Gophers go unbeaten in first two Big Ten matches

Minnesota held its opponents to only one goal in its first conference games.

Gophers forward Sydney Squires finds space in the opponents box at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium while playing against Penn State on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.

Carter Jones

Gophers forward Sydney Squires finds space in the opponents box at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium while playing against Penn State on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.

Dominic Davis

The Gophers soccer team finished their weekend games with a win
and a draw in their first two matches in the Big Ten.

Associate head coach Krystle Seidel said getting points from both
games was huge.

“We played two really good opponents on a national scale,” Seidel
said. “[The results] are huge when they look at who they are going to put into
the NCAA tournament.”

No. 10 Minnesota (7-2-1) claimed their first win in the Big Ten
over No. 19 Ohio State (6-3-1) 3-0 at home on Sunday.

Senior midfielder Josee Stiever opened the scoring in the 4th
minute to give Minnesota an early lead. After a few passes, Stiever found
herself in a good position to score off a rebound.

“It was really a total team effort,” Stiever said. “It started
with Molly Fiedler in the center of the park. She played a really great chipped
ball over to [junior Kellie McGahn] on the left and Kellie served the ball in.
I found myself at the right place at the time.”

Ohio State goalkeeper Megan Geldernick made four saves in the
first half. The Gophers were testing Ohio State’s defense.

Minnesota was awarded a penalty in the 24th minute, but the Gophers
could not add to their lead.

“When we made a mistake, we got right back up and that’s one of
the reasons we got such a good result today,” Stiever said.

Minnesota went into halftime with a one-goal lead.

In the second half, Ohio State started to test Minnesota senior
goalie Tarah Hobbs.

Hobbs made five saves to help keep the clean sheet for the
Gophers.

“Our outside backs do a lot of running going forward to help our
attack, but they also get back, cover, and defend,” Hobbs said. “We frustrated
them a bit because they’re not used to our high pressure.”

It was a close game until the 71st minute, when Minnesota senior forward
Simone Kolander scored her ninth goal of the season off of an assist on a
through ball by junior Julianna Gernes.

Junior forward Sydney Squires added another goal in the 86th
minute, assisted by freshman defender Nikki Albrecht, to make the final score
3-0.

 “Every game poses its own
way to close it out. They came further out of their shape to try to put numbers
forward,” Seidel said. “When we could win it and connect with our forwards that
do really good at showing at the ball, we were able to hold it on their end and
get at them a little bit.”

On Friday, Minnesota played at home against No. 16 Penn State to
a 1-1 draw after reaching double overtime.

Penn State keeper Amanda Dennis kept Minnesota off the scoreboard
in the first half, recording four saves. She ended the night with six saves.

After a scoreless first half, junior Megan Schafer gave Penn
State the lead in the 59th minute.

That lead was short lived. Minnesota came back with a goal less
than two minutes later to even the game at 1-1.

April Bockin assisted Kolander from a corner kick.

Penn State attacked Hobbs’ goal in the second half. Hobbs made
four saves in the half and finished the game with five.