The Gophers came home after two opening wins on the road to split their opening weekend. In their comeback win against Ole Miss, the Gophers looked dangerous right from the kickoff. Despite a simple goalkeeping gaff that put them behind 0-1 early on, it was one of the best start to finish performances we’ve seen over the past few seasons. Then, against the goons from Washington State (I’m sorry, but their play bordered on unsportsmanlike at best), the Gophers failed to adjust to a brutally physical game and fell 0-2.
Now, the team has a short turnaround to a Thursday night matchup against DePaul. We sat down with Assistant Coach Molly Rouse and Captain Emily Peterson to talk about moving past a rough game and working so many new players into the rotation. They both had fantastic insights. Be sure to give it a watch!
Minnesota 2, Ole Miss 1
Friday, August 24 (Full live tweet thread)
As soon as things kicked off on Friday night, Minnesota looked dangerous. April Bockin was dialed in, the entire front six had great chemistry and movement, and the Gophers seemed destined to put in a dominant performance. After an unfortunate slip up by keeper Maddie Nielsen, the Gophers kept their composure and kept the pressure up.
Eventually, Celina Nummerdor put the Gophers level early in the second half with a nice clean up goal in the Ole Miss box.
Then, after the game was stretched into extra time, the Gophers kept things going. Typically, the break at full time can lead to some weird and uneven play at the start of extra time. But Minnesota looked really sharp. And Megan Gray kept her positioning as April Bockin danced through the Ole Miss defense, eventually smashing the winner into the upper net.
Minnesota 0, Washington State 2
Sunday, August 26 (Full live tweet thread)
I’m not going to lie. This game was pretty gross. But give Washington State some credit. They were fast. They were strong. And they played super physical. The Gophers actually combined ok throughout the match. But having so many new players in starting and rotation roles meant many of the Gophers were experiencing a brutal, physical game for the first time.
So the only real takeaway for Minnesota is to use this game as a learning experience. As former Gopher stars Kellie McGahn and Julianna Gernes said during our halftime show, this won’t be the last game where an opponent tests the refs and it won’t be the last game where the refs refuse to keep a game under control.
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Chad Flynn & Mary Lahammer
Salvo Soccer Club