occer struggles continue against weather, Michigan

Monica Wright

After their game Friday against Northwestern was cancelled due to the threat of lightning, a black cloud followed the Gophers north to Michigan where they dropped a 4-0 game to the Wolverines on Sunday.
Despite being outshot 30-20, coach Barbara Wickstrand said the game was an offensive improvement over last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Illinois.
“We did much better offensively and at times dominated the ball,” Wickstrand said. “But we got caught on Michigan’s counterattacks and had some miscommunication on the defense.
“As a team we need to play more physically and work on taking care of business when we have free kicks.”
Wickstrand’s offense relied heavily on the newest Gophers as she cleared the bench, using all but one player.
Freshman Kecia Lee led the underclassmen with six shots on goal while seniors Laurie Seidl and Erin Holland took four shots apiece. But lightning never did strike.
Seidl, who is fourth in all-time goals for Minnesota with 90 and first on the season with four, said the team lacked consistency.
“As a whole we played in spurts and had some break downs,” Seidl said. “We didn’t dominate the ball as much as we should have and we didn’t execute our shots.”
Minnesota’s defense also struggled to control the ball as goalie Julie Eibensteiner kept the Gophers in the game with ten saves.
Though all-Big Ten defender Juli Montgomery was out nursing a broken fibula, Wickstrand said she doesn’t believe Montgomery’s absence was the cause of the disjointed defense.
“Having Juli out is always a loss for the team,” Wickstrand said. “But Samantha Meyers does great with the ball on defense for us; it was just a matter of the defense not communicating.”

Monica Wright covers soccer and welcomes comments at [email protected]