Midway through the second overtime of Minnesota’s soccer game with Iowa State on Wednesday, neither team had scored a goal.
With just over eight minutes left in the Gophers’ last home game this season, time was running out for Minnesota (5-11, 3-7 Big Ten) to break a two-game scoreless streak and four-game home losing streak.
But this didn’t worry the Gophers, despite being blanked a record nine times and scoring just eight goals this year.
“We said, `No, it’s not going to end like that,'” said sweeper Samantha Meyers, one of five seniors who played their final home game Wednesday.
In the 111th minute, midfielder Keely Dinse passed to forward Rachael Roth at the top of the goal box. Roth blasted a one-timer past Iowa State goalkeeper Karen Hasselman, sending Minnesota players onto the field to celebrate their second overtime win of the season.
“It was awesome to end on a winning note,” said Roth, who leads the team with seven goals and two assists. “Scoring the goal, obviously it felt great. Our team came out and played hard and we were a totally different team than we have been this whole season.”
Indeed, the Gophers were dressed as a dominating team for Halloween. Minnesota controlled most of the play, outshooting the Cyclones
21-15 and firing 12 shots on goal.
“We definitely played better,” coach Barbara Wickstrand said. “We were determined and we never gave up, which was a huge thing, especially when you’ve only won four games. That showed a lot of character.”
The Gophers created many quality chances, but Iowa State (5-9-2, 3-6-1 Big 12) came close to pulling out a win several times. The Cyclones had seven corner kicks and 14 free kicks.
Senior goalkeeper Julie Eibensteiner made nine saves to record her fourth shutout of the season and 14th of her career.
“It was my last game on the field, so I couldn’t let them score,” she said. “Actually, I thought we were going to get a goal in the first half… I was a little surprised that it went as long as it did.”
Minnesota hopes to end its season on a positive note with Sunday’s game at North Carolina State (7-8, 0-6 ACC) where Wickstrand was an All-America goalkeeper in the 1980s.
“It’s going to be fun to go home and see some people,” Wickstrand said. “I think whoever steps on the field and wants it more is the team that’s going to win. We’re both going to work hard.”