Minnesota’s soccer team tasted victory for the first time in nearly one month Sunday, defeating Drake 2-1 in the team’s final home game of the season.
In just her third game this year, senior Gophers defender Ginny Jorde scored her first career goal on Senior Day in the 52nd minute.
Junior forward Rachael Roth added another score in the 70th minute to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead before Drake got on the board late in the game to conclude the scoring.
“A win is always fun,” said Minnesota head coach Barbara Wickstrand, who could smile for a change as the final horn sounded.
Smiles have been hard to find on the Gophers’ sideline in recent weeks.
Minnesota headed into action over the weekend in the midst of a six-game winless streak and hadn’t won a game since a 4-0 victory over Michigan on Sept. 29.
The streak continued Friday night at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium when Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 4-1 in the teams’ final conference game of the season.
With the loss, the Gophers finished the year at the bottom of the Big Ten standings with a 1-9 conference record, their worst mark in program history.
The Badgers (8-7-3, 4-4-2 Big Ten) set the tone early, scoring just 1:39 into the game on an outside shot from Katy Lindenmuth. Wisconsin added three more goals before halftime and cruised the final 45 minutes.
“They worked us in the first half,” senior midfielder Kyndra Hesse said of Friday’s game. “It wasn’t fun. I felt like we got hit by a bomb. It just happened so fast.”
Wickstrand said she was frustrated by her team’s inability to pressure the ball consistently, but knew they could play better if they believed in themselves.
“It’s totally a mental thing,” Wickstrand said. “There’s no way we can play with Penn State, beat Cincinnati, beat Michigan, and then turn around a give up so many shots against a team that’s not as competitive.”
The Gophers performed much better in Sunday’s game against Drake, however, out-shooting the Bulldogs 22-10 and controlling the ball for most of the match.
“We just wanted to go out there and have fun,” Roth said. “Soccer is supposed to be fun and we’ve forgotten that the past few games.”
Minnesota (7-10-1, 1-9) will travel to 19th-ranked Denver on Saturday for its final game of the season, but will miss the Big Ten tournament for the second straight year.