Remember when the Gopher Soccer team scored two goals in their first four games and we made the *bold* prediction that the offense would click and they’d likely score a goal a game or more the rest of the way? Well it turns out that was the undersell of the decade. In the 11 games since, Minnesota has scored 25 goals and now lead the Big Ten in scoring in conference play. Wait, what?! Yea. It’s true. So let’s drink this in and just take a moment to appreciate the breadth and depth of the Gophers attacking prowess — specifically their 12 goal craze over the last four games.
Honestly, I’m mostly just going to list the goals here (and not do much analysis) because I really want you to appreciate how many different ways this team is scoring and attacking. All last spring and during the first few games of this fall, corner kick engineering (very clearly operating an entire offensive possession with the sole goal of eventually kicking it off an opposing defender) was maybe the single most common kind of possession in the final third. It wasn’t a *majority* of what the Gophers were doing, but it was definitely maybe the most common of many different outcomes. And the problem was that, back then, they were almost never actually converting those corners -- at all.
Compare the offense I described above -- which, again, was essentially *this* team just 6 weeks ago -- to what you see below: an absolute cornucopia of offensive combinations and chances on goal. I have said many times that this year’s team has shown more game to game progression than maybe any Gopher team I’ve covered the last five years, and there is no better example than games 1-4 (2 goals, offense described in previous paragraph) and games 12-15 (12 goals, works of art in the final third).
Here’s what we’ll leave you with in terms of themes to take-away from this experience:
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