Gophers set to host undefeated Creighton in weekend tournament

Sophomore midfielder/forward Molly Rouse controls the ball in a games last year. Rouse and the Gophers will have a chance to move to 5-0 with a pair of wins at home this weekend.

Ashley Goetz

Sophomore midfielder/forward Molly Rouse controls the ball in a games last year. Rouse and the Gophers will have a chance to move to 5-0 with a pair of wins at home this weekend.

Minnesota soccer (4-0-0) will be tested this weekend in the Regina Moench Memorial Tournament when it hosts the Ohio Bobcats (1-1-0) and the Creighton Bluejays(4-0-0) . The Gophers return home this weekend after a three-game road win streak for their first home games since Aug. 22. They play Ohio on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Creighton at 1:00 p.m. Sunday at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium . The team dominated play in each game, outshooting opponents 110-17 . MinnesotaâÄôs midfielders and defenders have been the reason for the dominance. They have prevented opponentsâÄô offenses from generating anything and have made senior goalkeeper Lindsey Dare the top goalie in the Big Ten with three shutouts and a 0.25 GAA . The defense has been doing their job well and has left Dare with little to do in net. But that is how she likes it, Dare said. On the offensive side of the ball, sophomore forward Molly Rouse and senior forward Lindsey Schwartz have led the team. Rouse and Schwartz are the top two shooters in the Big Ten with 20 shots and 18 shots, respectively . Rouse has also led the teamâÄôs scoring by tallying an assist in every game . Much of the teamâÄôs success can be attributed to their depth. âÄúWeâÄôre going to continue our system of rotation,âÄù head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. âÄúItâÄôs working and it keeps our players fresh.âÄù Minnesota will play Creighton, who comes to St. Paul with their best start since 1998 . Creighton is coming into the season a year removed from a NCAA tournament appearance . But the Bluejays lost a lot of their talent from a year ago and are largely inexperienced with 12 freshmen on the roster. Like Minnesota, Creighton has defeated both South Dakota State and North Dakota State. The Bluejays defeated SDSU 3-2 and NDSU 2-0 . The Gophers beat SDSU 2-0 and NDSU 3-0 . The Bluejays also bring a dangerous scorer to town in senior forward Marcy Gans . Gans was last weekâÄôs Missouri Valley Conference offensive player of the week after scoring two goals and recording one assist . So far this season she has scored in every game for the Bluejays, a total of three goals and two assists. âÄúMarcy is a very talented player,âÄù Denney Wright said. âÄúOur back line needs to be aware of her.âÄù Players and coaches, however, stressed CreightonâÄôs success will not dictate their style of play. âÄúBeing aware of where Gans is on the field is important,âÄù senior defenseman Krystle Kallman said . âÄúBut weâÄôre not going to let it affect our play.âÄù Before Minnesota can play Creighton they have to take on Ohio. The Gophers are 6-1-0 all-time against the Mid-American Conference. Their only loss came against Ohio in 2003 when the Bobcats beat them 3-1 . The Bobcats are coming off a split in the Georgetown Tournament in Washington, D.C., last weekend . Ohio has matched their opponentsâÄô scoring (three goals) despite being outshot 21-10. All of OhioâÄôs goals have come in the second half . Moench to be honored This weekendâÄôs tournament is in honor of the late Regina Moench who died unexpectedly Feb. 11. Moench played her senior season at Minnesota where she was the captain in 2004. She transferred from Creighton where she played from 2001-03.