Minnesota soccer records two weekend shutouts

Senior goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs set a new program shutout record.

Senior midfielder Josee Stiever rushes for the ball against Wisconsin on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul. Minnesota lost to Wisconsin in overtime 1-0 after both teams went scoreless through the game.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Senior midfielder Josee Stiever rushes for the ball against Wisconsin on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul. Minnesota lost to Wisconsin in overtime 1-0 after both teams went scoreless through the game.

Dominic Davis

Minnesota made the most of its weekend games with two 3-0 wins against Iowa and Nebraska.

Gophers senior midfielder Josee Stiever scored twice Thursday and senior forward Simone Kolander scored two on the weekend.

“[Our offense] is doing a really good job with their decision making and their patience,” said associate head coach Krystle Seidel. “We got some dangerous looks because we move the ball enough to find a really good look instead of taking the first available.”

Pouring rain became a factor in the second half of Thursday’s game, but the Gophers still found ways to score in an impressive offensive display in the second half.

Kolander set up Stiever for her first goal. Stiever dribbled through tight spaces to find herself space in the box in front of the goal.

Sophomore midfielder Molly Fiedler played a layoff pass to set up Stiever to bury a goal from inside the box in the 87th minute.

Shortly after, in the 89th minute, sophomore forward April Bockin sent Kolander toward goal with a through ball, which Kolander took advantage of to give No. 17 Minnesota (11-3-1, 5-1-1 Big Ten) the 3-0 win against Iowa (7-8-0, 1-6-0 Big Ten).

Stiever has now scored seven goals this season.

Senior goalie Tarah Hobbs took possession of the Minnesota soccer shutout record against Iowa. It was her 28th clean sheet as a member of the Gophers.

“[Breaking the record] was really surprising,” Hobbs said. “It’s a credit to the entire team and how hard we work. They make my job easy. Overall it was a really good feeling.”

Hobbs added to her record in Minnesota’s 3-0 shutout against Nebraska (9-5-1, 3-3-1 Big Ten) on Sunday.

Nebraska managed one shot on goal in the game, but Hobbs handled it without trouble. She took care of all the crosses Nebraska played across her goal.

Junior forward Kellie McGahn started the Gophers scoring with her first goal of the season.

“It felt really good,” McGahn said. “I feel like this whole year I’ve been pushing and pushing to try and get one. It’s almost like a relief that I finally got the first one, so hopefully more will be coming.”

Stiever dribbled along the goal line toward goal and crossed it to McGahn who found herself wide open in the box. She launched the ball into the top of the net.

Minnesota produced multiple good scoring opportunities throughout the match. They converted both chances they put on target in the first half.

Junior forward Julianna Gernes increased the Gophers lead seven minutes later off an assist from Fiedler to give Minnesota a two-goal lead in the 23rd minute. The Gophers went into halftime up 2-0.

“Depth in general is a huge strength for us,” Seidel said. “The players who fill in for starters make good contributions to the team.”

The Huskers found themselves defending for much of the match as the Gophers kept most of the possession throughout the game.

Kolander scored with two seconds left in the match to give Minnesota another 3-0 win this season.

“It’s huge [to get these two wins],” Seidel said. “To sweep any weekend in the Big Ten is a huge feat because anyone can beat anyone on a given day.”