Looking to reverse fortunes, Gophers head to Illinois

After a weekend of losses, the Gophers will head east to take on Illinois State and DePaul.

Drew Claussen


After a disappointing weekend at the Minnesota Gold Classic, the Gopher womenâÄôs soccer team will look to get back on track when they head east to take on Illinois State and DePaul.

Minnesota (2-4) will face the Redbirds (3-2) Friday and take on the Blue Demons (0-5) on Sunday.

The Gophers are coming off a weekend where they vastly outshot their opponents but struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, resulting in losses to Georgia and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. With that many chances, it was not surprising what the team focused on in practice.

âÄúObviously we focused on our finishing,âÄù said head coach Mikki Denney Wright. âÄúWe created 46 shots over the weekend with both teams and just finished one goal.âÄù

DePaul and Illinois State faced off Sunday in Chicago with the Redbirds prevailing in overtime 4-3. Freshman Rachel Tejada provided the majority of the offense for the Redbirds, scoring a hat trick.

DePaul has had a tough go this season, losing all five of their contests and only scoring four goals.

âÄúTheyâÄôre both really good teams and both had really good seasons last year,âÄù Denney Wright said. âÄúWe just have to continue to get better with what we do well and thatâÄôs our main focus for the weekend.âÄù

This weekendâÄôs contests will be the GophersâÄô last nonconference games before starting Big Ten play. Denney Wright hopes to use the last nonconference game to try to get the teamâÄôs seven freshmen ready for conference play.

âÄúAt this point we have one freshman in our starting lineup. I would have thought weâÄôd have more, to be honest with the quality of group we have,âÄù she said. âÄúWeâÄôre hoping that the freshmen development will go a bit better in the next few weeks, we were hoping for a bit more from our freshmen.âÄù

The gophers will try to snap their two-game losing streak with a full team, as nobody is currently nursing any injuries.