Minnesota falls out of first place

A loss and tie over the weekend moved the Gophers out of first in the Big Ten.

Junior Midfielder Josee Stiever dribbles the ball at the Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Sunday where the Gophers tied the University of Michigan 0-0 in overtime.

Image by Melissa Scharf

Junior Midfielder Josee Stiever dribbles the ball at the Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Sunday where the Gophers tied the University of Michigan 0-0 in overtime.

by Kaitlin Merkel

The Gophers soccer team lost and tied during its weekend series at home, losing 1-0 to Michigan State University Thursday and tying 0-0 against the University of Michigan on Sunday after two overtimes.
No. 11 Minnesota’s offensive attack, which had outscored opponents 30-7 entering the weekend, failed to score in either game.
Michigan State scored the only goal of the game Thursday in the 10th minute when sophomore forward Jamie Cheslik found the net for her second goal of the season.
Senior defender Haley Helverson said the Gophers defense needed to refocus after the loss.
“We’ve had a few lapse in judgments,” Helverson said. “For them to capitalize [with] goals is not acceptable, so we need to come together as a group and figure stuff out.” 
The Gophers (11-3-3, 6-2-1 Big Ten) outshot opponents 197-130 prior to the weekend.  But the Spartans outshot the team 6-2 by the first half.
Minnesota head coach Stefanie Golan said she told her team at halftime she wanted to see more intensity and more aggressive shots.
“We talked about the areas we needed to exploit and how we were going to be able to do that,” Golan said. “You saw us do it in the second half. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t claw our way back in because we played well enough to win that game.”
Minnesota came out in the second half taking every opportunity to shoot, recording 12 shots to the Spartans’ three, but couldn’t find the net for the equalizer.
Junior forward Simone Kolander led the Gophers with six shots, three of them on goal. Junior midfielder Josee Stiever had four shots in the game, one on goal.
“If we played the full game the way we played the second half, there’s no question that we come out on top of this game. In the second half, we played well enough to win a national championship,” Golan said. “One lapse led to their goal.”
Minnesota failed to find the net again and tied with Michigan 0-0 Sunday.
After the second half, the match remained scoreless, and the Wolverines outshot the Gophers 9-5.
Kolander said Michigan interrupted the Gophers’ speed of play on offense.
“It was really tough to get into the swing of things today,” Kolander said. 
“Michigan really wanted to slow the game down … and we love the speed of play to be fast, so that was really tough for us to ever kind of get into a rhythm.”
Michigan recorded one shot in each overtime while preventing the Gophers from getting shots. The Gophers finished with just five shots in the game to the Wolverines’ 11, with the ball getting played out of the air frequently.
“I thought we had better-quality opportunities. They may have had more shots, but their shots were from a distance,” Golan said. “It was just an ugly game, and if the ball was on the field more, that would’ve helped.”
In an aggressive game that featured 15 fouls on the Wolverines and 12 on the Gophers, Michigan was issued three yellow cards, while Minnesota was issued one. 
Kolander said the competitiveness came from the two teams’ closeness in the conference standings.
“It’s another Big Ten game; we’re all really competitive, and they’re right up there with us in the top of the standings,” Kolander said. “So they know a win against us is a big deal, and even a tie like they got today. There’s a lot that goes into it besides just playing the game.”