Scoring Seidl sparks revamped soccer offense

by Monica Wright

Minnesota’s soccer team starts every pre-game warm-up wearing shirts reading “do or do not, there is no try.”
Senior Laurie Seidl takes the message to heart.
Through one strong homestand and a weak road trip, the Gophers forward has carried the offensive load: Three of Minnesota’s four goals this have come off Seidl’s foot.
With the total Gophers goal tally decidedly low after five games, Seidl remians upbeat concerning her final year and the tough Big Ten schedule ahead.
“It’s my last year and there are a lot of emotions; I want to go out playing hard and having fun,” Seidl said. “Right now, starting our conference games, we need to step up our level of play and try to be the leader of the pack in the conference.”
A three-time all-Big Ten selection, Seidl is chasing down former Gopher and All-American Jenniver McElmury’s four consecutive picks.
Seidl also just moved into fourth place on Minnesota’s all-time scoring list with 86 career points.
Some would say it should be 87.
Seidl scored what would have been a game-tying goal against Montana last Friday. But a linesman disagreed, and her exchange with the referee over the call earned a red card.
Seidl was ejected from the game and ineligible for Sunday’s game against Detroit-Mercy.
“It was such an intense moment in the game, and when they take back a goal when you’re behind in such a competitive game is hard,” fellow senior Erin Holland said. “She deserved that goal, and to have it taken back was frustrating.
“But Laurie was mature enough to understand right afterward the ramifications of what she had done, and she doesn’t need to be reminded of her mistakes. It’s part of the past now and she’ll bounce back.”
The red card issued caused Seidl to miss the first match of her collegiate career after playing 70 consecutive games, starting 69 of them.
Seidl, who refuses to discuss the penalty, did say it hasn’t hurt her drive toward tomorrow’s conference opener.
“It doesn’t affect it at all,” Seidl said. “It was the ref’s decision.”
Like Seidl, coach Barbara Wickstrand isn’t concerned with last weekend. Instead, she hopes to harness Siedl’s work ethic to promote a more comprehensive offensive attack this weekend.
Though Minnesota takes twice as many shots on goal as their opponents, none are making the foot to goal connection like Seidl.
And in order for Minnesota to earn a top post-season tournament spot, Wickstrand is hoping her players take a cue from Seidl.
“Last weekend at the beginning both teams were flat,” Wickstrand said. “We should be able to beat teams without Laurie in front, but it didn’t happen. She puts 110 percent into every single game, and she draws others in to do the same.”

Monica Wright covers soccer and welcomes comments at [email protected].