Undefeated Minnesota has no easy test at home this weekend

Despite being 8-0 and among just 12 collegiate soccer programs that remain unbeaten, the Minnesota soccer team is in no way overlooking its two games this weekend. Hosting Brown and Boston University on Friday at 7 p.m. and then Sunday at 1 p.m., respectively, is without question the most difficult test the Gophers will have seen up to this point. Head coach Mikki Denney Wright adamantly agreed. âÄúItâÄôs the toughest weekend by far and the biggest challenge for us up to now,âÄù she said. âÄúThis is going to put us to the test, but our players embrace that and they want that.âÄù And if they really want that challenge, theyâÄôre going to get it. Both of MinnesotaâÄôs opponents this weekend received votes in the NSCAA/Adidas national coaches poll this week and Brown and Boston University are ranked No. 3 and No. 2 in their regional polls, respectively. But Denney Wright is expecting her team to handle this weekend well. With her most experienced squad on the field in her four years with the Gophers, she said there isnâÄôt much that catches them off guard anymore. âÄúWe have a lot of seniors who have been through this so theyâÄôve been through a lot and itâÄôs hard to surprise those guys. Not a lot shocks them,âÄù she said. That experience seems to be paying off for Minnesota as well. During the eight-game winning streak, the longest in school history, the Gophers are outscoring opponents 20-2 as senior goaltender Lindsey Dare has been stellar in goal with just a 0.25 goals-against average. And with this weekend being the final preparation before the Big Ten seasons starts next weekend, Denney Wright said having the luxury of being able put an experienced and talented team out onto the field and trust in their capabilities is irreplaceable. âÄúItâÄôs really neat because you get to put so much faith and trust in your players. They know what the season holds and I do put a lot of trust in these seniors,âÄù she said. âÄúI told them today, weâÄôre in the middle of marathon and they donâÄôt hand out medals at the 10th mile just because you ran fast. You have to finish the race, and weâÄôve got a lot of miles to run.âÄù