Good week gets better for Gophers women’s soccer

by Austin Cumblad

Two days after earning the second NCAA tournament bid of their careers, a pair of Minnesota seniors were named Second Team All-Big Ten honorees on Wednesday. Defensive midfielder Kylie Kallman and Katie Bethke, who has bounced between midfield and forward this season, earned their first- and third-career conference honors, respectively.

Kallman, an integral part of the Gophers’ defense that includes only three true half backs, didn’t miss a minute of the 2010 regular season. She took a fair share of Minnesota’s corner kicks and set pieces this season and had seven assists to show for it, second to only Bethke on the team. Though this is her first All-Big Ten honor, she’s earned numerous academic honors, most recently this season when she was named Academic All-District.

Bethke, meanwhile, adds to her already impressive collection of conference honors. Last year she was First Team All-Big Ten and in 2007 she was part of the All-Freshman Big Ten team. This season she is T-5th in the country with 13 assists and is sixth in the conference with 19 points (which is tops for the Gophers). Ever the playmaker, she also leaves Minnesota with her name near the top of two scoring lists. Bethke is second all-time with 32 assists and seventh all-time with 78 career points.

The Gophers play Missouri Valley Conference champion Creighton on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 6 p.m. at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Should they win, they’ll meet the winner of No. 4 seed Texas A&M and North Dakota State on Sunday at 1 p.m.