the rest. Squires scored four goals and helped out with an assist on another as Minnesota topped Iowa State 6-1. With such a lopsided score line, there’s not much to do but admire the goals for yourself.

Time to come home

After tough road tests due to both travel (Washington State) and quality of play (Notre Dame), the Gophers return with a chance for an extended showcase in front of their home fans. Their next three matches, and five of their next six, are at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul. If you’re even remotely curious to see what Minnesota can do on the field, this is likely the time to jump on the bandwagon. Last year’s team won both the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships. This year’s squad has even greater depth, balance, and confidence across the board.

Next Up

7 p.m., Sept. 1          UC Santa Barbara         Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium
1 p.m., Sept. 3          Providence                     Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium
7 p.m., Sept 8           Utah State                      Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium


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