Gophers fall sports preview

While classes are just beginning, many Gopher teams are already starting their seasons.

Paul Hodowanic

With the 2019-20 school year upon us, it’s also time for your favorite Gophers sports to begin, and as usual there is plenty for Minnesota fans to be excited about. 

The football team and head coach P.J. Fleck enter this season with high expectations coming off of back-to-back impressive wins to end their last season with a 7-6 record. First came the historic win over the Wisconsin Badgers, the first time the Gophers had taken down their rivals to the east since 2003. The maroon and gold clinched a bowl game with the win and took full advantage, beating Georgia Tech 34-10 in the Quick Lane Bowl. They return a slew of accomplished running backs and wide receivers. Quarterback Tanner Morgan enters his first full season as the starting quarterback after starting the last six games a year ago and the team boasts several potential NFL prospects including wide receiver Tyler Johnson and defensive end Carter Coughlin. The team will see its first action of 2019 against North Dakota State University on Thursday, Aug. 29. 

The women’s soccer team enters the season as reigning Big Ten champions, looking to replicate the success that advanced them to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season. 

After a trip to the Sweet Sixteen, the Gophers volleyball team heads into this season with championship aspirations once again. The team returns five of their six starters from a year ago. The one departure: Big Ten Player of the Year Samantha Seliger-Swenson. The women kick-off their season on Friday, Aug. 30 against the University of North Carolina. 

The women’s cross-country team figures to be a factor in the NCAA tournament once again. The runners have qualified for the postseason in 13 of the last 14 years and return two of their top runners, Bethany and Megan Hasz. 

The men’s golf team tees off their season on Sept. 8 in Independence, Minnesota for the Gopher Invitational. Co-Big Ten Champion Angus Flanagan returns for his junior season, looking to improve on his performance in the NCAA regional tournament in which he tied for 20th place. 

There is a lot happening in the world of Gophers sports, and the Minnesota Daily will keep you updated through it all. Along with our normal coverage online and in print, we are also debuting a new podcast called “The Weekly Rundown,” which will release an episode on Friday mornings and give fans insight on everything happening in campus sports. We look forward to another great year!