Youth nets win and a tie in Texas

Emily Wickstrom

With six freshmen in the starting lineup for Minnesota’s soccer team, and three more getting significant minutes, coach Mikki Denney Wright said she has one of the youngest squads in the nation.

But Denney Wright saw reason for optimism in the Gophers’ 2-0 victory over Texas Tech on Sunday in Lubbock, Texas.

Both goals came from freshmen, and Minnesota was able to rebound after a disappointing 1-1 tie with Baylor on Friday night.

“Our kids were really stung (by Friday’s tie),” Denney Wright said. “But we came back and really battled against Texas Tech.

“With our young group this is the first time we ever played Friday (and) Sunday. I’m really proud of our progress so far, especially as far as mentality.”

After a scoreless first half in which the Raiders out-shot the Gophers 7-3, Minnesota got on the board in the 53rd minute.

Marti Klinsing freed the ball from Raiders’ goalie Beth Lippert after a scramble in front of the Texas Tech net, and Ashley Seeler was inside the 6-yard box to finish and gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead.

“It was a decent finish, but Marti got the ball out of the goalie’s hands,” Seeler said. “It was an easy drive to the corner (of the goal) because the goalie was off-balance.”

The Gophers’ second goal of the match came in the 66th minute, when Minnesota goalie Molly Schneider punted the ball long to freshman Jamie Cheever, who beat Lippert one-on-one to finish into an empty net.

Schneider recorded her second shutout of the season with six saves.

The Gophers have played all four of their regular season games on the road.

“One of the things I wanted to do in coming here is improve the schedule,” Denney Wright said. “This is going to prepare us for the Big Ten.”

Tie in Baylor

The Gophers’ 1-0 second half lead on Baylor held until the last 44 seconds, when Amanda McGrath scored to tie the game 1-1 on Friday night in Waco, Texas.

“It was incredibly frustrating – there’s no way we shouldn’t have put the game away,” Seeler said. “It’s just experience.”

Freshman Lindsey Schwartz scored her third goal of the season in the 47th minute off a corner kick from Clare Grimwood.

Schneider recorded three saves in the game.