Gophers tie Michigan as Big Ten soccer play continues

Despite 48 shots in the last two games, only one has found the back of the net for the Gophers.

by Julianna Landis

 As the temperature dipped into the 40s in St. Paul, the Gophers soccer team got off to a hot start against the Michigan State Spartans. After beating Ohio State on Sunday Sept. 29, Minnesota continued the same offensive pressure they had been able to put on the Buckeyes, getting nine shots in the first half, with three of those on goal. In that same time, the Spartans only managed two shots, neither of which were counted as on goal. However, the pressure couldn’t be converted into a goal, as the Gophers tied the Spartans 0-0. 

Despite not grabbing another win, the team has been happy with a schematic shift it has made, moving to a 4-4-2 system. 

“We continue to put teams under pressure, we continue to turn teams over, we continue to be dangerous, we continue to fire [shots on goal],” said head coach Stefanie Golan. “We’re happy with it, we just need to find the back of the net.” 

Minnesota’s young core stood out in the first half, with sophomore Patricia Ward and freshmen Katie Duong and Manthy Brady all recording multiple shots. 

Returning in the second half, the game remained scoreless for both sides, despite another barrage of shots from Minnesota. They had standout opportunities, but Spartans goalie Lauren Kozal “stood on her head,” Golan said, preventing chances that likely would have gone Minnesota’s way any other night. 

Unable to secure a deciding goal on either side, the game headed into first and then second overtime. Despite the outcome, there were several positive takeaways from the game. Minnesota held the Spartans to three shots on goal, while making the Gophers had nine. The increase in shots has started to be a pattern for Minnesota. In the past two games alone, the team has generated 48 shots. 

“Even through the hard times this team has had a really positive attitude, bringing the fight every single game,” Duong said. “I think we just need to continue to do that … building that momentum, we just need to keep going.” 

The Gophers will travel to Bloomington to play Indiana on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m.