Soccer loses, ties weekend games in and out of the Big Ten

The Gophers lost 6-0 to Colorado on Friday before tying Iowa 2-2 on Sunday afternoon.

Adam Fink

Ten seconds remained in the double overtime of Minnesota’s soccer game against Iowa on Sunday afternoon. The Hawkeyes lined up for a penalty kick just outside Minnesota’s 18-yard goaltending box.

Iowa’s Julie Hickman passed to teammate Avery Bang, stationed to the right of the goal.

A goal crushes Minnesota’s chances of earning a spot in the Big Ten conference tournament. A tie keeps the Gophers’ diminishing hopes alive.

Minnesota goaltender Marni Prall, making her first start of the season, collided with Bang and latched onto the ball as time expired, preserving the tie.

In addition to Sunday’s 2-2 game at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, the Gophers lost to Colorado 6-0 on Friday night.

“I am disappointed, no question,” Gophers coach Barbara Wickstrand said Sunday. “We again had a mental mistake cost us.”

Momentum shifted on the mistake early in the second half.

Minnesota started the contest with controlling possessions, making passes and playing with energy. The Gophers jumped on the scoreboard at the 17:50 mark when Becky Dellaria notched her fourth goal of the season.

It appeared the Gophers were in control against the last-place Hawkeyes.

But only three minutes into the second half, Nicki Burnie received a yellow card in the Gophers’ goaltending box, setting up an Iowa free kick. Burnie was called for delay of game and encroachment following a foul.

Despite all the Gophers standing in front of the goal, the Hawkeyes’ Katelyn Quinn tied the game from 10 yards out at the 48:58 mark.

“Mental mistakes are how we always get scored on,” said Burnie, who also made five one-on-one defensive steals. “It happens in the heat of the moment, and as much as you wish, you can’t take them back.”

Iowa took the lead 13 minutes later on a two-on-one break.

For the next 20 minutes, the game was back and forth with Minnesota unable to tie the game and appearing disheartened.

But with nine minutes to go, Laura Hoppe took a pass to the left side of the Hawkeyes’ goal.

With a defender right in her face, Hoppe spun around, took three steps to her left and fired in a shot to tie the game.

“We tied because of Hoppe’s heart,” Wickstrand said.

Prall, who had not allowed a goal in her four previous relief duties this season for starter Karli Kopietz, played well and finished with three saves.

In addition, the team fed off of the return of sophomore Kaitlin Neary, who was injured four weeks ago when she was involved in an accident with a truck while riding her bicycle.

Neary was cleared Saturday to play, one day after the Gophers suffered their worst defeat of the season.

In its first nonconference game since starting the Big Ten schedule, Minnesota was scored on early and often by No. 12 Colorado.

The first of six goals for the Buffaloes came only 4:07 into the contest on a header by Kathryn Grandinetti. The sophomore scored again at the 33:46 mark to give Colorado a 2-0 lead at halftime.

“We weren’t organized,” Wickstrand said. “No one took charge for us. We gave them too many chances.”

Colorado scored four goals in the second half, two coming before five minutes had elapsed in the second stanza.

After Colorado scored its final at the 62:13 mark from Orly Ripmaster, the Gophers pulled Kopietz.

It was Colorado’s most dominating statistical performance of the season. The Buffaloes tied or bested eight team and individual school records in the rout.

The Gophers travel to State College, Pa., for a matchup with Penn State on Friday night. With only three Big Ten games remaining (two on the road), Minnesota can’t afford any more losses or ties if it wants to make the conference tournament.

Accordingly, the theme for practice this week will be gaining a sense of urgency.

“We aren’t done,” Burnie said. “We are still in this thing.”