Gophers lose final regular season game

Sophomore goalie Tarah Hobbs made nine saves in the overtime loss.

Ben Gotz

Tarah Hobbs stood firm in the Gophers’ last match of the regular season, but her team’s attack wasn’t able to provide any support.

Minnesota (10-8-1, 7-5-1 Big Ten) fell to Northwestern 1-0 in double overtime on Saturday.

“This is obviously a really, really disappointing result for us and a tough way to close out the regular season,” head coach Stefanie Golan said in an audio statement for GopherSports.com. “We really, really struggled to find the game. We were not as clean as we typically are technically.”

Hobbs recorded nine saves in the match, and she faced plenty of pressure during the game, as the Wildcats outshot the Gophers 20 to three. None of the Gophers’ three shots were on goal.

Hobbs didn’t let the ball into the net for well over 100 minutes of play, though, as the teams went through regulation and one overtime period scoreless.

The tie was broken in the 107th minute of the game, as Northwestern freshman forward Michelle Manning scored to give her team the victory.

Both teams had plenty to play for. The victory vaulted Northwestern into the Big Ten tournament, while the Gophers’ loss moves them down from their place in the standings last week.

“Northwestern was playing desperate,” Golan said in the statement. “They knew that a result could put them into the tournament, and they played for it, and they played hard.”

The Gophers came into the weekend in a three-way tie for third place in the Big Ten, but they now fall to the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament.

With their regular season concluded, the Gophers will have a short week to prepare for their first game of the Big Ten tournament against Michigan on Wednesday.

The two teams played once this season, and the Gophers lost 2-1 in overtime on the road.

The Gophers will likely need a strong showing in the conference tournament to solidify a potential NCAA tournament bid.

“Regardless if it’s a win or a loss, we turn the page the next day,” Golan said in the statement. “There could be a lot of soccer left to play. And that’s what we’re planning.”