Soccer crushes Kentucky, 6-0

Jim Schortemeyer

Only a thesaurus could do justice to Minnesota’s 6-0 victory over Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament.
The Gophers throttled, mauled, pummeled, decapitated, dismantled, pounded, humiliated and dominated the Wildcats Wednesday afternoon.
“That’s been bottled up all season and waiting to explode,” Montagne said. “It’s been a long season of hard knocks, and we’re letting loose.”
Minnesota improved its record to 14-5-1 while Kentucky dropped to 9-9-3 after being thoroughly outplayed. The Gophers outshot the Wildcats 15-2; in the past two games Minnesota has outshot its opponents by a margin of 34-5.
Kentucky coach Warren Lipka was at a loss for words after the drubbing.
“What do you want to know?” Lipka asked. “I was surprised by the way our team didn’t come to play.
They didn’t wait long to start the scoring bonanza. At the 11-minute mark, senior Corrine Bolder caught a pass from junior Nicole Lee and had a one-on-one with the Kentucky goalie. The goalkeeper came out, but Bolder dumped the ball in for a Gophers goal.
Then sophomore Laurie Seidl got into the act. Seidl was guarded by two Wildcats near the Kentucky goal when she slipped a pass to freshman Alison Rackley, who was charging downfield. Rackley drilled home her ninth goal of the season, putting Minnesota up 2-0.
Kentucky’s play picked up for the rest of the half. They managed to work the ball onto the Minnesota half of the field, but the Gopher defense still didn’t allow a shot.
The best Wildcats chance came at the start of the second-half, when Jen McMaster made a break for the Minnesota goal. Gopher goalkeeper Dana Larson came out and sent McMaster’s shot ricocheting away from the Minnesota goal.
“We were very confident at the onset of the second half,” Lipka said. “We came out and we were doing pretty well. After that third goal you could see the air come out of the team.”
That deflation came when freshman Juli Montgomery headed in a crossing pass from Bolder directly in front of the Wildcat net. Montgomery was shaken up a little on the play, but was all right.
“It was the impact of the ball and my neck wasn’t ready for it,” Montgomery said.
It was clearly a rough game. Rackley displayed a huge gouge on her neck — courtesy of a Kentucky player — she received while going for the ball.
When the carnage was over there were six Minnesota goals, courtesy of six separate players. Senior Vanessa Touset scored her second goal in two games to bring the score to 4-0, and was followed by scoring leader Nicole Lee, who made it 5-0.
Freshman Samantha Meyers knocked in the final goal, the first of her career.
The win comes on the heels of a game Montagne thinks was one of the best of the season for Minnesota — a 2-2 tie with Indiana.
“We played great against Indiana, but the ball didn’t go in the net,” Montagne said. “Today things just fell in for us.”
So what’s the prize for the Gophers’ win? A matchup with sixth-ranked and fifth-seeded Portland (16-2-2).
Montagne and the rest of the Gophers seemed downright giddy about their chances against the Pilots — in spite of the fact Portland’s two losses have come to No. 1 North Carolina and Santa Clara, who beat the Gophers 5-1 last year.
“I think we’re planning on going up there and kicking some … ,” Montagne trailed off. “It will be a very tough game. They’re a very good team.”