Gophers gain two victories

The team swept its two opponents for the third straight weekend in a row.

Gophers forward Simone Kolander fights for the ball against Purdue at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Friday, September 25.

Alex Tuthill-Preus

Gophers forward Simone Kolander fights for the ball against Purdue at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Friday, September 25.

by Kaitlin Merkel

The Gophers soccer team swept their third straight weekend after beating Purdue University Friday and Indiana University on Sunday at home.
The two victories pushed the Gophers winning streak to six games.
“Anytime you can pull off a sweep on a weekend, it’s a good weekend,” Minnesota head coach Stefanie Golan said. “This was a total team effort, and we are undefeated in the Big Ten, which is a good place to be.”
No. 18 Minnesota (9-1-2, 4-0-0 Big Ten) beat Purdue 3-1 Friday, outshooting the Boilermakers 17 to 11.
Junior forward Simone Kolander found the net in the sixth minute to put her team up early after an assist from junior midfielder Josee Stiever and sophomore defender and forward Maddie Gaffney.
Kolander, last week’s Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, recorded three shots in the game, two on goal.
Minnesota extended its lead in the 21st minute on a goal by Gaffney assisted by freshman midfielder Molly Fiedler and entered halftime up 2-0.
Purdue scored its lone goal of the game in the 70th minute when senior defender and forward Makaela Nellams found the net unassisted.
But the final goal of the game came from Gophers sophomore forward Sydney Squires on an assist by freshman forward April Bockin in the 79th minute to secure a 3-1 victory.
“Our whole attack is just getting a lot better … towards the beginning of the season we were having trouble finishing,” Kolander said. “Something just clicked with our offense, and we’ve been moving the ball really well and creating a lot of opportunities.”
Golan said she was proud of her team’s ability to overcome Purdue’s physical style of play.
“Their front four are super athletic, and they put you under a ton of pressure,” Golan said. “[There was] a lot of physical contact the entire game, which takes a lot out of a team.”
Minnesota continued its strong play Sunday, beating Indiana 3-1.
Again, the Gophers went up early when Bockin fired a shot across the box in the 15th minute for her second goal of the season.
“It’s been a great weekend,” Bockin said. “We’ve all been getting really good opportunities in the game, and it’s nice to see different people scoring.”
The Hoosiers quickly answered in the 17th minute on the equalizer by freshman forward Hanna Johnson.
Co-captain Kolander responded with her seventh goal of the season in the 24th minute on Gaffney’s second assist of the weekend to put Minnesota back ahead at 2-1 entering halftime. 
Kolander’s goal Sunday marked the fifth straight game in which she has scored a goal.
The Gophers struck again to go up 3-1 in the 62nd minute when Stiever found the net on an assist by Fiedler for her second goal of the season.
The goal gave Minnesota a cushion, and the team hung on for its sixth straight victory and third straight sweep, thanks to an impressive offensive output.