U’s four soccer seniors end home career on sour note

Aaron Kirscht

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but still the Evansville Aces managed to rain on the Gophers’ farewell party.
Minnesota fell to Evansville 2-1 in the last regular season home game for seniors Allison Johnson, Mikki Denney, Erin Hussey and Teresa O’Hearn.
The seniors were recognized before the game for their contributions to the Gophers soccer program. Denney transferred to Minnesota in 1994, but Johnson, Hussey and O’Hearn are the first class to play four years at Minnesota.
That made the loss particularly difficult to swallow, Denney said.
“Today meant a lot to our seniors,” she said. “We really wanted to win this game.”
McElmury keeps rolling
Gophers junior Jennifer McElmury’s first-half goal against Evansville was her 12th of the season. That puts her one behind Northwestern’s Stephanie Erickson for the Big Ten lead.
Erickson overtook McElmury last weekend after scoring four times in games against Valparaiso and Creighton.
The Gophers will face Erickson and the Wildcats in the first game of the Big Ten tournament Friday.
Touset, Wyffels injured
Gophers defensive starters Vanessa Touset and Jamie Wyffels saw limited action against Evansville.
Touset suffered a bruised kidney and Wyffels is recovering from a hip injury. Both are expected to play this weekend in the Big Ten tournament.
Here a yellow, there a yellow
Although Big Ten rules prohibit coaches from commenting on officiating, Coach Sue Montagne made her disdain for Sunday’s referee clear.
Montagne prefaced her postgame comments with a warning: “No comment on any refereeing or linesmen or anything,” she said.
Five yellow cards — a season high for the Gophers — were issued in Sunday’s game, including one to Montagne for disputing a call. Minnesota’s Mikki Denney and Megan Johnson were also tagged, along with Evansville’s Stephanie Hartong and Betsy Fryman.
Gophers hometown hero
Gophers senior Teresa O’Hearn was recognized in a halftime ceremony. WCCO Radio sponsored the promotion, which celebrates the accomplishments of female athletes.
With O’Hearn’s family and friends in attendance, women’s athletics director Chris Voelz presented O’Hearn with a plaque commemorating Sunday as “Teresa O’Hearn” day in O’Hearn’s hometown of Champlin, Minn.
Before sharing time with newcomer Dana Larson this season, O’Hearn had started nearly every Gophers game in goal over the last three years. In 11 games this season, O’Hearn has a goals-against average of 1.02 per game.
Fans keep flocking
Minnesota finished the regular season third in total attendance (5,074) and second in average attendance (564) in the Great Lakes region, which consists of 30 Midwestern schools.
Minnesota was also among the nation’s leaders in attendance last season.