Gophers fight to draw with Jayhawks

Ben Gotz

110 minutes wasn’t enough to decide a victor in the Gophers second game of the season.

The team battled the No. 23 Kansas Jayhawks to a scoreless tie Sunday afternoon at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, after opening their season Friday with a 3-0 victory over North Dakota State.

“I think this was a tough one for us because it was a great opportunity for us and we felt like we should have had our legs about us earlier in the game…but it was a huge step up in terms of caliber of opponent,” head coach Stefanie Golan said.

Golan said it took the Gophers about 20 minutes to settle into the game, as Kansas started out controlling possession. In the first half, Minnesota was outshot eight to three by the Jayhawks.

However, the team’s defense and goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs didn’t break, and the team found quality chances in the second half and two overtime periods.

“Down the stretch, I thought we created some really, really good looks and I was excited about that,” Golan said.

Kansas continued to find chances down the stretch as well, and the two teams ended up settling into a back-and-forth physical contest. The two teams combined for 24 fouls on the afternoon.

The two teams kept battling back and forth until the final whistle blew after two scoreless overtime periods, signaling the end of the Gophers opening weekend.

“We’re happy with our starting point,” Golan said. “This was a huge test for us and we didn’t back down and found a way to fight through.”