Dare and Turner dominant in goal

Paul Cordes

While most teams struggle to find one good goal keeper, the Minnesota soccer team is struggling to decide which one of its Big Ten-leading goal keepers to start.

Redshirt sophomore Lindsey Dare and freshman Chelsey Turner competed hard during the off-season for the starting position. The result has been the two splitting time in goal this year.

Coach Mikki Denney Wright said she is confident after watching the two in practice and games, she has two very talented goalkeepers.

“From what we’ve seen so far this year, we have two of the best goalkeepers in the Big Ten hands down,” said coach Mikki Denney Wright. “They’ve been performing well and when they perform well it helps our team.”

The coaches decided to have the two keepers split time after seeing how even the two were during off-season practice.

Assistant coach Kyle Singer works with the goalkeepers daily and said that this is the best plan right now for the team.

“It’s still a work in progress but I think that anytime you’re blessed with two goalkeepers, it’s tough to really make a decision,” he said. “It’s especially tough when they’re both so even and they both can win us games, so this option just made the most sense.”

The Gophers are the only team in the Big Ten to alternate their goalkeepers, but Minnesota is first in two of

the three goalkeeping categories. It’s tied for first with Purdue in goals allowed, with six, and leads the Big Ten with 79 saves on the year, the next closest being Iowa with 55. In the third category, shutouts, the Gophers are tied for second with five.

Junior defender Hailey McCarthy said she believes having the goalkeepers split time is working out well for Minnesota.

“I think it’s an advantage to have the two different people competing,” junior defender Hailey McCarthy said. “They bring a different level to the game and it doesn’t matter who’s back there, we can trust them to get it done.”

Individually, the two have been making names for themselves as well. Singer said that even though the two both have tremendous work ethics, they are very different.

“Lindsey is a relaxed person, she loves to have fun and enjoy herself,” he said. “Lindsey is extremely athletic and does things that I wish I could do.”

So far this year, Dare has six starts and has allowed four goals with a Big Ten-best 54 saves. She also tied Minnesota’s single-game saves record with 15 against Brown. Her .931 save percentage and 9.00 saves per game average are both tops in the conference.

Turner hasn’t taken a seat on the back burner though. Singer talked about what he called the “goal keeping pedigree” that Turner has.

“Chelsey is very driven and extremely competitive,” he said. “She’s just got that drive and those quick reactions that make her such a solid goalkeeper.”

Turner has four starts this year and has allowed two goals while making 25 saves. She is second in the Big Ten in goals against average, save percentage and saves per game.

It isn’t uncommon in sports to have teammates with even skills develop a rivalry in the quest for a starting position. However, both Dare and Turner said the relationship of the two is as strong as any other on the team.

“It’s been awesome working with a player of that caliber for the past couple of months,” Turner said. “I think we both raise each other’s level of play. We’re both intense and off the field we’re great friends.”

All and all, Dare said that at the end of the day, there is one thing more important than who’s playing in goal.

“Turner’s doing a great job in goal and I am happy for the opportunities that I get to play,” she said, “(Turner’s) helping us win games and when it comes down to it, that’s the most important thing – winning.”