Gophers split first two games

Minnesota won its first game before losing to the No. 2 team in the country.

Ben Gotz

After opening up their nonconference schedule with an offensive explosion Friday, the Gophers lost to one of the top teams in the country Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota opened its season with a win, defeating Stetson 10-0, but lost to No. 2 Florida State 4-1 in its second match.

It was a tale of two games for the Gophers, who dominated possession against Stetson but saw the tables slightly turned when they played the Seminoles.

Friday night, the Gophers had 19 shots to Stetson’s four, and sophomore goaltender Tarah Hobbs only had to make two saves in a shutout victory.

“Teamwork was definitely the key to our success against Stetson,” sophomore Simone Kolander said. “We were able to possess the ball and create opportunities resulting in a lot of goals from a lot of different people, which was exciting.”

In the Gophers’ second game, Florida State outshot them 21-8. Hobbs made 10 saves to try to keep her team in the game, but ultimately the attack of Florida State prevailed.

“It was tough to deal with their pressure. They were very technical and always looking to be creative in the attack so it was difficult for me to organize.” Hobbs said. “But it was fun at the same time seeing how organized we can be against some of the best players in the country.”

Kolander was an offensive standout for Minnesota over the weekend, with six points in the two games. After scoring two goals her entire freshmen year, Kolander managed to match that total in just the first game against Stetson.

“I thought Simone stepped up this weekend,” head coach Stefanie Golan said. “She showed confidence and poise against the No. 2 team in the country and allowed us to create some opportunities.”

Kolander also recorded an assist against Florida State, on the Gophers’ lone goal of the game from sophomore Ashley Pafko.

The Seminoles scored the first goal of the match 31 minutes in, but Pafko scored right before the half to tie the game.

The Seminoles scored again early in the second half to give the team a 2-1 lead, but shortly after, play was suspended due to a severe weather threat. The game was paused for over 45 minutes before resuming play.

“Obviously the 45-minute delay wasn’t ideal but there was nothing we could do about it,” Kolander said. “We just had to stay mentally focused and engaged while we waited.”

The Gophers attack put some pressure on Florida State coming out of the delay, but Florida State held and later responded with their third goal at the 67-minute mark. Florida State added one more goal off of a corner kick at the 74-minute mark.

The Gophers will next take the field for their home opener Friday, Aug. 29 against No. 15 Marquette.

“Overall the weekend was very exciting, even though we had a tough loss,” Hobbs said. “But this loss made us more hungry and excited for the teams we face next.”