Minnesota gets two road victories

The Gophers are still undefeated in the Big Ten after four matches.

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, Daily File Photo

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 are still unbeaten in the Big Ten after two away matches over the weekend.

Minnesota defeated Indiana 3-0 Friday and closed out the road trip with a 2-0 victory over Purdue Sunday. The team is now on a three-game winning streak, all of which have been shutouts.

“We know every Big Ten team is going to be tough,” said senior midfielder Josee Stiever. “We have a target on our back.”

Freshman defender Nikki Albrecht scored first for No. 9 Minnesota (9-2-1, 3-0-1 Big Ten) in Friday’s game when she headed in a goal set up from a corner kick by Stiever in the 43rd minute.

The Gophers were up 1-0 heading into halftime. Sophomore forward April Bockin extended the lead early in the second half with an unassisted goal in the 65th minute.

Junior forward Sydney Squires added their final goal with an assist from junior midfielder Megan Koenig to leave Indiana (5-6-1, 2-2-0 Big Ten) with little chance to get back in the game.

Minnesota took 19 shots with eight on target against Indiana. Indiana put one of their five shots on goal.

The Gophers’ sharp offense has been vital to their success so far this year. The team has 28 goals through 12 matches.

“All of our forwards complement each other,” Bockin said.

Senior goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs also only needed to make one save in the game to keep the shutout for her team.

Minnesota and Purdue (3-7-0, 1-3-0 Big Ten) were knotted at zero heading into halftime during Saturday’s game and only took three shots.

“We struggled a little bit [to find scoring opportunities in the first half],” said associate head coach Krystle Seidel.

Stiever got Minnesota started in the second half and converted a chance off her own rebound to give the Gophers the lead. Junior forward and defender Julianna Gernes provided the assist.

The second half continued to be a different story as Minnesota showed its determination to score. The Gophers hit 10 shots on goal by the end of the match.

Bockin scored a second goal for Minnesota in the 76th minute off of an assist from senior forward Simone Kolander to seal the game for the Gophers.

“I found myself in great opportunities,” Bockin said.

Bockin scored two goals this weekend to bring her goal count to seven this season.

Minnesota’s defense proved to be strong yet again in the game. Hobbs only had one save, with the defenders in front of her playing a big role in keeping Purdue’s shot total down.

“Our center backs had pretty good games [this weekend],” Seidel said.

Minnesota’s defense proved to be especially strong in its victories this weekend and has been solid all season.

The Gophers are outscoring their opponents 28-8 so far and have had 208 shot attempts to the opponents’ 126.

“[The defense] is pretty organized,” Seidel said. “Collectively, they’re in a pretty good place.”