Golan earns first win as Gophers deliver in OT

Minnesota split its opening weekend against two ranked opponents.

Charlie Armitz

It’s only been one weekend, but the Gophers soccer team is already getting its money’s worth from newly hired head coach Stefanie Golan.

Freshman Haley Helverson scored the game-winner in overtime Sunday as Golan earned her first win at Minnesota, a 2-1 defeat of No. 24 South Carolina at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.

The goal came after Golan had moved Helverson from her usual midfielder position to forward. Helverson‘s activity in the last 50 minutes sparked several scoring opportunities, the last of which came on a deflection from forward Taylor Uhl.

“It just wasn’t her day [in the midfield],” Golan said. “She was having a hard time finding the game, and you could see that her confidence was up and down. We made the change of moving her up front … and she made a difference.”

Uhl scored Minnesota’s first goal 1:27 into the game — her second early goal this weekend. She scored five minutes into Friday’s game against No. 4 Florida State, which the Gophers lost 3-2.

But like Friday, Minnesota let its lead slip away. The Gamecocks tied the game at 1-1 with one second left in the first half when Minnesota goalkeeper Cat Parkhill let a soft shot slip through her hands and into the net.

“When you let a goal in like that, it’s always very difficult,” Parkhill said. “But it’s knowing that you can’t just give in mentally and you have to stay strong for your team. You can’t really fix the mistake you made back then; all you can do is do the best you can now. That’s what I tried to focus on.”

That goal was the only shot Parkhill faced in the first half. But in the second half and overtime, she stopped all three of the shots she faced.

Minnesota outshot South Carolina 12-7, had a 7-2 edge in corner kicks and controlled possession for most of the afternoon.

As a whole, the Gophers displayed tremendous resilience in the second half, fighting off a higher-ranked opponent and a momentum swing that could have been catastropic.

“They’ve put a lot of work throughout the course of the summer,” Golan said. “They’ve been building for moments like this.”