Scorer stopped, but not Penn St.

Emily Wickstrom

Minnesota’s soccer team may not have upset No. 1 Penn State, but it stopped Tiffany Weimer.

While Penn State ran its win streak to 18 games, Weimer’s NCAA-record streak of 17 straight games scored in was halted by a stout Gophers defense Friday night at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul.

“Our defense is unbelievable,” Gophers coach Mikki Denney Wright said. “It’s got to be one of the stingiest defenses in the nation.”

Minnesota (9-7-2, 6-4-0 Big Ten) put up a fight, but eventually fell 1-0 in double overtime to the undefeated Nittany Lions.

“They wanted it so badly, and they played well enough to get an opportunity to win the game,” Denney Wright said. “I think it’s one of the best efforts Minnesota soccer’s probably ever given.”

Penn State’s Ali Krieger scored on a header off Allie Long’s corner kick with 4:02 remaining in the game’s second overtime.

It was the second time this season Minnesota has lost a home game 1-0 in double overtime. The first time was Oct. 16 against Ohio State.

The Gophers held Weimer, who averages 1.41 goals per game, to just one shot on goal in the first half, which came on a free kick.

The All-American did get her chances – kicking two shots in front of the goal wide of the net – but Minnesota’s defenders played just well enough to stop her.

“My whole plan, because (Weimer’s) smaller than I am and very skillful, was to just play brutally hard on her,” sophomore defender Hailey McCarthy said. “Because that gets her out of her game, and it worked today, I think. She didn’t score.”

Said Denney Wright: “It’s hard to think about now, but the accomplishment was awesome (to stop Weimer’s streak).”

Penn State out shot the Gophers 22-10, while Minnesota goalkeeper Molly Schneider tied her season high with 11 saves.

The Gophers’ best scoring opportunity came mere minutes into the second half. On a free kick, freshman midfielder Kelsey Hood arched the ball to McCarthy, who headed it over the goalpost.

Freshman forward Lindsey Schwartz also had chances, but shot wide of the goal in each of her three shot attempts.

Despite falling short of a victory, Minnesota players said they were encouraged that they could match up and play with Penn State.

“It’s exciting to know we can hang with them and not only hang with them but have our chances on net as well,” freshman midfielder Claire Grimwood said. “It provides hope for the Big Ten tournament and hopefully thereafter.”

The Gophers said they’re already looking forward to the prospect of a rematch with the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten tournament next weekend.

“We’re going to score on them – we’re going to play them again,” McCarthy said. “When we get a chance, we’re going to beat them.”